[Reading] ➵ Dance Hall of the Dead ➼ Tony Hillerman – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk

Dance Hall of the Dead Two Native American Boys Have Vanished Into Thin Air, Leaving A Pool Of Blood Behind Them Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn Of The Navajo Tribal Police Has No Choice But To Suspect The Very Worst, Since The Blood That Stains The Parched New Mexican Ground Once Flowed Through The Veins Of One Of The Missing, A Young Zu I But His Investigation Into A Terrible Crime Is Being Complicated By An Important Archaeological Dig And A Steel Hypodermic Needle And The Unique Laws And Sacred Religious Rites Of The Zu I People Are Throwing Impassable Roadblocks In Leaphorn S Already Twisted Path, Enabling A Craven Murderer To Elude Justice Or, Worse Still, To Kill Again

10 thoughts on “Dance Hall of the Dead

  1. says:

    4 starsI have been reading Tony Hillerman books for almost 30 years Now, with the help of Goodreads, I am going back and reading all the ones that I missed I have enjoyed every single one, and strongly recommend this series, probably reading it in order, unlike me Hillerman was so respected by his portrayal of the Navajo nation, that they adopted him into the tribe In this book, Lt Joe Leaphorn is assigned to look for a missing Navajo youth who may have been present at the murder of a Zuni 4 starsI have been reading Tony Hillerman books for almost 30 years Now, with the help of Goodreads, I am going back and reading all the ones that I missed I have enjoyed every single one, and strongly recommend this series, probably reading it in order, unlike me Hillerman was so respected by his portrayal of the Navajo nation, that they adopted him into the tribe In this book, Lt Joe Leaphorn is assigned to look for a missing Navajo youth who may have been present at the murder of a Zuni youth.Twopeople die before Leaphorn solves the case The book is filled with descriptions of Navajo Zuni rituals and beliefs.One quote Dedication For Alex Atcitty and Old Man Madman and all the others who agree that Custer had it coming This was a library book Thank goodness for interlibrary loan

  2. says:

