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Spirit of Steamboat: A Walt Longmire Story Hardcover – October 17, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
As Johnson says in his acknowledgements, "sometimes it's not so much about the suspense of killing characters off in a book, but rather, of trying to keep them alive." Trying to keep these characters alive on that plane in that weather is a nail-biter for readers. Johnson keeps us nibbling and chewing by carefully setting the stage-- pinning our hopes on that rickety old plane named for an animal that anyone would recognize if they've seen a Wyoming license plate. Once the stage is in place, the characters climb on board, and these characters who place a little girl's life above their own? Well, each of them made my eyes well up with tears and a lump form in my throat. I wanted to hug the stuffing out of all of them-- and I wanted to climb on board, too.
This tightly woven tale is laced with nerve-wracking action and lashes of Johnson's trademark humor. Spirit of Steamboat is a perfect, emotionally satisfying story whose re-reading may turn into my own Christmas Eve tradition. If any of you have hesitated to read Craig Johnson's books, this is the absolute best way to test the waters. If Johnson doesn't have you hooked in the short 160 pages of this book, then it's just not meant to be.
But I honestly can't believe that's possible.
This little gem, arriving well after Johnson's original Longmire story, is just the ticket for good reading, whether it's Christmas or not. For so few words (comparatively speaking), it packs a powerful punch, both in storytelling itself, and emotionally. As Johnson himself says in his Acknowledgements, it is, indeed, an "odd litte book" that was supposed to be a short story, but in the space of four days had expanded its "wingspan" to over eighty pages (and use of the word "wingspan" is a big clue as to the flight aspect of this novella.) Combining history with fiction, a wicked snowstorm, and a very sick little girl, this novella spans time and space to bring you a Christmas tale you won't soon forget.
You say you haven't read any Longmire stories? Well, don't stop with this one!
As a general rule, the book is better than the movie or television show that is based on it. Even though A&E’s Longmire is good, Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire mysteries are better. So, if you like the show, read the series!
Spirit of Steamboat is the latest book in that series. It is less a whodunit than a who-is-he? In other words, Sheriff Longmire doesn’t solve a crime during the story. Instead, the story reveals the true character of one of his companions.
A young Japanese woman walks into the sheriff’s office with a dry cleaning bag and a story to tell. It quickly becomes clear that she’s looking for Longmire and his crusty old predecessor in the sheriff’s office, Lucian Connally. At first, however, neither of them remembers her.
But then, the memories come back: of a horrific car accident, a ferocious winter storm, and a dangerous life-flight to Denver.
To be honest, it took me a while to get into this story. For me, it started slowly, and I kept putting it down. But when I finally set aside some time to read it, I read it through in a single sitting. Craig Johnson is an excellent storyteller, and this one sucked me in at last.
Bottom line: Not as good as Johnson’s Walt Longmire mysteries, but still pretty good.
It’s an exciting and tension-filled story. It’s also ironic in the sense that the girl being flown to Denver is Japanese and this particular plane was part of Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo back in 1942. There’s also an explanation of the plane’s name of Steamboat; it’s not the Colorado town but the name of a famous bronco who later becomes the emblem that adorns Wyoming’s license plates. And this old plane bucks and kicks like an ornery nag all the way.
There’s a bonus to this book, a short story at the end called Old Indian Trick. It’s not about Walt’s friend, Henry Standing Bear, but an older fellow named Lonnie Little Bird. Lonnie uses his Indian savvy to help Walt solve a crime in a record short time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoy learning new aspects of the characters. I enjoy Craig Johnson's writing. He writes so clearly that it is easy to visualize the characters doing the things he... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
I've read all of the Longmire series. My expectations from r this book were very helpful go. It exceeded those expectations.Published 28 days ago by DENNIS GRAVES
This is a quick and fun read from the Longmire series. Can be easily read without reading any of the others too.Published 1 month ago by James