• Open Season

  • A Joe Pickett Novel
  • By: C. J. Box
  • Narrated by: David Chandler
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (8,213 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Joe Pickett is the new game warden in Twelve Sleep, Wyoming, a town where nearly everyone hunts and the game warden—especially one like Joe who won't take bribes or look the other way—is far from popular. When he finds a local hunting outfitter dead, splayed out on the woodpile behind his state-owned home, he takes it personally. There had to be a reason that the outfitter, with whom he's had run-ins before, chose his backyard, his woodpile to die in. Even after the "outfitter murders," as they have been dubbed by the local press after the discovery of the two more bodies, are solved, Joe continues to investigate, uneasy with the easy explanation offered by the local police.

As Joe digs deeper into the murders, he soon discovers that the outfitter brought more than death to his backdoor: he brought Joe an endangered species, thought to be extinct, which is now living in his woodpile. But if word of the existence of this endangered species gets out, it will destroy any chance of InterWest, a multi-national natural gas company, building an oil pipeline that would bring the company billions of dollars across Wyoming, through the mountains and forests of Twelve Sleep. The closer Joe comes to the truth behind the outfitter murders, the endangered species and InterWest, the closer he comes to losing everything he holds dear.

©2001 C.J. Box (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about Open Season

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,527
  • 4 Stars
    2,569
  • 3 Stars
    878
  • 2 Stars
    150
  • 1 Stars
    89
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,495
  • 4 Stars
    2,081
  • 3 Stars
    631
  • 2 Stars
    104
  • 1 Stars
    59
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,071
  • 4 Stars
    2,206
  • 3 Stars
    806
  • 2 Stars
    158
  • 1 Stars
    82

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This is where it all began.......

This is the first book in the Joe Pickett series by CJ Box and to begin with the story was somewhat awkward; however, the more I read the more I had to read. Joe Pickett is a good guy! He tries to live his life by doing the "right thing" in every aspect of his life. He is a vulnerable human being and the author shares this with you. There are some parts of the story that you can not help but to laugh at the "humanness" of the situations. Open Season is an easy read, an enjoyable read; I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading stories where good triumphs over evil.

76 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

As refreshing as sunrise in the mountains

STORY (fiction) - This book is a really nice, easy read. There are great characters and a beautiful wintery setting in rural Wyoming. The main character, Joe Pickett, is a game warden. He's a good guy with a loving family. In this book he gets entangled in a mystery involving some murders and a possible endangered species. The story moves at just the right pace with just the perfect amount of detail and suspense. I had things pretty much figured out early, but it was still great to hear things unfold. Think of it as a mystery that's set in the mountains instead of New York or some other busy city. (This series is somewhat similar to the Walter Longmire series, though this is less "westerny," in my opinion, and I like this series much better).

PERFORMANCE - Good job, though he doesn't bother to attempt different voices to distinguish between the characters.

OVERALL - If this were a movie, I'd rate it PG-13. It would be great for family road trips, as men, women, boys and girls would all find things to like about the story. But there is some shooting and death. There is no sex, but there are a couple extremely mild sexual situations. There was probably a tiny bit of cursing. Even though this is the first book in the series, it stands alone.

69 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed.

What disappointed you about Open Season?

The reviews I read made this book sound great. However, I found the story weak and predictable, the plot seemed familiar. The characters were shallow and somewhat silly, it was easy to guess what they would say and do. A young child was given the thinking processes of an adult and the language, in her thoughts, to analyze her feelings as if she were a counselor. Periodically the author made inane statements such as indicating that a funeral was for the dead men (most readers would assume the stars of the funeral were dead, right?). The funeral itself was idiotic.

Has Open Season turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, but I am not likely to select anything by this author.

Would you be willing to try another one of David Chandler’s performances?

I would listen to the preview more closely, I wasn't impressed with the performance.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was disappointed mainly because the reviews sounded good.

Any additional comments?

In general, I wish more listeners would write reviews. I appreciate reading the one star reviews when they are thoughtful (I hope mine is) so I have more than one opinion.

68 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The start of an adventure!

This is where it all starts. If you are a fan of C.J. Box or Joe Pickett this book is the foundation to the series. If you are not yet a fan, start with Open Season and you will find a great outdoor modern west mystery that will hook you for rest of the Joe Pickett series. These are great books to sit and listen to. I have read them all and now I will get a chance to listen to them. I would only hope that Audible will pick up the few missing books to fill the gaps in this series. Listening to them each in order of release is advised, but each one makes for a great stand alone mystery. Enjoy.

67 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Murder mystery in Wyoming

This is another “try something new” purchase. I was engaged throughout the book. This really should be a 3.5 star as I can’t put it in my most memorable category, but it is interesting enough to pursue another Pickett story.

The mystery surrounding the motives and method of multiple murders unfolds as the character of Joe Pickett develops. I find it refreshing to have the sleuth a game warden instead of a detective. At times Pickett seems bumbling and at others he is tenacious following his moral compass and his duty to protect the wildlife of Wyoming. He also deserves some sympathy as he is underpaid, his intelligence is underestimated, he is verbally assaulted, and his family is targeted. I suspect that he will become more “real” as the series progresses and look forward to listening to the next episode.

This is not a rush-of-adrenaline adventure. Instead, it is more of an easy listening mystery. David Chandler does a good job of narrating: there is expression to his reading, but excessive emotion or tension would seem out of place here.

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Seems like a decent guy.


Joe Picket is a newly minted warden in "small-town, big-game" Wyoming.

He is an incorruptible character with high ideals. (enter dirty-dealing friends and big money temptation). He quickly makes a few enemies who would like nothing better than to see Picket replaced and his reputation destroyed - and if they have their way that's exactly what will happen.

