Customer Reviews for

Skeleton Man (Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee Series #17)

Average Rating 3
( 23 )
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(4)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted April 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    CD/unabridged: Book 17 of the Joe Leaphorn & Jimmy Chee seri

    CD/unabridged: Book 17 of the Joe Leaphorn & Jimmy Chee series. I've listened to two other books by Hillerman and he is a very good story teller. This one was written about four years before Hillerman's passing and is short. I was surprised to see that it was unabridged and only six discs.

    In this one Leaphorn, retired, recounts the story of an airplane that crashed in to another and fell to the Grand Canyon while trying to prove the innocence of a simple man. I like it because I learned something; most of it doing with Indian culture. In a flashback, you learn the story of how Chee and Bernie went into the GC to find the diamonds and the wrist. The ending was a little fulfilling. I've read several novels that have a "male rain" that wipes out everything. (Another one, just this year.) It was an easy out and shortened the storytelling.

    George Guidall does a great reading with a lot of flavor of the west.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2007

    Easy, Fun summer read

    Not a long story, but a light visit to the southwest and mystery. Our friends are still working hard to solve another crime. Not a lot of Joe, but I still love the trips with hillerman

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2005

    Written by a committee?

    This book was so boring I ended up skimming just to see if Bernie and Chee finally tie the knot...slim motivation to keep reading! The plot is thin, introduced in the first chapter by a flashback, and then endlessly repeated as it is revealed separately to each character. The Native American lore feels tacked on. It seems to be a book written by committee, lacking an editor. Glitches abound. This is at best a short story, and not worthy of bearing Hillerman's name.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2005

    Not up to par for Hillerman

    I felt this was written in a hurry to meet some kind of deadline. The story was very flat and the plot implausible. There is, however, some redemption in the telling of lores and legends. At least that saved the book somewhat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2005

    Alas, all good things must come to a point

    I love Mr. Hillerman, but 'Skeleton Man' is not Mr. Hillerman at his best, at least at least in opinion. But, we admire you Mr. Hillerman.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2005

    Not Hillerman's Best Work

    The story is satisfying, but not Hillerman's best work. His talent for developing interesting characters does shine through, and his illumination of the arcane aspects of Native American culture and customs is full of great detail.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2005

    Another disappointment from a favorite author...

    I eagerly awaited this book after my disappointment with Hillerman's last offering. Sadly, this thin tome contains only pale shadows of his past craft. The story he presents us is a skeleton. The flesh of his earlier writing is not evident.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2005

    Not one of his best...but better than most

    I don't agree with the 'star guide' which indicates three stars with OK but four stars as Recommended. I would recommend the book, but call it OK and not as great as most of Hillerman's earlier novels. Hillerman gives us a good story, but seems to be a bit too tight with his prose here. Were I his publisher, I'd advise him to 'flesh it out' a bit in some key areas. But even Hillerman's 'OK' novels are superior to most other mystery writers today. Still a good read, even if you might be able to put it down between chapters before completing it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2005

    A Great Twist on the Normal Hillerman Story

    Ever since I was given Talking God as a present, I have eagerly awaited each new Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn story. In the past, I could go back and read all of those Hillerman novels that came before Talking God, but now, I have to wait the two years. When I began reading Skeleton Man, I was a little confused at first--but then I realized that Hillerman, the masterful story teller, was playing with our sense of time. Usually, especially in mystery novels, the progression is linear--but in this case, it is not. The way Hillerman weaves the stories and the simultaneity of events really makes this fascinating. I don't want to say more because I don't want to ruin it for other readers--but suffice it to say, it is like being a 'fly simultaneously on several walls' (to paraphrase one of Hillerman's titles). I liked this book so much that I gave it as Christmas presents to several friends and family members so I could have an informal book club to see what they think of this 'novel' approach.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2005

    Too Bad He's Been Sick

    Hillerman's own battle with illness has shown up in his recent books -- and this one is no exception. Unfortunately it reads as if some out of work romance writer was asked to fill in the blanks. There is way too much anguished rehashing of the plot points. That is a technique especially prevalent in romance novels and seems to assume that the reader has forgotten the story from one chapter to the next. What I don't understand is the way our high profile industry reviewers write their reviews. Kirkus and Publishers Weekly probably didn't even have reviewers actually read the book. Oh well, to give Hillerman his due, he has been a terrific story teller who has been ill and is still trying to meet the reader's expectations. But, maybe its time to rest on his laurals and let us go back and reread the gems.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2005

    Some Improvement But Falls Short

    This book is an improvement on Hillerman's last novel, The Sinister Pig. I would agree that there is too much filler. The white characters in the novel are uninteresting. The book would have been better if Hillerman had told the story completely from the point of view of the Navajo police as he used to do. The ending was very flat and unsuprising.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2005

    He is on the way back.

