Hillerman is a shill and he should feel deeply ashamed and ethically compromised for it. Even if Hillerman werent a shill and a disgrace to the journalism profession, his memoir is still a terrible and boring read. First, lets deal with the reason Hillerman should be denounced by all journalists, for his duties as a shill. Hillerman got tired of being a reporter (he claims to be a journalist but it does not appear he was a journalist for particularly long and I write appear because he is so terrible with actually putting dates in his memoir, making it near impossible to know when anything is happening or create timelines) and moved to the position of flak at University of New Mexico or, as its current professors call it. Hillerman gets him the mattresses and hes off to the moral corruption Olympics and already ready to turn in his journalism credentials. Let us be very clear: Hillerman participated in, facilitated and was part of a cover-up and likely furthering the abuse of prisoners by an elected official. Hillerman writes the Sandoval County sheriff had some prisoners who were acting up. He also looks down at genres that arent mainline fiction or mystery, because, you know, mystery isnt a genre thats totally looked down on, or anything.
He tells the story of being an infantryman in Europe during the difficult fighting of 1944 and 1945 with the modesty we have come to expect from the "Greatest Generation." He also continues, as he does throughout the book, to point out instances of good fortune and how events that seemed bad at the time led to life-changing experiences.
His descriptions, although written in a clinical, non-emotional way, leave no doubt about the horrors he witnessed as a common soldier on the front lines.
I was hesitant to read this book since I love Tony Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee novels so much.
Page 55 Our commandant, for example, was old (at least forty), he was a West Pointer, and he was only a captain and should have advanced at least to colonel. Page 249 That experience may have improved my journalism teaching. Page 262 Before I could conclude that a professors life tended to be boring, the late sixties were upon us and students were showing up full of fire, demanding to be taught something relevant, protesting war, the establishment parking tickets, poorly prepared lectures, prejudices against pot smoking, unisex rest rooms, police brutality, and so forth. Teaching a roomful of bright young folks who yearned to learn and were willing to argue forced you to defend your position.
I feel like I'm telling goodbye to a long and loyal friend. Tony Hillerman is my hero, and I've almost read all of his books. With treatments he was given several more years to live and write. This book is narrated by Hillerman himself, so it is especially enjoyable to hear him with his own emphasis tell his own stories.
Tony Hillerman is one of my all time favorite authors, and still, several years after his death, I miss having new books about the Navajo policeman, Joe Leaphorn, to get lost in. So I learned a lot of new things about this author, listening to this book narrated in his own voice.
Long, long ago, I spent a western summer reading nothing but Tony Hillerman mysteries. I think I would have enjoyed the audiobook, now that I know he read it himself.
I've never read his novels, and now I won't, if he writes them the way he wrote his memoir.
Hillerman, the author of the wonderful Navajo police mysteries, talks easily about his life beginning in rural Oklahoma, through WWII Europe and on to writing about the Southwest.
Then he earned a Masters degree and taught journalism from 1966 to 1987 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he resided with his wife until his death in 2008.