Thursday, July 1, 2010

Audiobook Thursday: JUNKYARD DOGS

FIRST LINE: "I tried to get a straight answer from his grandson and granddaughter-in-law as to why their grandfather had been tied with a hundred feet of nylon rope to the rear bumper of the 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado."

Walt Longmire is back in Absaroka County with his band of not-so-merry deputies. Santiago is still suffering post traumatic stress disorder and now his newborn son is adding some colic to the stress. And Vic, well Vic is never very merry but she wants to move out of her trailer and buy a house. Meanwhile, Walt is trying to keep the peace between the wealthy Durant citizen Ozzie Dobbs and his neighbor, Geo Stewart, the junkyard owner. If their feuding doesn't drive Walt mad, then the startling affair, the frozen thumb, the not-so-bright Duane Stewart, or those Junkyard Dogs just might. All Walt wants for Valentine's Day is peace in Absaroka.

JUNKYARD DOGS is Johnson's sixth book in the Walt Longmire series, and Johnson's showing no signs of growing stale. While his main staple of characters stay true to themselves, they also grow from their experiences and interactions with each other. JUNKYARD DOGS reflects the toll the first five books have taken on the characters as Walt pays a visit to an ophthalmologist to correct an eye injury from a previous plot and Santiago tells Walt he's handing in his badge and returning to corrections.

There's a comfort in knowing that regardless of what she goes through, we're still going to get plenty of piss and vinegar from Vic. Readers always know something is coming from Vic, but just what that something is is the great surprise:
"The Basquo continued. 'That's where and when the Aryan Brotherhood began, so I guess we have a founding member here.' He shrugged. 'They don't take to wannabes. If you bullshit your tats, they skin them off you with a razor-blade and a pair of pliers.'

Vic seemed only mildly impressed. 'Wow, the George Washington of Nazi fuckheads.'"
Johnson's cast of characters is unmatched and keep me coming back to Absaroka book after book. And their adventures are just as strong. The unique blend of hilarious ridiculousness with the insightful glimpses into human nature make the plots simultaneously entertaining and enriching:
"It was a tough business coming to terms with your own mortality, and some people, once they are confronted with its face, never forget its features."
I may be starting to sound like a broken record, but Craig Johnson never fails to make me laugh till my sides hurt, make me cry while my heart hurts and at the last page leave me aching until Walt and company return. JUNKYARD DOGS is another solid contribution to this outstanding crime fiction series.

As I do with all of the Walt Longmire books, I read JUNKYARD DOGS and I listened to it on audiobook. JUNKYARD DOGS, as the five books before it, is narrated for Recorded Books by George Guidall. The pairing of this series with this narrator is nothing short of audiobook nirvana. Guidall doesn't miss an iota of sarcasm and he is in tune with the rhythm of the characters and the setting, both of which are vital to the pacing and the tone of the work. I read this series before I started listening to it on audio, and I loved the series from the get-go. But when I heard George Guidall read Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear, Absaroka County came alive in ways I never imagined by myself. Guidall gave life and then some to the sounds I had created in my mind. Not only is the Walt Longmire series one of my all-time favorites, but this pairing for the audiobooks is most definitely one of my all-time favorites as well. It just doesn't get better than this.

JUNKYARD DOGS is available from Viking in hardcover (ISBN: 978-0-670-02182-6) and on audiobook from Recorded Books (ISBN: 978-1-4407-2048-2), also available on Audible.

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9 comments:

le0pard13 July 1, 2010 at 7:40 AM  

I look forward to jumping back into this great series soon, Jen. Thanks for the Audiobook Thursday!

Naomi Johnson July 1, 2010 at 7:51 AM  

I feel so incomplete. I've read all these titles but haven't listened to any of them.

Jenn's Bookshelves July 1, 2010 at 8:36 AM  

Once I finish Child's Reacher series, I'm starting up with this one. Thanks for the recommendation, Jen!

george guidall July 1, 2010 at 9:46 AM  

WOW! Made my day! Thanks for those comments about Junkyard Dogs. Sounds like you enjoy them as much as I enjoy doing them. Keep up he good work and thanks for listening!
George Guidall
www.georgeguidall.com

george guidall July 1, 2010 at 9:46 AM  

WOW! Made my day! Thanks for those comments about Junkyard Dogs. Sounds like you enjoy them as much as I enjoy doing them. Keep up he good work and thanks for listening!
George Guidall
www.georgeguidall.com

Kay July 1, 2010 at 9:55 AM  

I'm one behind on my Walt reading, but I'm looking forward to catching up. I haven't listened to any of them yet, but I'll put this series on my "to be listened" list. Since I'm at home now, I haven't been getting through as many audiobooks.

Jen Forbus July 1, 2010 at 2:51 PM  

So I know that you'll all pardon me a little fan girl moment while I squeal with glee because my audiobook hero stopped by today!

Thanks to everyone for making time to comment today. Means a lot, and I hope you all enjoy the series, especially the audios!

Cathy July 2, 2010 at 2:11 AM  

Personally, not only do I love the fact that George Guidall stopped by your blog, I'm tickled that two Craig Johnson groupies reviewed his latest on the same day! LOL

Beth F July 2, 2010 at 7:41 AM  

I'm hanging my head in shame that I've had the first of this series on my MP3 player for years -- yes, really, years. I will be my best to start listening this summer. Really.

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