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Finding Moon

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  2,803 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
This is Tony Hillerman's latest novel -- and hisbest audio by far. He departs from his trademark terrain of Navajo mysteriesto a story he has wanted to tell for decades.

Ricky Mathias, an American pilot, dies in the last days of the Vietnam War,his infant daughter orphaned somewhere in southeast Asia. Her uncle Malcolm'Moon' Mathias must set aside his job as a newspaper edi
Audiobook, Abridged, 4 pages
Published October 17th 1995 by HarperAudio (first published September 1st 1995)
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Theophilus (Theo)
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
319 pages of excellent storytelling, without sex or excess violence. The main character is a small-town newspaper worker from Colorado who is suddenly thrust into the final days of the Vietnam war by his dead brother. Moon Mathias is a Vietnam veteran who has his life back in order, or so he thinks, until a telephone call that lets him know his brother, who was running a charter helicopter service in Vietnam, is dead. Things go from bad-to-worse for Moon. He finds out his brother has a child tha ...more
Stephanie Pieck
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Like millions of other readers, I first encountered Tony Hillerman in his Leaphorn and Chee mysteries. A master of characterization, intricate, twisty plots, and lush depictions of place, I had fallen in love with his Southwest and gained a much deeper understanding of the Native American cultures that coexisted there. Could those gifts be transplanted to a place outside American borders?
In "Finding Moon," Hillerman shows that the answer is a definite yes.
Malcolm "Moon" begins his story as a sma
Morris Graham
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hillerman was a master storyteller. Known mostly for his Navajo Leaphorn-Chee detective series, this author brought all his skills to write this novel. A reporter stuck in a drudging job compelled by his sick mother to go to Southeast Asia to try and find the daughter of his dead brother in the last days of the crumbling South Vietnamese governement as the communists takeover. Hillerman is remarkable in his grasp of the politics and history of the time, weaving a remarkable table of "Moon" tryin ...more
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first non Jim Chee novel I have read by Hillerman. While it was an easy read, I found it predictable and, at the same time, not believable. The characteristics of each person were repeated rather than developed. Osa was classy, Moon was not. Moon had self doubt, everyone else believed in him. Mr. Lee was mystical and Nugeyn was pro American and fiesty. Hillerman did his homework about VietNam, the war, the country and surrounding areas and for that I give him credit.
This book seemed to take FOREVER for me to read. Usually I have trouble putting down a book when I should be doing other things, such as going to bed at night. I didn't have that issue with this one.
May 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is NOT a Jim Chee book, I saw the name Tony Hillerman, and thought it was, especially because of the cover. Once I started reading, I realized, that years ago I had done the same thing, and read this book before. Having been in SEA when Saigon fell, I remember well the total confusion. This book addresses some of the problems during this event. Story, a reporter has a brother running a private business in SEA, he is unaware that his younger brother has a wife and baby. His brother is killed ...more
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not My Type I do have a style or type of book that I enjoy. I will read things that don't fall into that type, but usually, I have a hard time getting into them or staying with them (takes me a long time to get through). I was having to listen to it as well as reading in order to get through it. I would find things to do that would prevent me from picking up a book. While the story was good (searching for his deceased brother's baby girl in Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia), I just had a hard time ...more
Linda Hartlaub
Tony Hillerman takes the reader out of the Southwest and into the Far East. After his mother suffers a heart attack in the Los Angeles airport on her way to Manila, Moon Mathias is sent on a far ranging search for his late brother's daughter. Taking place during the last days of the Viet Nam War, Mathias travels from Manila, to the prison in Puerto Princesa, into the Mekong Delta, through Viet Nam as the Viet Cong are moving Southward and into the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. T ...more
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Sort of a mystery ... I loved all Hillerman's Navaho books and like others here picked this one up thinking it was another. It is completely different, set in VietNam at the winding down of the American involvement in the war there. But the writing is as good, the characters as well developed, the sense of place just as strong. My only quibble was that after 300 pages of challenges and nothing going right, suddenly at the end everything falls into place and all of the main characters find what t ...more
Nancy Rust
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Set in the turbulent days of the fall of South Vietnam, Finding Moon is different from the other Hillerman books I have read - mysteries on the Navaho reservation. It is fast-paced with interesting characters and an intriguing plot.
Trish Tomes
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very different from what I expected. Not one of the Navajo police tales. This is searching for a child of his recently deceased brother in Vietnam Mekong delta and Cambodia at the end of the VN war. Some is set in Manila and the Palawan Is. prison.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Prior to this book I had only read Hillerman’s books about the Navajo. This book had the same great storytelling and interesting characters. I did not live through Vietnam, so I found this perspective on the events there interesting.
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I love all of Hillerman's books. This book is less of an adventure novel (as suggested by the cover) and more of Moon's inner journey to self understanding and growth. It's a good book.
Stephen Larson
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I enjoyed the historical perspective of Finding Moon. I liked the characters but at times the journey seemed impossible. I do like Hillerman as a writer.
David Abigt
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit predictable but an interesting look events leading up to the fall of Saigon.
I heard some good things about this author but the book was slow moving and a little boring at times. Nothing about it really grabbed or held my interest.
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The late Tony Hillerman left his traditional setting of the Navaho reservation, along with his company of players, to examine the last days of the Vietnam War.

In summary, Colorado-based reporter Moon Mathias learns that his mother suffered a heart attack while waiting to board a flight. Compounding the surprise is that his Miami-based mother was in Los Angeles, about to head to Manila aboard Philippine Air. A little investigation revealed that Moon's late brother fathered a child before he passe
Jesse Whitehead
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up thinking that it was another of Hillerman’s Chee/Leaphorn books that I have enjoyed a number of times. It is very much not that. I still liked it a lot, maybe more.