    Yes there could be more of the Indian culture, more of the sights and sounds and smells and feel of the great American Southwest, more veneration for the world in which we are placed but there is enough that is good that this book is an improvement over the previous and at least I can hope that the great Tony Hillerman is on the way back. Many thanks Mr. Tony Hillerman.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2004

    Will the real Tony Hillerman please stand up?

    Like Arthur Upfield and Robert Van Gulik before him, Tony Hillerman set his mysteries in a strange and exotic culture, capturing his readers by combining great story-telling with trips into a foreign but fascinating world. Just as Upfield's Detective-Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte opened up the Aboriginal Australian bush to readers, and Van Gulik captivated us with Judge Dee's seventh-century Tang Dynasty, Hillerman hooked us with his insights into the Native American culture of our Southwest. Good mysteries set in these fascinating settings are irresistible. Alas, Mr. Hillerman has strayed in his recent works, and 'Skeleton Man' is no exception. It misses the mark in two ways: First, where in earlier Hillerman works Native American culture--chiefly Navajo--was central to the story, in 'Skeleton Man' it's simply color commentary to a routine story about the White Man's greed. Second, it's not a mystery, but an adventure, and a rather bland one at that. 'The First Eagle' was Hillerman's last true Navajo mystery; the four novels published since then have been essentially White-Man adventures, with no real mystery and not much Native American culture. The fact that they're set in the Southwest doesn't in itself save them. I hope Hillerman hasn't opted for the same path taken by Robert B. Parker, going from terrific mystery writer to commercial hack in a few short years...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2004

    Poor Structure and Research

    Mr. Hillerman has completely missed the mark again. His last two books have been disjointed. We are not interested in a romance novel or interpersonal relationships, other than how they relate to the indian cultures of the area. In his latest, the book appears to be ghost written. Several parts are well researched while other are just filler. Did author have a deadline and needed to use space? There is no cultural depth. Further, the reseachers or proofreaders should know the Colorado River does not flow into the Pacific Ocean. It flows into the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez). Also, references to the depth of the canyon go from 3000 ft. to over 5000 ft. May have lost me as a reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2004

    HILLERMAN IN TOP FORM - FINE LISTENING

    Tony Hillerman's tales are tops - no doubt about that. Very much like fine wine, he just keeps getting better and better. His latest, which takes readers/listeners on a stunning investigation down the slopes of the Grand Canyon evokes captivating pictures of this natural phenomenon. Of course, we also have an opportunity to renew acquaintances with some of our favorite characters among the Navajo Tribal Police, their friends, and loved ones. Film and Broadway actor George Guidall is in the spotlight for this reading, and his performance is on target. With resonant, measured voice he relates an old tragedy and a more recent crime. Can the two be connected? Lt. Joe Leaphorn thinks so. Some half a century ago a plane collision over the Grand Canyon took the lives of 172 people. Among them: a courier with a satchel containing mega bucks in diamonds attached to his wrist. Now, it seems that there's been an attempt to pawn a diamond that the accused says was given to him. Proving his innocence involves finding the body of the courier and the satchel of diamonds. Sgt. Jim Chee is on hand to help his pal Joe Leaphorn, but they aren't the only ones looking for the satchel. The daughter of the diamond dealer claims the diamonds are rightfully hers, while a mysterious intruder is willing to kill to get them. Hillerman's in fine fettle, and listeners will be, too. - Gail Cooke

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    Posted March 14, 2009

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    Posted January 28, 2010

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    Posted February 17, 2010

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    Posted April 26, 2011

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    Posted March 2, 2009

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