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Hunting Badger Mass Market Paperback – September 28, 2010
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While first-time readers will find plenty to enjoy in Hunting Badger, it holds special pleasures for longtime fans. There's more and deeper contact between Leaphorn and Chee, and we continue to see further into the prickly Leaphorn's human side (though without fuss or sentimentality). Chee finally begins to get over Janet Pete (it took about six books) and inch toward a new love interest. And in a moving section involving Chee's spiritual teacher Frank Sam Nakai, the shaman provides a key insight into the case.
In a world teeming with "sense of place" mysteries--set in Seattle, Alaska, the Arizona desert, or Chicago--it can be a shock to return to Hillerman, who started it all, and realize just how superior he is to the rest of the pack. --Nicholas H. Allison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
What makes Hillerman's books work are these characters and their struggle to live in the modern world and yet not forsake that of their ancestors. This dynamic, which plays a significant part in each of his novels, is what makes these tales something more than average who-done-its. In fact, it is seldom the solving of the crime that is the main focus, but how it is solved. Just as the workings of Sherlock Holme's mind is central to Conan Doyle's stories, the workings of Leaphorn's mind (and the influence of Navajo culture and tradition) play a big part in Hillerman's stories. In this one, the study of Navajo myths and legends plays a big part in cracking the case.
I couldn't subsist on a steady diet of Hillerman, but I would hate not to have a new Leaphorn/Chee story each year or so to help me slow down the pace of my life and see, for a few hours, with a different perspective. Very pleasant reading.
Hillerman's vast knowledge and familiarity with the geographical terrain and the Navajo traditions that are woven into his novels are a proven recipe for success. Though Leaphorn is still adjusting to his life as a retired Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant, his sharp mind and investigative skills have not dulled. In Hunting Badger, Hillerman continues Sergeant Jim Chee's progression as a Navajo Shaman, in juxtaposition with his occupation as a police officer, which Chee's grandfather reluctanctly accepts as the way of this present world. Chee also moves slightly out of Leaphorn's shadow, taking on a less subservient role as the retired Leaphorn gives Chee more credit for his ability as an investigator.
This novel is well-written from start to finish - several times I found myself following the wrong trail as I tried to figure out whodunit and why, only to be brought back on track by Chee and Leaphorn. Made me want to return to the Four Corners area once more, to look at the beautiful terrain as Chee and Leaphorn would see it.
'Hunting Badger' is, IMHO, a minor work in the pantheon, but extremely readable and enjoyable. It's good to see that as they grow older and more mature, Chee and Leaphorn are finally beginning to develop a relationship that transcends the mentor/acolyte status they've always had and becomes--dare we say it--friendship? Also, it's a relief to see that Chee is finally ditching Janet Pete and opening his mind to a relationship "closer to home," while Leaphorn is finally acknowledging that there is a life after his beloved Emma. These are the real things that are interesting about the story, plot strands that all radiate from the wisdom of a central metaphor, the death of a central Navajo figure in Chee's life.
The mystery itself is pretty routine, and the plot, always secondary in a Hillerman novel to the characters, culture, and landscape, is less important than ever. What ultimately makes this rewarding for long-time fans of the series is the satisfying direction Hillerman has established for future novels.
Hillerman's characters are now so familiar to me that I fall right into their 'Navajo Time' rhythm and feel at home in their part of the world.
To me, the plots/crimes are almost secondary to learning about the wise Leaphorn and the hungry for knowledge Chee.
I'll continue to read Hillerman for as long as he writes. With characters like these, he will never run out of good plot lines.
P.S. I like the new love interest in Chee's life. Janet Peete was never right for him....
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Tony Hillerman so the book was just what I expected it to be.Published 25 days ago by Hoover
I love all Tony Hillerman books. So well thought out and mysterious until the end. They also give an insight into the world of native Americans of the south west.Published 1 month ago by Jules
Having lived and worked in the area I am a friend of a Navajo police officer and my wife and I read all of Tony and Anne Hillerman books. Read morePublished 2 months ago by William T. Oliver
Love Tony Hillerman's stories!! This is great for when you travel. Awesome depiction of Native American life.Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
My experience reading this book testifies to the fact that one probably shouldn't enter into a fiction series at book 14. Read more