This is the story of Moon Mathias who must travel to Vietnam right at the end of the Vietnam War to bring home the daughter of his deceased brother. The story is about the problems he faces as he struggles through a war-torn country to find the niece that he didn’t even know he had. Yet, as the title implies, thi
Jim Fitzgerald
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone interested in mysteries, native american culture
Hillerman is a good story teller and does a great job of weaving the Navaho culture into his stories. Tony involves you with his characters and you are able to vicariously be present in the settings of his story.

I finally finished reading Fining Moon Christmas day 2010. I have read it in short segments but it was easy to pick up from where I had put it down.

I have read several of Tony Hillerman's novels. I first found one of his book at a used bookstore somewhere in Michigan when I was working.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a typical Hillerman story, but a great read nonetheless! A departure from Hillerman's Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn series, this one is set mostly in the Phillipines and Vietnam/Cambodia during the Vietnam War. The story concerns a man on the search for his dead brother's child, who is in danger of being killed by the Khmer Rouge for not being full-blooded Vietnamese. Moon is tasked with tracking the child down through the wilds of the war. I don't know much about this part of the world, so it was a ...more
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finding moon is a great book that tells and interesting story. It doesn't use any graphic content or explicit material to spice up the story, just solid writing. Finding moon is the story of an average newspaper worker from Colorado, Moon Mathias is a Vietnam veteran who was starting to return to his normal life but gets a mysterious phone call hearing his mother is in the hospital from a heart attack but she's in a strange location. When moon arrives at the air port he discovers where his mothe ...more
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tony Hillerman's "Finding Moon" is NOT a "Leaphorn & Chee" book. It's a stand-alone book set mostly in South East Asia at the tail end of the Vietnam War. It's very well written, with nice characters, theme and plot. I have only a couple of issues with the book. First, the protagonist isn't very pro-active. He sort of coasts along until something pushes him into an action. There are one or two instances where he does make a decision all on his own to do something, but in general, he's fairly ...more
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vietnam
Moon is a man who sees himself as sort of a "loser". He had a brother who was more likeable, more successful and more admirable. That brother is now dead. He suddenly has the task to find a niece no one knew about who is somewhere in southeast Asia at the time the area was literally collapsing with the Communists winning.
I began reading this book because I needed a mystery/suspense novel set in Vietnam for a UN book challenge.
The suspense aspect was there because while everyone else around them
Bill Prescott
Hillerman is not at his best when he leaves his milieu of the U.S. Southwest. This predictable book finds his protagonist, a newspaper managing editor, searching for his recently deceased brother's baby daughter by a Cambodian woman. So he and a crew of people who have attached themselves to him have to cross the Mekong River delta into Cambodia just as South Vietnam is falling to the NVA in 1975 and Cambodia succumbs to its Khmer Rouge nightmare. It moves fairly glacially through three-quarters ...more
Aug 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventre
Ever a fan of Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, I appreciated Tony's nod to his beloved "desert rats," fans of his famous series set in the Southwest, while he took time out to write an homage to the soldiers of C Company. Finding Moon is set in the Phillipines and Southeast Asia as the US was pulling out of Vietnam and the Khmer Rouge were invading. It the story of Moon, finding his way to peace with his past actions, and coming to an understanding of the true nature of love, sacrifice and family ties ...more
Feb 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't even realize that Tony Hillerman wrote novels that didn't involve the Navajo Tribal Police. But since I'm planning a trip to New Mexico this summer, I decided to run by the library and get another Tony Hillerman book that would transport me to the sacred lands of the Navajo. To my surprise, this book takes place in Southeast Asia during the last days of American military involvement in that area while American personnel are in the chaos of leaving. Moon Mathias's brother was killed in V ...more
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in the history of Vietnam.
I think this was a book Mark wanted to read, but I picked it up and started reading. The format is to have each chapter headed by a date and news summary which concerns what was happening in Cambodia, South Vietnam and Thailand in 1975.
The action begins in the USA, moves to the Philippines and then to South Vietnam and Cambodia.
I kept wondering how the book could end as there didn't seem to be enough pages left to reach a conclusion, but the author managed it cleverly, and I enjoyed the refere
Margaret1358 Joyce
The classic theme of this buoyant 1995 novel is "wounded hero goes on a physically and spiritually arduous journey." It's a beauty. Character development,subtle structuring, and mythological undertones pull the whole thing into layered psychological territory. A middle-aged American living in Colorado feels like somewhat of a failure. He learns that his brother, who recently died in Southeast Asia, had a daughter. He travels at great risk, in the days leading up to the fall of Saigon, to find th ...more
Bruce Snell
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably the best of Tony Hillerman's fiction - much better than most of his Navajo Indian stories. In April 1975, at the time of the fall of Saigon, Moon Mathias learns that his recently deceased brother has a baby girl, still in Vietnam. Moon sets off on a journey to recover the girl, hoping that that the effort will prove impossible, thus reliving him of the need to proceed. Of course, Moon is a man of honor, who will make ever possible effort before quitting, and although things go f ...more
Oct 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's the spring of 1975. Our war in Vietnam is coming to a bloody close and Moon gets a call to come see his Mother who has had a heart attack in Los Angeles -- far from her home. Moon finds himself dealing with his very ill mother and trying to carry out what might be her last wish to get his dead brother's child out of Vietnam. In the course of his adventure, Moon must face his personal demons and live up to his brother's expectations.

Tony Hillerman is ever a good story teller, and this is an
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Tony Hillerman, who was born in Sacred Heart, Oklahoma, was a decorated combat veteran from World War II, serving as a mortarman in the 103rd Infantry Division and earning the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart. Later, he worked as a journalist from 1948 to 1962. Then he earned a Masters degree and taught journalism from 1966 to 1987 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, wh ...more
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