Audiobook Review: Open Season by C. J. Box

2 03 2011

Open Season (Joe Pickett, Book 1) by C. J. Box

Read by David Chandler

Recorded Books

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Quick Thought: A fun introduction to a series, filled with well done characters, and an interesting plot.

Grade: B+

Joe Pickett is a true outdoorsman. Me, well, not so much. I am an East Coast Suburban boy, born and raised in air-conditioning, and like it that way. I have never shot a gun, done any sort of hunting or ridden a horse (well, except for one not so pleasant church trip.) So, yeah, Joe and I don’t have a lot in common and I guess that’s a good thing. I really don’t want to read a novel about myself, nor people like me. It’s fun to see how other folks live, and Joe Pickett’s small town Wyoming is quite different from suburban Philadelphia. Open Season is the first novel in the Joe Pickett series and my first chance to meet him. I like first novels. No matter how many times an author tells me that I can start his series at any point, I am always one of those people that have to read a series in order. This can be tough, especially in audiobooks, because series often don’t get the audiobook treatment until later, and often earlier editions are not produced. Plus, they often can jump around in narrators which can be distracting.

My first impression of Joe Pickett, well, I like the guy. I like the fact that he’s basically a young, positive man, with ethics, and a strong family. His wife and daughters are happy, interesting people with well fleshed out personalities. Joe loves his family and likes his job, and it’s a simple as that for him. Yeah, he seems to have some issues in his past, but he also doesn’t seem to dwell on them, and become that dark brooding, alcoholic character that we see in so many novels. Open Season is a strong, if not typical, first novel. Joe’s naiveté is challenged when he is forced to investigate a case to most others have decided is closed. Joe is of course, put into danger both physically and career wise by pursuing this. Joe not a superhero, in fact he often makes stupid mistakes, which is also a nice little character trait for our hero. The plot is well played and intriguing and doesn’t get too weighed down in minutiae, or over filled with forced action scenes. Yet, don’t worry action fans, as the pressure mounts, as the character says, things do get “western.”

This is also my first experience with David Chandler, the novel’s narrator as well. I thought he did a decent job with the reading, giving Pickett a fresh clear voice, and handling the voices of his children well, which can be a tough task for a narrator. All together, Open Season is a fun, fast, engaging listen which introduces you to characters you want to learn more about.




One response

3 03 2011

I noted your review on audiobook jukebox.

Nice review. I reviewed the regular book form of the book so I looked up what I said. I felt the same way about the book, although I remembered my review being much more elaborate and thorough than it is (much more like yours, really but every time I write cannot be genius, can it?).

The good news is, there are a whole lot of C.J. Box books!

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