    It seemed to him that a single homicide could be thought of as a unit as something in which an act of violence contained beginning and end, cause and result But two homicides linked by time, place, participants and, most important, motivation presented somethingcomplex The unit became a sequence, the dot became a line, and lines tended to extend, to lead places, to move in directions.I wasn t even going to continue with this series.The first book, The Blessing Way, was a horrible combi It seemed to him that a single homicide could be thought of as a unit as something in which an act of violence contained beginning and end, cause and result But two homicides linked by time, place, participants and, most important, motivation presented somethingcomplex The unit became a sequence, the dot became a line, and lines tended to extend, to lead places, to move in directions.I wasn t even going to continue with this series.The first book, The Blessing Way, was a horrible combination of boredom and confusion Why were these books so popular I wondered I DNFed Then I came back and forced myself to finish it.I would have abandoned the series, but circumstances beyond my control motivated me to pick up the second book.And I m glad I did This is scads better than the first novel well, it would have been difficult to be WORSE.This book continues following Navajo cop Joe Leaphorn In the first book, Leaphorn had no personality and no character He was boring and lifeless Here, in the second book, he finally comes alive And he shapes up to be a mensch in this book I was pleasantly surprised It was nice enough that the guy finally had a personality, but to find out he was a mensch was almost too good to be true.There s a discomfort between the Navajo and the Zu i people The Zu i believe themselves to be superior to the Navajo As an example of this, the book states that Zu i make Navajo jokes the same way white people would make derogatory jokes about the Polish This is 1973 The book uses a slur instead of the word Polish.A Zu i boy and a Navajo boy are friends This in itself is rather strange The Zu i boy is going to be the Little Fire God in an upcoming ritual, and is slated to be great among his people The Navajo boy is crazy and obsessed with anything mystical Together, they get in a lot of trouble.But when huge quantities of blood are found soaking the desert, the Zu i boy is missing Could his Navajo friend have killed him Or are therepowerful and sinister forces at work Hillerman is probably the basis for how Native American mysteries are treated and written today He was a white man, but he wrote about Navajo and other tribes cultures with respect and from an very educated viewpoint Remember, this was the 1970s, and so he was doing a rather radical thing Modern day authors such as William Kent Krueger likely have roots in his work But it s also worthy of note that these Navajo series made him a rich man He was New Mexico s 22nd wealthiest man in 1996, according to Wikipedia So take him and interpret him, his motives, his life, and his work in whatever way you want I don t know enough about him to pass any kind of judgment He s dead but his daughter, Anne Hillerman, is continuing the series Spider Woman s Daughter.This book, just like Book 1, is steeped in tradition, rituals, medicine, and myths of the Navajo and Zu i tribes It also focuses heavily on the landscape and environment of New Mexico The saving grace here is that Hillerman decided to grant us some character development in this novel In The Blessing Way, Joe Leaphorn might as well have been a piece of drywall for all the emotion and personality we got from him.Here, Joe Leaphorn is becoming a paler and weaker version of Spenser And we all know that Spenser is a real mensch Joe Leaphorn was also acting like a mensch in this book If he keeps it up in subsequent books, then he will be an actual mensch instead of just acting like one His true mensch status is yet to be determined In this book we can admire Leaphorn s interrogation skills buy information with cigarettesDo you sometimes smoke a cigarette he asked Cecil He extended the pack.Cecil took one Sometimes it is good, he said It s never good It hurts the lungs But sometimes it is necessary, and therefore one does it Cigarettes are as good as cash in some places He also does stuff like has mercy on children, even children whom he is investigating in a murder Cecil s expression said he was wondering how this policeman could have forgotten that, and then he knew Leaphorn hadn t forgotten The boy s face was briefly angry, then simply forlorn He looked away To hell with it, Leaphorn said Look, Cecil I was trying to screw you around Trying to trick you into telling methan you want to tell me Well, to hell with that He s your brother You think about it and then you tell me just what you d want a policeman to know And remember, it won t be just me you re telling I ve got to pass it on most of it, anyway to the Zu i police So be careful not to tell me anything you think would hurt your brother He has mercy on women He intended to keep talking just as long as she needed him to talk so that she could cry without embarrassment.He takes women out of bad situations when he has no obligation to do soWe ll go get your stuff and we don t need to tell Halsey anything except that I m taking you with me Halsey won t like it, Susanne said But she followed him down the path.He stands up to assholes Halsey was standing in the path, hands in the pockets of the army fatigue jacket he was wearing, looking amused and insolent He was a big man, tall and heavy in the shoulders Leaphorn let his anger show in his voice I m just saying this once But the really important thing is that he values people over power, fame and material possessions Joe Leaphorn opened the camper door and stepped out in the snow I m trying to learnabout white men, he said You wanted all that worse than you wanted your woman What else will you give up for it All this put together spells M E N S C H If he can keep up this kind of behavior I am going to be tickled pink with him You know how I feel about men who conduct themselves in this manner.Tl dr If you are thinking of never reading another Hillerman book again after consuming the godawful The Blessing Way well, I can t blame you That book is crap.However, if you chose to persist in your Hillerman quest, you will be rewarded with this lovely second entry in the series Very 70s, a stand up protagonist, and some nicely crafted passages by Hillerman We can only hope that the series will continue in this vein But I honestly have no idea what will happen.Wish me luck P.S You can just skip The Blessing Way and start the series with this book Actually, I d advise you to do so You are missing nothing, and the first book has no bearing whatsoever on this one

  3. says:

    This is the second of Tony Hillerman s celebrated books featuring Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police Later, Leaphorn would be assisted by a younger officer, Jim Chee, but this book, which won The Edgar Award, belongs to Leaphorn alone.A young Zuni Indian boy, Ernesto Cata, disappears while training for his important role in an upcoming tribal ceremony A large pool of blood suggests that something very bad has happened to Ernesto, and Joe Leaphorn is assigned to fine Ernesto s This is the second of Tony Hillerman s celebrated books featuring Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police Later, Leaphorn would be assisted by a younger officer, Jim Chee, but this book, which won The Edgar Award, belongs to Leaphorn alone.A young Zuni Indian boy, Ernesto Cata, disappears while training for his important role in an upcoming tribal ceremony A large pool of blood suggests that something very bad has happened to Ernesto, and Joe Leaphorn is assigned to fine Ernesto s best friend, George Bowlegs, a Navajo George has disappeared and the authorities believe that he might have important information about the fate that has befallen Ernesto It is even possible, they believe, that George might have been responsible for the crime committed against Ernesto.In his pursuit of the boy, Leaphorn crosses paths with George s alcoholic father, a group of hippies in a rather peculiar commune, and a determined archeologist who s working on a dig that may significantly change what we know about early man in what is now the southwestern United States Along the way, Leaphorn reveals and in return discovers a great deal about the cultural and religious traditions of both the Navajo and the Zuni peoples.This is among the most unique crime fiction series of the last fifty years Hillerman, who died in 2008, wrote seventeen books in this series The mysteries themselves are always captivating, but what set the series apart was the window it provided into the culture of the Indian people of the Southwest and the way in which Hillerman captured the physical setting in which these people live This is truly a fascinating book in an excellent series

