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The Fallen Man [Mass Market Paperback]

Tony Hillerman
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although this is the first Hillerman book I have read, I was very shocked by the way the book began thoughout its development to the way it ended. The story its self is excellent with a ouitstanding plot. What could be more interesting then two Navajo Tribal Police (one an active policeman and one retired) try to solve a missing person case that is eleven years old. The plot was well developed but often two choppy to follow. I mean the Hillerman went from one extreme to the other. I really enjoyed the development of Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn, both were realy ture to their characters. Chee the younger of the two is caught up with his people and his girlfriend (Janet Pete) and Leaphorn is the older one with the experience and smarts. Although I found the book to be a little confusing, I really couldn't put it down once I began to read. I was to excited to find out the answer to the case. The book was really good to the ending when I really counldn't figure out who the culprit was. Once again, this is the first Hillerman book I ever read so I can't compare to other books of his but I would recommend this book to others. Overall I enjoyed The Fallen Man and I will continue to read Tony Hillerman.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love reading Hillerman. When you live in New Mexico you know first hand what he's writing about. That is until I was at page 4 of the "Fallen Man" and Hillerman described the autumn sun as being "far to the north" and "the shadow of Ship Rock .... stretched southeastward". That stopped me in my tracks right there and I had to read it again several times.
First of all, the sun sets far to the south in autumn and the shadows stretch northeast. The only way I could explain this error is perhaps Hillerman placed the scene in the late spring in an earlier draft, then changed the season without changing other details. I was disappointed that Hillerman didn't catch this.
In Roswell, New Mexico, I watch the summer sun set behind El Capitan Mountain that sits on the most northern point of the suns path through the sky. El Capitan looks like a pyramid and acts as a buffer from the strong rays of the setting sun. As the sun travels back to the south on the western horizen in the fall, I am very aware of its position because it shines right in my face as I drive home. That is first hand knowledge for you.
This small detail might not be important to a lot of people, but it was a glaring (forgive the pun) error on the writer's part.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An Attempt to Name the Lack Nov. 17 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I've read some of the complaints about this novel, ranging from general dissatisfaction with the tiny payoff of the rustling subplot to a very specific confusion over how, exactly, the "fallen man" died. I hope to pinpoint the trouble somewhere between the two.
There seem to be two ways Hal Breedlove could have died, and it is no accident that they hinge on Eldon Demott's accounting for it. If he is lying, then he probably would have stranded his friend on the ledge. That would account for the intact bones. Yet the rock is not so isolated, as even the book suggests, that no one could have heard his cries; moreover it is possible to die from a fall without breaking bones--due to internal injuries, brain damage, etc.

Add to this Elisa Breedlove's recounting of her brother's genuine-looking shock and the weight comes down in favor of Demott's explanation. The author's decision not to break Hal Breedlove's bones, on the other hand, is a little harder to understand. Halfway through the novel people are still qualifying their references to the "so-called" Fallen Man. This appears to allow Leaphorn and Demott to develop their Biblical allusion, my only complaint being that it is done to no purpose. Hillerman has always taken pains to characterize the clash between cultures, Navajo and white, but here he seems to pull back from his own terrain.

Not to put too fine a point on it the Biblical "Fall" is, after all, a choice of knowledge over blissful ignorance, and Lieutenant Leaphorn's private objection, in Chapter 17, to Demott's simplistic analysis hardly constitutes presence of this moral theme. The lack may easily have spilled over, undermining the otherwise vintage resolution of the subplot, both cases only proving what is no mystery: that two negatives don't make a positive.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Chee and Leaphorn: Dynamic Duo! Oct. 22 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jim Chee is a Navaho tribal policeman. But he is as far from the Hollywood stereotypical Indian as it is possible to be. He is articulate, intelligent, Arizona State University educated, and FBI-Academy trained. Chee is not the brawling Spenser of Robert Parker nor the intellectual Alec Delaware of Jonathon Kellerman. He is more the calmly logical Lucas Davenport of John Sandford's "Prey" series. Loyal Hillerman readers, of course, need no such introduction, as this is the 15th novel in a series. "Well, that other cop . . . doesn't he have a lot of this figured out?" Leaphorn chuckled. "Chee is a genuine Navaho. He isn't interested in revenge. He wants harmony."
In The fallen Man we see a routine reopening of an eleven-year-old routine disappearance. Enter Chee, newly promoted lieutenant, and Joe Leaphorn, newly
retired tribal police chief.

As the plot unfolds, we get typical Hillerman. He paints superb descriptions of the Southwest's breathtaking beauty. His vivid snowstorms leave the reader shivering in the comfort of the living room lamplight. He writes of Navaho culture, traditions, and life on the reservation with respect and dignity. (Protocol requires that Chee remain in his car a few minutes after driving into the yard of a Navaho in order to give the residents time to prepare for visitors. An upside down old boot on a fence post tells a visitor no one is home.) His protagonists are not heroic, nor even unusual--just quietly efficient, even while following false leads in majestic mountains amid views that "stretch away forever."

Perhaps not the bone-chilling terror of the King/Koontz genre, but still exciting and suspenseful .

Chuck Lang, Sun City, Arizona
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Same Hillerman elements with a different slant
Looks like a skeleton of a climber was found on a ledge on Ship Rock. Could this solve the mystery of a person missing for many years? Read more
Published on July 23 2006 by bernie
1.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm....
This book was immensly boring. I feel utterly stupid for having wasted my time reading this blithering mass of mindless jargon. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2001 by Bill Cathrow
3.0 out of 5 stars A Who-Done-It with a twist
This is a detective novel, with a cultural twist that I found entertaining. The addition of insights into the Navajo culture clearly enhanced this book and made it into something... Read more
Published on July 18 2000 by M. Ben-Menachem
4.0 out of 5 stars Like Visiting Two Old Friends
It was so nice to catch up with Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee again that the story was almost secondary. Read more
Published on March 23 1999 by N. Sausser
1.0 out of 5 stars A Major Disappointment
Who would have thought that Hillerman could disappoint so greatly? The ending of this book is so murky that it is impossible to figure out what happened. Read more
Published on Feb. 28 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars It's good but it's not the best
I found this book confusing
Published on Feb. 1 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars VINTAGE HILLERMAN
I read The Fallen Man with great anticipation and was not disappointed. Hillerman's new developments with Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn brought great satisfaction. Read more
Published on Dec 2 1998
3.0 out of 5 stars good for a fix but not as good as it gets
Like other reviewers I needed a Hillerman fix, especially after the disappointing Finding Moon. but I found Fallen Man to be confusing (like others) and poorly edited. Read more
Published on Aug. 23 1998
1.0 out of 5 stars Torturous
I don't know how I was able to refrain myself from tossing this book into my fireplace. It was full of inconsistencies and thoroughly boring. One star is being generous.
Published on Aug. 18 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars First book I read of Hillerman's
The characters were great. You were really able to relate to each of the characters. Hillerman writes an incredible mystery right up until the last page.
Published on June 3 1998 by cpmeha@megsinet.net
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