Anna Pigeon has been a ranger with the National Park Service for many years, but she had a very different life before tragedy sent her west seeking something new. Now Nevada Barr finally tells the previously untold story of Anna's first foray into the wild, and the case that helped shape her into the ranger she became.
Thirty-five years old, fresh off the bus from New York City, and nursing a shattered heart, Anna Pigeon takes a decidedly unglamorous job as a seasonal employee of the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. On her day off, she goes hiking into the park never to return. Her co-workers think she's simply moved on - her cabin is cleaned out and her things gone. Anna herself wakes up, trapped at the bottom of a dry natural well, naked, without supplies and no clear memory of how she got into this situation.
As she slowly pieces together her memory, it soon becomes clear that someone has trapped her there, in an inescapable prison, and that no one knows that she is even missing. Plunged into a landscape and a plot she is unfit and untrained to handle, Anna Pigeon must muster the courage, strength, and will to live that she didn't even know she still possessed in order to survive, outwit, and triumph.
Investigate more mysterious doings with Anna Pigeon.
©2012 Nevada Barr (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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"Great book, no question. But...."
The Rope is everything you expect from the best of Nevada Barr -- and then some. Lots of white-knuckle moments, when you have to stop whatever you're doing and just listen, afraid to even move lest you miss a word. Lots of interesting stuff about the outdoor life, hiking, 'canyoneering', about Lake Powell and 'Dangling Rope'.
I had some trepidation: first, not hearing the voice of Barbara Rosenblat took a little getting used to. Rosenblat's wry, little-bit-hoarse voice, tinged with good humored, self-deprecating sarcasm, has come to mean 'Anna Pigeon' to me, and I thought I'd miss that. But no, Joyce Bean does a very credible job -- in fact, it might have been smart to have someone else read this 'prequel' to the rest of the books, when Anna was young and foolish.
Foolish? Indeed. Anna as a young woman proves herself not to have been any different from any number of other young protagonists -- an older and wiser Anna would never have gone off -- twice! -- on dangerous hiking/canyoneering trips with questionable people, when she knew very well that someone out there had tried to kill her several times. Okay, okay, so sweet young protagonists have to do those kinds of things, because if they didn't, there wouldn't be much of a story. Still, for the canny Anna we've come to know through the other books, it took some adjustment to think she'd be dumb enough, naive enough, to do such a fool thing.
So it's a great book. I enjoyed it. That said, I'm starting to see why it is that I'm liking the more sophisticated quasi-cozies these days than the kind of hard-boiled stories like this one. Why? There's too much animal torture involved. Authors can't seem to stay away from it. Look: humans are fair game in these books. They fight, they die, we know it's just a story. Most of us probably have never met someone who actually murdered someone else. But to include too much animal torture gives me the willies -- I have a feeling that this is giving too many sick people out there ideas. I don't like it. Leave the animals alone. And as I've said before, to find detailed descriptions in a paper book is one thing -- you can flip the pages. Much harder to duck it in an audio book -- I take my ear buds out, then check in periodically to see if they're done yet, but that doesn't leave me with good feelings about the book, in general.
So I'm gravitating to other authors -- Susan Rogers Cooper, Julia Spencer-Flemming, Deborah Crombie -- any of the British authors, actually -- Alafair Burke, Carol Lea Benjamin, all of the books by the late Phillip Craig, all of these writers turn out great mysteries, great reading. And none of them doom innocent animals to death by sick sadists.... much better, for me, at least.
"Highly recommend this book"
I am quite familiar with the Anna Pigeon series, and am an avid fan. But this one stood out among the lot. First, it is, like most, just a very well-written book, based on a character I like, all crafted by a very talented author. Based on that alone, I would still rate this book as the best in the series. But I found something else in this book that surprised me. Without giving away the story, I must explain that early in this book, Anna experiences a woman's worst nightmare, as a captive with some seriously sexual undertones (don't worry, it is more psychological than physical.) However, the way Nevada Barr handled Anna's responses to the trauma afterward is remarkable. As a woman, I was stunned by the author's insight, and as a fortunate woman, having never experienced such trauma, I gained an insight that I would never have imagined. I came away feeling like I understood far more of the shame, confusion, and anger that comes with such an event. Moreover, I feel like I can understand more clearly why some people behave in ways that seem to be strange. Once I saw it so clearly through Anna's (Nevada Barr's) eyes, it began to make perfect sense. I also realized that I, as a woman, would get a totally different insight than a male reader, and that it might prove far more helpful to the male audience than to the female readers. I would recommend it to all, male and female, based solely on this feature, but I am quite confident that anyone and everyone will enjoy the story on its own merit. It is not until the very end that all is revealed, for throughout the story, I vacillated between my chosen villians, never quite sure. YES, this is a very good read/listen, and for several reasons. If you don't know Anna Pigeon, this is a great introduction. If you do, you'll find you never really knew her until now.
Joyce Bean did a good job narrating the story. This is book 17 in the Anna Pigeon Series but this book goes back and explains how she became a Ranger. Barr provides beautiful description of the Lake Powell National Park, felt like I was there. The story provides lots of suspense and nail biting action that keeps one glued to the IPod.
"Girls Own Mystery & Adventure in the Canyons"
I don't generally go for the standard Crime/Mystery books, often seems like you're reading the same story, just different names and places, but the desert, canyons and lake are centre-stage in this, the landscape and surroundings are a constant main character of the story so that gets 10 points from me for a start. I'll try almost anything with that kind of setting and this book delivers totally in that department.
Also a great, well paced adventure mystery with a feminist slant that gives it a bit more interest.
Very entertaining, easy listening - not a dull moment as the action moves from the park housing village, to the sink-hole prison, across the desert, down into to the cold water of the canyon, up the rock climbing faces and back, escaping death by thirst, hypothermia and cliff-falls at every turn.
If you like a fast moving adventure story set in the extreme outdoors, you'll love this.
Only the third Anna Pigeon I've read, but I plan to start working my way through the series.
And narration is good too.
"Anna Pigeon 1.0"
It was a treat to see another slice of Anna Pigeon; seen from a slightly angled perspective she is more fragile and damaged than she appears in the other books in the series by Nevada Barr. I did love this balancing act, although I didn't think the bullying, which takes up most of the book, was necessary. Is this what really goes on with public service employees? If one person is a bit off, a little "different", then the gang piles on the abuse? If this is the original version of the perambulating National Park ranger, I do wonder how she could have stayed with the job for so long.
I love the Anna Pigeon series, for the geography and sense of place just as much as, if not more than, the stories. However, this book, while delving deeper into Anna's history and that's a plus, goes way too far with the macho adventure maneuvers, and the passages drag on and on, way beyond what's necessary to create the scene.
Joyce Bean does a terrific job, and in combination with Barr's writing, creates brilliantly executed characters, one of whom is hovering in the margins of mental illness. It's a tough call to try and set a believable tone for this and the scenes could easily become maudlin and exaggerated, but Bean handles the character perfectly.
An exciting read, with lots of twists and "mini-endings" - you know, something seems resolved but not really because there are four more hours to go! Now I want all the other books to have sequels starring the "real" Anna Pigeon.
"Unbelievable and unrealistic"
I have to agree with Ann of Lake Pleasant, NY and Debra of Amity, OR...there was too much about bodily functions; there were a simply unbelievable series of traumatic events entered into with witless abandon; and (speaking as a psychologist of nearly 30 years who has worked primarily with traumatized individuals) I have to say that Anna's reactions to the piled-on trauma after trauma were unrealistic.
It is likely to be an Alex Delaware or Frank Clevenger or even a Stephanie Plum who-dun-it; though (since I loved the previous Anna Pigeon books in the series) I will try one more (if there are more forthcoming) before I make a final decision about reading more of this series in the future.
Yes. I think she did the best she could with the material. However, I really like Barbara Rosenblat!
Lots of peripheral park administrators just seemed inserted to underscore what is portrayed as a top-heavy, abusive park system management. While this may be the case, I thought it was belabored without adding much to the storyline.
Someone else said they would recommend it to Anna Pigeon fans, and I'd go along with that -- with some reservations. If you are just starting out on this series...read The Rope last as most of the rest of us have done!
"GREAT story a must read"
The story is griping and suspenseful. I went along for the ride and loved it. I had no idea of the villain until almost the very end which is something I enjoy in a story. Anna Pigeon is one of my favorite characters and the narrator brings her and her terror to life in a convincing way.
"Anna as the victim, told from the victim POV"
Not my favorite. It spend much of the book on Anna's internal thoughts and on bullying. It needs more story. Another reviews states that she gets out of several impossible situations which is true but I found that part interesting. She dislocations her shoulder and is able to perform Fantastic feats. I have dislocated my shoulder before and I had trouble putting on my jacket.
The is the first book I have heard her but she does an excellent job.
"Should have been named "The Perils of Pigeon""
There were too many impossible death defying situations for one story.
I would recommend it to fans of the Anna Pigeon series because it explains how she became a park ranger.
Her ability to bring the characters personality into her voice.
"Anna Pigeon backstory..exciting"
A tense, nail biting account of Anna's first experience with working in the National Parks.
She chose one of the most inhospitable areas ..Lake Powell..dry desert with magical beauty.
Caught by an unknown group of partying men, attacked and dumped into a sinkhole, alone, naked and without water or food, Anna struggles to survive. Since she has little experience with the desert, her survival abilities are minimal.
Anna really grows in this novel, the narration is excellent and the plot nicely written. I liked listening to this account of the Lake Powell area..a place I have camped at and hiked around many years ago..before it became party boat heaven.
I enjoyed learning about cleaning up after party boats pollution of the environment, the fauna of the area and life in the park reserve.
Didn't figure out the antagonist until the end..a very good thing in a mystery. I've enjoyed reading this series of novels in the past and I'll be listening to more Anna Pigeon in the future.
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