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Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Blessing Way (Joe Leaphorn #1) (audiobook) by Tony Hillerman

Published by Borders/Recorded books in 1990.
Narrated by George Guidall.
Duration: Approximately 6 hours, 30 minutes.

The Blessing Way is the first of the Leaphorn books but, ironically, Leaphorn is a mere supporting character throughout most of the second half of the book. College professor/archaeologist Bergen McKee is the main character - the one who has the most growth and teaches the reader the most about Navajo society and culture.

Tony Hillerman (1925-2008)
Nevertheless, The Blessing Way is an enjoyable book. I have read all of Hillerman's books at one time or another so I am going back and listening to some of the older ones as a high-quality diversion from my boring work commute.

I intentionally picked this one, the oldest of the series, since I recently read and reviewed the newest of the series (The Shapeshifter), which, ironically enough, also prominently featured the Navajo Wolf/Witch/Shapeshifter. His descriptions of Navajo society in the two books would make an interesting comparison - a study in the ongoing process of diffusion of Belagana (white) culture throughout the reservation.

I figured out who did it with about an hour to an hour and a half of listening to go. However, that did not dim my enthusiasm for listening to an exciting escape, a chase through the desert and a great climax.

George Guidall did a strong job of reading the story - his pacing and ability to convey the appropriate emotion of the story were quite good.  I enjoy his readings of the Leaphorn/Chee series.

I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman.

Reviewed on December 20, 2006.


  1. Is this version abridged or unabridged?

    1. Unabridged. Hillerman's books aren't very long.

    2. I will edit the review to reflect that. Sometimes I forget to note that on my audiobook reviews.