  4. says:

    I first read this book as a teenager back in the 1980s I loved this series I read a few books before life intervened and I no longer had a lot of time to read College relationships.marriage work.kids Those things tend to suck up so much time that books take a back seat Now that the kids are grown and I m older, I have time for books again..and I m re visiting favorites Tony Hillerman definitely made my list of required reading Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn is with the Navajo poli I first read this book as a teenager back in the 1980s I loved this series I read a few books before life intervened and I no longer had a lot of time to read College relationships.marriage work.kids Those things tend to suck up so much time that books take a back seat Now that the kids are grown and I m older, I have time for books again..and I m re visiting favorites Tony Hillerman definitely made my list of required reading Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn is with the Navajo police When a 12 year old Zuni boy and a 14 year old Navajo disappear, Leaphorn knows he has to work fast to find the boys One boy is found deadgruesomely murdered Did the other boy kill him If not, where is the other boy Leaphorn soon discovers there is muchto this case than a missing child I listened to the audio version of this book Recorded Books Narrated by George Guidall, the unabridged audio is just over six hours long easy listening length Guidall reads at a nice even pace and has a pleasant voice I enjoyed his performance Listening to the audio really brought the story to life Excellent listening experience This book features Joe Leaphorn by himself His usual partner, Jim Chee, is not in this story I remembered immediately why I love this series The story is well written and deeply rich in Navajo life and culture The mystery is intriguing and has great action and suspense I read this book so many years ago that I didn t remember much about the plot.I was still surprised by the ending I m so glad I m re visiting this series There are 18 books in this series by Tony Hillerman, and 5added by his daughter, Anne I m going to enjoy reading my way through this series I m glad his daughter is continuing the stories On to the next book Listening Woman

  5. says:

    This is the second novel in the series featuring Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police It was published in 1973 and won the Edgar Award for Best Novel It is set in New Mexico, primarily in Ramah part of the Navajo Reservation and the Zuni village The title comes from a Zuni concept, Kothluwalawa The Dance Hall of the Dead is what the Zuni Indians call heaven.In the opening Ernesto Cata is training to play his role as Shulawitsi the Fire God in an upcoming Zuni religious cer This is the second novel in the series featuring Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police It was published in 1973 and won the Edgar Award for Best Novel It is set in New Mexico, primarily in Ramah part of the Navajo Reservation and the Zuni village The title comes from a Zuni concept, Kothluwalawa The Dance Hall of the Dead is what the Zuni Indians call heaven.In the opening Ernesto Cata is training to play his role as Shulawitsi the Fire God in an upcoming Zuni religious ceremony He sees a kachina that can only be seen by the initiated or by those about to die The next day, his friend George Bowlegs leaves school early, after learning Ernesto is not there Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn is called in to find George, who is Navajo, while the Zuni police search for Ernesto Shortly blood is discovered in the sand and Ernesto is found, brutally murdered.George is a proficient hunter who sometimes skips school to hunt so that he can feed himself, his father Shorty an alcoholic , and his younger brother Cecil Being the only Navajo in a Zuni school George is a lonely boy with mystical inclinations and wants to be a Zuni.While investigating near the Bowlegs home Joe Leaphorn is approached by Cecil, who tells him that George is running away from the kachina, the one that got Ernesto Cecil says that Ernesto had stolen some flints from an archaeological dig site The site is being worked by a graduate student named Ted Isaacs for his advisor, Chester Reynolds Reynolds wants to prove that Folsom Man culture continued long after accepted beliefs of its duration Both Isaacs and Reynolds deny there were any thefts from the site but days earlier Reynolds barred Ernesto and George from the site He also barred Isaacs girlfriend, Susanne Susanne lives on a nearby Hippie commune called Jason s Fleece which is an abandoned Navajo death hogan When Leaphorn goes to investigate and interview Susanne he sees a Zuni kachina next to the death hogan When he talks to Susanne she tells him that George was afraid of something and asking questions about absolution in the Zuni religion It seems that the FBI and federal drug enforcement agency is also interested in Jason s Fleece and their leader Jason s Fleece may be involved in distribution of narcotics.The story is a window into both Zuni and Navajo beliefs through the eyes of Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn Leaphorn is a unique character in fiction He is a graduate of Arizona State University, and soft spoken Tony Hillerman is well known for the cultural details in his stories If you enjoy a good mystery and want to learnabout the Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi this is the series to read

  6. says:

    One that I ll re read to get the full effect A plot that kept me guessing Loads of detail about Hopi religion, which was very interesting Settings out on the mesa and at deserted hogans One of Hillerman s better books.

  7. says:

    December is a good time to re read Dance Hall of the Dead, which centers around the Zuni Shalako ceremony, timed to the winter solstice When Hillerman wrote this, his second Joe Leaphorn mystery 1973 , the ceremony remained open to non Natives, who flocked to witness it The impressive rite was subsequently closed to outsiders, however From what I heard, it was because Anglo guests simply did not know how to behave Leaphorn, too, is something of an outsider here, negotiating the challenges December is a good time to re read Dance Hall of the Dead, which centers around the Zuni Shalako ceremony, timed to the winter solstice When Hillerman wrote this, his second Joe Leaphorn mystery 1973 , the ceremony remained open to non Natives, who flocked to witness it The impressive rite was subsequently closed to outsiders, however From what I heard, it was because Anglo guests simply did not know how to behave Leaphorn, too, is something of an outsider here, negotiating the challenges of working both with somewhat secretive Zuni law enforcement, investigating the bloody murder of a Zuni youth, and with the FBI, investigating something that long remains unclear in Hillerman s world, the Feds use their Rez colleagues but rarely share with them Despite the generous infusion of aspects of Zuni culture, the overriding theme still tends toward the Dinee Way the dangerous life imbalance that out of control greed and or personal ambition can provoke.Although there is still no sign of Leaphorn s future side kick, Jim Chee, and not much about the love of Joe s life, the novel includes a rich cast of interesting characters an earnest Zuni youth, destined for a time to play an important role in Shalako, his Dinee best buddy, largely bereft of family of his own, who would do anything to become Zuni Anglo anthropologists, determined to rewrite the history of Clovis Culture and confound their scoffing academic colleagues a motley crew of 70s Anglo hippies, mouthing counter culture mottoes, who have foolishly moved into a Dinee death Hogan on the Ramah Reservation, plus sundry members of law enforcement with various allegiances Joe s accustomed skills at unhurried, sensitive interrogation inevitably contrasting with those of culturally oblivious Anglo colleagues are much on show, as is his impressive, adept reading of physical evidence and tracking signs It is a pleasure to watch him work.The gradual pile up of bodies induces regret in some cases given Hillerman s sympathetic characterization and mystery in others When justice is eventually and inevitably done, it may leave some readers, deeply committed to Anglo judicial process, less than fully satisfied not the first nor the last time that happens in Tony Hillerman

  8. says:

    Audiobook performed by George Guidall It s book number two in Tony Hillerman s Joe Leaphorn series need I sayGood mysteries with a little Native American cultural information in the mix I love the way Leaphorn thinks things through before acting George Guidall does a good job on the audio He has good pacing and I really like the way he voices Leaphorn There were times when Guidall s performance transported me to my childhood, listening to my grandfather or grandmother, or aunts or Audiobook performed by George Guidall It s book number two in Tony Hillerman s Joe Leaphorn series need I sayGood mysteries with a little Native American cultural information in the mix I love the way Leaphorn thinks things through before acting George Guidall does a good job on the audio He has good pacing and I really like the way he voices Leaphorn There were times when Guidall s performance transported me to my childhood, listening to my grandfather or grandmother, or aunts or uncles telling stories in the dark, as we all sat on the porch of a summer evening But the press of daily life got in my way and the library deadline was fast approaching, so I abandoned the audio and finished reading the second half of the book in a day.Definitely a series I will continue

  9. says:

    I read my first Tony Hillerman book back in far off Boston after a friend recommended it His mysteries intertwine details about southwest Indian culture with the murder investigations of Navajo tribal police detective Joe Leaphorn Now that I have moved to New Mexico, I have an even greater interest in these stories, which I am trying to read in order This is the second book in the series The contrast between the Zu i and Navajo cultures is a focal point of this book The Zu i believe in a sp I read my first Tony Hillerman book back in far off Boston after a friend recommended it His mysteries intertwine details about southwest Indian culture with the murder investigations of Navajo tribal police detective Joe Leaphorn Now that I have moved to New Mexico, I have an even greater interest in these stories, which I am trying to read in order This is the second book in the series The contrast between the Zu i and Navajo cultures is a focal point of this book The Zu i believe in a spirit afterlife the Navajo don t The Zu i spirits are believed to dance forever at a sacred ground of origin, Kothluwalawa The Navajo had a bleaker visionThere was no heaven in the Navajo cosmos, and no friendly kachina spirit, and no pleasant life after death If one was lucky, there was oblivion But for most, there was the unhappy malevolent ghost, the chindi, wailing away the eons in the darkness, spreading sickness and evilLocation 1375 The Zu i have one major god, Awonawilona, the Creator The Navajo have a semi heroic mythologic pantheon Zu i congregate in population centers The Navajo live in isolation, tending their individual herds of sheep Leaphorn wondersWhat force caused the Zu is to collect like this Was it some polarity of the force that caused his own Dinee to scatter, to search for loneliness, as much as for grass, wood, and water, as an asset for a hogan siteLocation 672 The Zu i year is governed by a calendar of sacred festivals which re enact their mythology through clan designated celebrants trained in the execution and meaning of rigorous dances The Zu i understand themselves to be individual elements of a natural and harmonious balance Religious observances focus on restoration of a perceived imbalance in this harmony Certainly, the Zu i outlook would have an appeal to a certain kind of person It suggests predictability, a pattern of social acceptance, and an outlook of optimism George Bowlegs, a Navajo boy, was attracted by this culture Even for a Navajo he was isolated His father was a hopeless alcoholic His mother had run off He lived with his younger brother in desperate poverty with no known extended family George s only friend was a Zu i classmate, Ernesto Cata who shared many of the sacred activities including his designation as Shulawitsi the Little Fire God in the upcoming Shalako ceremonies At school George was a misfit George decided he would rather be a Zu i The only problem was that you couldn t convert George ignored that inconvenient fact It s a background that encourages the reader s empathy for two characters who appear only briefly in person in this mystery Much of the tension between the two cultures is reflected when Leaphorn is summoned by the Zu i tribal police to find George who has disappeared the day after the apparent murder of Ernesto A radio dispatcher, sensing Leaphorn s mood, jokes about the Zu i Bow Society having discontinued the initiation rite of taking a Navajo scalp at least that was the belief among the Navajo Meeting with the Zu i police chief Ed Pasquaanti and state patrol officer Highsmith, Leaphorn thinks privately that he should inspect the incident spot himself a Zu i might miss what a Navajo could see Later, Leaphorn recalls his Zu i college roommate who taught him about Zu i beliefs with an air of unconscious superiority Leaphorn is perfectly comfortable with his own type of loneliness When the F.B.I suddenly seizes jurisdiction, he is only too happy to pursue his limited assignment of locating George Bowlegs for questioning Pasquaanti and Highsmith as well as Leaphorn have quickly surmised that the F.B.I has no interest in the fate of the two boys or in seeking out justice Ham fisted commands and an obvious covert agenda reinforce Leaphorn s own preference for privacy Leaphorn is motivated by his own curiosity, and a commitment to safeguard Navajo interests These motives give him a refreshing open mindedness He considers and critiques all of the possibilities to explain George s disappearance At first, none of these options makes any sense He interrogates George s younger brother with patience and tact, emphacizing their common interests as Dinee The People, their own term for the Navajo Nation It is a successful approach, persuading George s brother Cecil to divulgeinformation than he intends, and alleviating some of his suspicion about a policeman s questions Hillerman captures perfectly Leaphorn s vacillating inflections, phrasing many of his questions as benign suppositions This was an engaging book that integrated cultural details with a suspenseful plot By the end of the book, readers will feel invested not only in solving the mystery but in seeing that justice is done.NOTES Photo and notes on Shulawitsi the little fire god from several views of a Salamobia kachina holding two yucca whipshttps www.worthpoint.com worthopedi

  10. says:

    Back in the mid 1950 s, Horace Miner wrote an article called Body Ritual among the Nacirem, which described what Americans did in the bathroom in social scientist language Some people found this particularly clever, and it s become quite influential in the field.One can clearly see the influence of this article in this early entry in the Leaphorn and Chee series, as Leaphorn is constantly saying he wants to understand White people.The plot concerns the murders of young Indian boys Many think Back in the mid 1950 s, Horace Miner wrote an article called Body Ritual among the Nacirem, which described what Americans did in the bathroom in social scientist language Some people found this particularly clever, and it s become quite influential in the field.One can clearly see the influence of this article in this early entry in the Leaphorn and Chee series, as Leaphorn is constantly saying he wants to understand White people.The plot concerns the murders of young Indian boys Many think it was because one of the boys broke some kind of taboo, but there s archaeologists and hippies also thrown into the mix.One can see why the series caught on, as there s some good writing and a decent mystery here

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