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By Mark on 06-23-17
read after “Hell Is Empty” and after/before "Crow"
Collection of Longmire short stories for fans only. Generally light and humorous. I’d read it after “Hell Is Empty” and right after or right before “As the Crow Flies” because that’s when the timing for some of the stories takes place, right around Cady’s wedding. The story that stood out for me was Thankstaking where a guy tries to rob Henry’s bar at Thanksgiving, and the one involving a national park outhouse, a family of bears and an owl is pretty memorable, too. Grade: A-
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Richard Delman on 04-16-18
Great short stories. LMAO, really.
For all of my adult life I felt that T.C. Boyle was the American Master of the short story. He certainly is the most prolific writer, but in these stories Craig Johnson shows us that he can do wonderful things with the form as well. Not all of them are terrific, of course, but several are just so fabulous that I will remember them forever. Messenger, for example, is astounding. It is so funny that I gave myself the hiccups. The story is about Walt, Bear and Vic rescuing a great horned owl from an outhouse. I won't spoil it for you, but it is unimaginably funny and wise and surprising as well.
OTOH, the story about the old woman who believes that Walt is the Second Coming: this is so tender and moving, and also surprising. Walt's unique abilities to empathize with so many people who suffer in their lives: I really can't think of another fictional character who embodies these, and other traits in so vivid a fashion. Also, the story about the woman who has walked away from a psychiatric institution is yet another example of Walt's sensitivity to people who are in distress. Further, the relationships that he has, particularly but not exclusively with Vic and Bear, are layered, full of love and respect and solid as bedrock.
I may be going on a bit here, but I am fine with that, because few author/narrator combinations work as masterfully as these two men. One of the most prolific reviewers (Jim the Impatient) says that George is a national treasure. That is bang-on. It is impossible to imagine anyone else voicing these characters. What virtuosity!
Having now read all of the books in the series is bittersweet indeed. I wonder how long Mr. Johnson is going to be able to do this. I truly hope it's for a very long time. These books are the ultimate in time well spent.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful