Dance Hall of the Dead

Narrated by: George Guidall
Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (715 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Two Native American boys have vanished into thin air, leaving a pool of blood behind them. Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police has no choice but to suspect the very worst, since the blood that stains the parched New Mexican ground once flowed through the veins of one of the missing, a young ZuNi. But his investigation into a terrible crime is being complicated by an important archaeological dig and a steel hypodermic needle. And the unique laws and sacred religious rites of the ZuNi people are throwing impassable roadblocks in Leaphorn's already twisted path, enabling a craven murderer to elude justice or, worse still, to kill again.

©1973 Anthony Hillerman (P)1991 Recorded Books, LLC
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Impossible to Forget

"Dance Hall of the Dead" has stuck in my mind for many years as among the best of Tony Hillerman. The Audible edition confirms and expands that in the following ways: 1) this book features an intricate and exciting mystery plot; 2) the reader/listener learns a great deal about the Zuni and Navajo cultures and the differences between them; 3) there's a never-to-be-forgotten lesson about differing priorities; and 4) George Guidall makes every adventure even better!

Two boys - one Navajo, one Zuni - are in great danger, and Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo police sets out to discover why. The tale involves an archaeological dig, Zuni Kachina gods, and 3 contrasting cultures, among other features of life in the desert. Leaphorn, in his search, learns more about Zuni customs and the ways of the ancient peoples of the American Southwest - and, thus, so do we.

Some reviewers have remarked that Hillerman's books are a bit slow. But, that's much of the point, really. Joe Leaphorn demonstrates strength, wisdom, and especially the value of patience and silence in understanding the deeds men commit. He's an unforgettable character - worthy of George Guidall!

27 people found this helpful

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Excellent Listen!

What a great story! Very well told. I have always loved learning about the native people. This series gives some interesting insight to the world and minds of the native people.

7 people found this helpful

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Gripping

Worth the time to listen. I enjoyed it very much. Tony Hillerman is a treasure.

2 people found this helpful

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Great as always

I love Tony Hillerman and his accurate and visceral descriptions of my home stage make me feel like I’m right there. I had to give this reading only four stars, however, due to some of the pronunciation. First, Shalako. George Guidall puts the emphasis on the second syllable. Growing up in the places described in the book, I never heard it pronounced lime like, but with the emphasis on the first syllable. Also, several references to Ramah and the Ramah-Navajo Reservation are also mispronounced. Ramah is with a long a in the first syllable. Nitpicking I know, but I love the area.

1 person found this helpful

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an outstanding story

lots of twists and turns, wonderful cultural information and different values to reflect on. a wonderful story. the ending does make me sad but enhances the drama. Tony hillerman was an extraordinary writer and this was a wonderful audio performance.

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Hillerman can't be beat!

A great story and great performance. Going to have to hear "Listening Woman" now. A+

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Some twist

Performance was excellent. The history story lines good. The types of character good. Great story

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Classic Hillerman!

I was glad to go back to the days of Joe Leaphorn prior to his retirement. I had missed this book previously in spite of reading most of Hillerman. This is written in true Hillerman style sprinkled with a bit of mysticism. Did not want to put it down but sad when I had reached the ending. A good read for Hillerman fans as well as to introduce others to him who have not discovered his works previously. Enjoy!!


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Hard to follow...

I liked the main character and I love the narrator. But the story was hard to follow. Like it wasn't fully fleshed out or something. I don't know enough about creative writing to put my finger on it, but I do know that I disengaged frequently throughout the story and suddenly it was over. Gonna have to go back to Don Winslow for a while. Or maybe CJ Box will have something new and edgy.

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Hopi Against Navaho

No more circling the wagons. Tribe against tribe, whites against Indians, culture against archeological facts. Lots going on in this one not just your average who done it. Thought that's in there too.