The Rope : Anna Pigeon

  • by Nevada Barr
  • Narrated by Joyce Bean
  • Series: Anna Pigeon
  • 12 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Anna Pigeon has been a ranger with the National Park Service for many years, but she had a very different life before tragedy sent her west seeking something new. Now Nevada Barr finally tells the previously untold story of Anna’s first foray into the wild, and the case that helped shape her into the ranger she became.
Thirty-five years old, fresh off the bus from New York City, and nursing a shattered heart, Anna Pigeon takes a decidedly unglamorous job as a seasonal employee of the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. On her day off, she goes hiking into the park never to return. Her co-workers think she’s simply moved on - her cabin is cleaned out and her things gone. Anna herself wakes up, trapped at the bottom of a dry natural well, naked, without supplies and no clear memory of how she got into this situation.
As she slowly pieces together her memory, it soon becomes clear that someone has trapped her there, in an inescapable prison, and that no one knows that she is even missing. Plunged into a landscape and a plot she is unfit and untrained to handle, Anna Pigeon must muster the courage, strength, and will to live that she didn’t even know she still possessed in order to survive, outwit, and triumph.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great book, no question. But....

The Rope is everything you expect from the best of Nevada Barr -- and then some. Lots of white-knuckle moments, when you have to stop whatever you're doing and just listen, afraid to even move lest you miss a word. Lots of interesting stuff about the outdoor life, hiking, 'canyoneering', about Lake Powell and 'Dangling Rope'.

I had some trepidation: first, not hearing the voice of Barbara Rosenblat took a little getting used to. Rosenblat's wry, little-bit-hoarse voice, tinged with good humored, self-deprecating sarcasm, has come to mean 'Anna Pigeon' to me, and I thought I'd miss that. But no, Joyce Bean does a very credible job -- in fact, it might have been smart to have someone else read this 'prequel' to the rest of the books, when Anna was young and foolish.

Foolish? Indeed. Anna as a young woman proves herself not to have been any different from any number of other young protagonists -- an older and wiser Anna would never have gone off -- twice! -- on dangerous hiking/canyoneering trips with questionable people, when she knew very well that someone out there had tried to kill her several times. Okay, okay, so sweet young protagonists have to do those kinds of things, because if they didn't, there wouldn't be much of a story. Still, for the canny Anna we've come to know through the other books, it took some adjustment to think she'd be dumb enough, naive enough, to do such a fool thing.

So it's a great book. I enjoyed it. That said, I'm starting to see why it is that I'm liking the more sophisticated quasi-cozies these days than the kind of hard-boiled stories like this one. Why? There's too much animal torture involved. Authors can't seem to stay away from it. Look: humans are fair game in these books. They fight, they die, we know it's just a story. Most of us probably have never met someone who actually murdered someone else. But to include too much animal torture gives me the willies -- I have a feeling that this is giving too many sick people out there ideas. I don't like it. Leave the animals alone. And as I've said before, to find detailed descriptions in a paper book is one thing -- you can flip the pages. Much harder to duck it in an audio book -- I take my ear buds out, then check in periodically to see if they're done yet, but that doesn't leave me with good feelings about the book, in general.

So I'm gravitating to other authors -- Susan Rogers Cooper, Julia Spencer-Flemming, Deborah Crombie -- any of the British authors, actually -- Alafair Burke, Carol Lea Benjamin, all of the books by the late Phillip Craig, all of these writers turn out great mysteries, great reading. And none of them doom innocent animals to death by sick sadists.... much better, for me, at least.
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- karen

Anna Pigeon 1.0

It was a treat to see another slice of Anna Pigeon; seen from a slightly angled perspective she is more fragile and damaged than she appears in the other books in the series by Nevada Barr. I did love this balancing act, although I didn't think the bullying, which takes up most of the book, was necessary. Is this what really goes on with public service employees? If one person is a bit off, a little "different", then the gang piles on the abuse? If this is the original version of the perambulating National Park ranger, I do wonder how she could have stayed with the job for so long.

I love the Anna Pigeon series, for the geography and sense of place just as much as, if not more than, the stories. However, this book, while delving deeper into Anna's history and that's a plus, goes way too far with the macho adventure maneuvers, and the passages drag on and on, way beyond what's necessary to create the scene.

Joyce Bean does a terrific job, and in combination with Barr's writing, creates brilliantly executed characters, one of whom is hovering in the margins of mental illness. It's a tough call to try and set a believable tone for this and the scenes could easily become maudlin and exaggerated, but Bean handles the character perfectly.

An exciting read, with lots of twists and "mini-endings" - you know, something seems resolved but not really because there are four more hours to go! Now I want all the other books to have sequels starring the "real" Anna Pigeon.
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- Pamela Harvey "glam"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-17-2012
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio