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The Last Season Audiobook – Unabridged Eric Blehm (Author),

Blehm is a great writer, you can see the journalistic skills at work in the level of detail he puts into this story. I wish all such writers took the time to do such thorough research and present all facets of the subject. Ranger Randy was really brought to life, from his interesting childhood growing up in Yosemite, with an nature focused father, who was friends with Muir and others. This carried through to Randy’s 28 years as a seasonal Ranger at SEKI, his college years, time in the Peace Corps, climbing in the Himalayas, through decades of marriage. Through the mystery of Randy’s disappearance Blehm leaves the reader to judge (or not) the flaws and consequences of this interesting man; one who certainly gave more to the Parks and those who visited than he received, though he himself may have disputed that. Check it out!

The Last Season Audiobook – Unabridged Eric Blehm (Author), Review

I am a frequent Sierra visitor so many of the locations mentioned are places I have been or camped — that’s my disclaimer! I enjoyed this book but not nearly as much as many of the other reviewers appear to have. Like some I think it would have worked much better in a shorter form. It would have been the perfect length for a New Yorker feature for example. Certain elements of the story get repeated so many times as to encourage section skipping, something I normally don’t do in a book I like. There are a couple of things in the book that rang a little odd to me. Referring to Randy’s travels to Bangkok as “exploring” the religion of “hedonism” is hopefully intended as humor, and there are other places where the writer glosses over what seem to be major lapses in relationship judgement. Ditto for Randy’s female friend in the mountains, who escapes with barely a scratch despite some pretty questionable tactics. I also did not really grasp the picture painted of Alden Nash, who seems to graduate from passive, annoyed observer to active participant only after the mystery has been solved. Maybe the writer had to steer around some complex politics in writing this book given that so many of the participants are still alive and even contributed to his work. If the book’s aim was to show what an incredible ranger and asset to our parks Randy was, then it succeeded completely. He seemed to be the absolute ideal ranger. Indeed I would have liked to have seen him move more into oversight and politics as he got older, as his thoughts on managing parks and visitors aligned very closely with my own. -Read Reviews-

“The Last Season” is the story (really a mystery) of a National Park Ranger Randy Morgenson, who disappeared while patrolling in the back country of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National parks. There are plenty of reviews now available, so one can get an idea about Randy and the book about his vanishing. I’ll just add another 5 star review, as the book was enthralling. I took it everywhere with me because I could hardly put it down. Highly recommended! If you love or even like the great outdoors, especially the mountains, this is the book for you. Part travel book, part meditation, part mystery, “The Last Season” delivers on all counts. I’m sure I read it again, even knowing how it all turns out. Get this book!July 2014 update: I still have fond memories of reading this book. I judge other books against how much I liked this one.

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