• Hell and Back

  • Longmire Mysteries, Book 18
  • By: Craig Johnson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,133 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A new novel in the beloved New York Times bestselling Longmire series.

Picking up where Daughter of the Morning Star left off, the next Longmire novel finds the sheriff digging further into the mysteries of the wandering without—a mythical all-knowing spiritual being that devours souls.

Walt thinks he might find the answers he's looking for among the ruins of an old Native American boarding school—an institution designed to strip Native children of their heritage. He has been haunted by the image of the Fort Pratt Industrial Indian Training School ever since he first saw a faded postcard picturing a hundred boys in uniform, in front of a large, ominous building—a postcard that was given to him by Jimmy Lane, the father of Jeanie One Moon.

After Walt's initial investigation into Jeanie's disappearance yielded no satisfying conclusions, Walt has to confront the fact that he may be dealing with an adversary unlike any he has ever faced before.

©2022 Craig Johnson (P)2022 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Hell and Back

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

VERY WELL DONE!!!!

This book is so different than any other book in this series. To begin with, it is told in the first person. Walt Longmire wakes up in the middle of the road in an unfamiliar town somewhere in Montana. He doesn’t know his own name and wanders into a cafe. He sits at the counter and the waitress seeing the stitching on his hat tells him his name. He’s covered in blood but has no wounds. His gun is holstered but his wallet is missing. His only possessions are two misstamped silver dollars from the 1800”s that are quite valuable.
Walt finds himself staying in a strange town. There is an abandoned Indian boarding school with 30 some empty graves. No police, a hotel that is being remodeled (Walt gets room 31) and a movie theater. He finds a set of keys hanging from the door and lets himself in. Walt goes in, gets himself a drink and popcorn and takes a seat in the 31st row. Walt has a hallucination that the actors on screen spoke to him. This is not his first hallucination. Earlier he saw a behemoth Native American speaking to him but no one else saw.
Meanwhile barely passing each other Henry Standing Bear and Vic Moretti are searching for Walt. They find themselves at the hotel Walt is staying at. The owner doesn’t know he’s there because the local priest had given Walt a key.
Shortly Walt finds himself at the boarding school where he becomes completely immersed between his hallucinations and reality. He believes the school is standing and operating and it’s the day it burned down.
I would love to elaborate even more but if I do you won’t have to get the book! This is a fast moving story that should hold your attention. It certainly kept me entertained. Once I began listening I could not and did not turn it off until The End.
This book has my VERY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!!
George Guidall does a brilliant job narrating. He is and has been perfect for this series.
If you found this review helpful please indicate so.
Thank You.


24 people found this helpful

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Very Disappointed

Rehash of meeting every dead person Longmire knew in his life. Wasted time, money.

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Gone to Hell

I have read or listened to all of Walt Longmire books and TV. I eagerly got this one on opening day. After working thru 3/4 of the book, i am seriously considering getting a refund for my credit. This takes a lot of work to figure out WTF is going on. Don't know if Walt is dead or alive, but I am leaning toward Dead to me.

12 people found this helpful

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First Burke, now Johnson...Why all the Ghosts?

When James Lee Burke went off the deep end into phantasmagoria fiction, I figured it was merely a *keep up with Neil Gaiman thing.* Now, however, Craig Johnson has our favorite Wyoming Sheriff, Walt Longmire, cavorting with the dead.

Hell and Back is a mishmash of every bad day Walt Longmire ever lived for us in an ad nauseam series of encounters with flitting spirits.

If John Sandford suddenly has Virgil Flowers (of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) seeing the spirits of long dead fishing buddies I figure it's time to put my addiction to thriller and suspense novels on the back burner for a few years. That is, until a new crop of storytellers matures into bestselling writers.

I give this novel one Rainier up (for George Guidall) and one down for a rejected Hollywood script passed off as Western Genre Fiction by Johnson's publishers.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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So very tired of the mystical hallucinations

I am a little over four hours in and have to fight off the urge to shut it off and forget it as a wasted credit from a trusted author. I will however force myself to listen to the end and report any reason to raise my negative rating.
I struggled, but managed to listen through. Couldn't stay focused enough to follow the story closely, The only saving grace for me, were the snatches of dialogue from the characters I have grown to love.
I am torn. I love the author and his characters and I want more, so I can't just leave him with a one star review.
Accordingly, I have raised my review to three stars.

10 people found this helpful

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Enough with the mystical hallucinations!

Craig Johnson is one of my favorite authors and I have read all of his books. I can truthfully say this is the first one that has disappointed me. George Guidall as narrator is his usual marvelous voice of Walt Longmire. I eagerly read Craig Johnson’s books, I love the characters, and I love the narrator. But what happened? This is the first work I have been struggling to get through. Usually with one of the Longmire books, I make time during the day to listen. This story line is not interesting, sometimes disjointed and difficult to follow, and more than once I had the feeling I had heard this all before in previous books. I reluctantly give it two stars, and one of those stars belongs to George Guidall.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not your average Longmire tale

I’m going to avoid spoilers by hiding, amongst many descriptions, what’s actually going on in this book. If you like stories (movies, TV, poems, tales, books) with dream sequences, altered reality, the upside down, the space in between, fever dreams, mysticism, lore, mythology, symbolic imagery and a general feeling of otherworldliness well, this is the book for you. The same friendships and charm of Walt, Kady, Vic, Dog and The Bear exist in the background. This was my least favorite book of the series as I really had to not only focus but set aside my disappointment that it wasn’t the usual fare.

6 people found this helpful

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So disappointing

I was happy to see that there was a new book in this series and so disappointed! It truly rates as one of the most annoying books I’ve ever listened to. Maybe it would have been better to read, but I never knew who was talking or what they were talking about. Even the wonderful George Guidall couldn’t make the voices distinct enough to make the characters recognizable. I hope that if Johnson writes another book in the series, he goes back to entertaining us with the charming trio.

5 people found this helpful

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Worst of this series

Weird story that dragged on forever and ended with no real resolution.This series and narrator have been my favorites,not this book. George did fine as.usual but he can only read the story as it is.Moving into a fantasy,science fiction genre.

3 people found this helpful

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Superstitious mumbo-jumbo

Waddell is good as always, but the book is ridiculous. Craig Johnson has now joined my list of "authors to never read again". in past books, he has dwelt upon Native American superstitions, while flirting with the supernatural. This book went too far for me.

3 people found this helpful