To the author's credit he has left out a lot of unnecessary "sensationalism" that most author's are tempted to junk up their writing with. (eg., there is very little, if any, foul language; no grisly details or gory, deranged murders; lusty scenes are mostly replaced with monogamous relationships). Neither does he preach his values, he just tells a story.

However, to be fair review, the storyline is promising, but rather predictable.

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

outstanding listen

I first listened to Below Zero about a year ago. I found it on sale and thought it sounded interesting. Since then I've listened to everything Audible has by C.J. Box. What they didn't have in audio I read.
David Chandler does such an excellent job at narrating the Joe Pickett series I had to have this book in my collection. You won't be disappointed.

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Joe Pickett is no Walt Longmire

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Terser plot, less attention to pointless details, less hackneyed characters, a more compelling main character, more thought given to dialog and character development, fewer lengthy scenes in which some everyday activity is described in excruciating detail for no apparent reason. Also a top-notch reader can make me like just about anything.

What was most disappointing about C. J. Box’s story?

Oh, so many things.I like "everyman" detectives better than the super-geniuses, but I had the majority of the plot figured out 1/4 of the way through this book, and the characters were dull and unlikable. Joe Pickett is naive, incompetent, and gullible. He is surrounded by straight-up moustache-twirling villains but can't recognize them for what they are. His wife is pretty and rather pointless as a character, her mother is predictably irritating. The children are basically plot devices.I had only the vaguest sense of the appearance of the characters and of the setting, but I got a disproportionate amount of detail at odd moments - for example, an excruciatingly detailed account of every Cheerio fed to a small animal by one of the children. BORING.I also got a bit annoyed right off the bat for what I'll admit is a somewhat superficial reason. As a minor bit of background detail, we learn that the main character's family had a kitten and later a puppy that were both eaten by coyotes. This is described as a family of animal-lovers, and I get that bad stuff happens, but how did both of these animals end up outside, unattended, long enough to get eaten by coyotes? The children were unaware of the fate of their pets so presumably they weren't playing with the critters outside. It was, like I said, a VERY MINOR POINT, but it still colored the way I thought of these people. These are people who were either dumb enough to leave two baby animals outside, alone, where they could be killed by the local wildlife (and the main character is a GAME WARDEN, it isn't like they're ignorant), or they are just so careless that both animals escaped the house and were left to fend for themselves. Obviously, it bothered me, and I found I didn't care for the Picketts.The author does not present information in a way that is interesting or insightful. It was plodding and quotidian. The author also tends to summarize what a character has said instead of revealing the actual dialog, which left me feeling cheated out of meaningful insights into the characters. I mean, the difference between "Joe told her he had a stressful day, and she seemed to understand," and an actual back-and-forth interaction between the couple is huge. I sometimes felt like I was reading case notes instead of a novel. Not fun.Where conversations occur, Pickett doesn't say much, but the other characters go off on improbably long diatribes about their own opinions with a fair amount of regularity. It doesn't ring true, and that's always especially noticeable in audiobooks.

How could the performance have been better?

I didn't hate him, and his voice wasn't annoying or anything, he just lacked panache. I've been spoiled by George Guidall, Barbara Rosenblat, Rosalyn Landor, Simon Prebble, etc. Also, a lot of the Southern and Western vernacular just didn't work. Imagine a straightlaced newscaster trying to sell lines like "They was out-of-staters," and you get the idea. The dialog (such as it was) all sounded a bit stilted.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None that I can think of.

Any additional comments?

I have obviously been spoiled by Craig Johnson's "Longmire" series. I'd recommend "The Cold Dish" to anyone (and I have! To lots of people!), but I'll never mention this one to anybody. However: this book seems to have huge rave reviews from lots of readers and a handful of mystified readers for whom the book just fell flat: maybe download a sample and see which kind of reader you are? I'm definitely in the latter camp.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

disappointing, with a dash of annoying

What did you like best about Open Season? What did you like least?

I liked the premise, the location, the game warden character. The author created and played him (Joe Pickett) as a not very smart guy, who made some big mistakes. The secondary characters were a bit deeper, though his wife came off as a bitchy whiner.

The 7yo girl was the smartest of the bunch, though in my opinion she had much too much screen time. I didn't want a mystery where one of the main detectives ended up being a 7yo.

What could C. J. Box have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Make Joe Pickett develop a spine. It took a tad too long for that to happen.

Explain how the state of Wyoming hires a game warden who can't shoot a pistol and is more dangerous with it than without it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

David Chandler made very little effort to act out the book, with virtually no regional accent, no differentiation between characters. All the women sounded alike (bitchy & arrogant). His insistence on exaggerated annunciation seemed like an affectation, and it was at first distracting from the plot line, them ultimately annoying.

Did Open Season inspire you to do anything?

I did finish it, because i wanted to see whodunit. I had a good idea early on, not that I'm that great at figuring it out, but because it wasn't that hard.

Any additional comments?

I wanted to enjoy it more, wished I had. The last quarter of the book got better, though it has some awful twists I did not enjoy.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Refreshing Detective

What made the experience of listening to Open Season the most enjoyable?

I have become a little tired of jaded, alcoholic detectives. Joe Pickett is a refreshing change.

What other book might you compare Open Season to and why?

None come to mind.

Which scene was your favorite?

I guess the one where his daughter escapes to the woods.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Nothing comes to mind.

Any additional comments?

Interesting story with a great setting. The underlying question about the environment versus the economy is handled well. The villain makes a compelling case for not sacrificing too much to keep near extinct species from becoming extinct.

25 people found this helpful