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Midnight Son

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  5,279 ratings  ·  604 reviews
In the vast Alaskan Arctic, legend has it there once lived a mythic tribe - Iñukuns. But now Inukuns only exist in rumors and whispers. Until an actor-turned-fugitive named Teddy Kyle Smith had an encounter that brought Iñukuns from myth to reality. Smith was an aspiring actor with a promising career, but it all came crashing down one night in September with a gunshot, fol ...more
Audible Audio
Published October 31st 2019 by Audible Original
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,279 ratings  ·  604 reviews

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Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2019
An interesting enough story, but the framing rubbed me the wrong way at times with its overly sympathetic view on Teddy. The ending also tried really hard to go for "profound" but ended up feeling really random and as if the creator couldn't think of a proper satisfying or sensible ending so he just settled on whatever. Those last few minutes could've been cut entirely out to leave us on a more open-ended note back at the end of the narrator's journey through the wilderness. I think i would have ...more
Mariah Roze
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I finished this book in half a day. It was extremely interesting and intriguing! I had never heard of this case before. I enjoyed James' writing. My only complaint is that the story jumps around a lot and I still have some unanswered questions. The formatting of the book wasn't my favorite.

"In the vast Alaskan Arctic, legend has it there once lived a mythic tribe - Iñukuns. But now Inukuns only exist in rumors and whispers. Until an actor-turned-fugitive named Teddy Kyle Smith had an encounter
Montzalee Wittmann
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Midnight Son by James Dommek Jr and also narrated by the author. This story is about a guy named Teddy Smith that went a bit nuts and was very dangerous. He was a veteran, sharp shooter, actor, but all in trouble with the law as quite a bit. This tells his story in a an interesting way. It also includes native Alaskan folklore. Great narration.
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow, this was really good and interesting! I had 0 knowledge about the native people of Alaska before listening to this, no idea who Teddy was, nothing. I picked it because i thought my mom would like it and i love folklore. James Dommek Jr. read this and he does very good. He has a great voice. The story skips between Teddy's story and James trying to piece together what really happened. I had no problem keeping the times separate. The story was so engaging i wanted to sit in the car just a lit ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2020
★★ /5
Production of this audiobook is really great but sadly the story itself wasn't that interesting or captivating
Nov 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
I would score this "book" zero stars if I could. This was a free download from Audible, but not a book or even a documentary, in any sense of the word. While the summary states that James Dommek Jr. "sheds new light on a real-life mystery that pits Native American folklore against the US justice system" he does nothing of the sort. I'm not even sure what his intention was, other than to make a name for himself. There was no mystery. Teddy Kyle Smith was a mentally ill Alaska Native who drank to ...more
Dec 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Audible Original Selction for November 2019

A podcast that examines the story of Teddy Kyle Smith, a well-known Alaska Native actor convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison. Narrated by Alaskan writer and musician, James Dommek Jr, listeners are taken to the wilderness of Alaska during the manhunt, trial, and appeals as well as the ancient stories of the territory.

The audio certainly held my attention from beginning to end and I would certainly recommend it to true cr
BoB Lever
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
This wasn’t really an audiobook, it was more of an extended podcast. What’s the difference? I’m not sure but you know it when you hear it!

The story is interesting enough but a little underwhelming.
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
This Audible original is very well performed, but the story is simply not good. I gave it two stars (instead of one) because it did provide insight into Native Alaskan culture and life in Alaska in general, but that could have been accomplished in other and better ways.
Natasha Niezgoda
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Okay, sooooo... it wasn't bad. It just didn't stick to the plot half the time.

You see, there was a lot of sidetracking in this story. And it could quite possibly be because so much backstory was needed. But instead of incorporating the backstory at the beginning, it was incorporated throughout the narration. Which... felt a lot like sidetracking. So yeah (shrugs).
Jennifer Iacabucci
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ok, I do not usually do written reviews, but this audio production rung all my bells: true crime, alaska, native cultures, history. LOVED IT. The story was so well told, which, of course, is the point. I am not in any way qualified to deem one as a storyteller as it is understood in native cultures, but as a "white girl from out of town" I am in love with this oral history. Dommek killed it, the entire audio production is amazing. I have been an audible member for years and by some twist of fate ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Alaska has always been a strange and fascinating state. The people, especially the natives, are very unique breed of people. This book made me want to know more about the tribes it mentioned and even the specific people involved.
Angie Dokos
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This story was interesting but I feel it needed more. It doesn’t feel completed to me. It was a good build up, but just fell flat in my opinion.
kaysmagiclibrary 💫
I picked this as one of my free audible originals this month. it wasn't necessarily bad or boring but i'm only giving it two stars because true crime is not my favorite genre—but i knew that going into it. i really liked the format of it being like an extended podcast though because it reminded me of Serial though so if you like true crime, podcasts, and mythology you should definitely check this out ...more
MIDNIGHT SON [audiobook], by James Dommeck, Jr., Josephine Holtzman, and Isaac Kestenbaum. 2019 by Audible

James Dommeck, Jr. narrates this immersive true crime podcast-turned-audiobook about a fugitive in Northwest Alaska "bush" country wilderness in 2012.

The story introduces the complex study of Teddy Kyle Smith, an Iñupiaq Alaska Native actor who in 2012 was under suspicion after the death of his mother, fled to the wilderness, where he later assaulted and robbed two hunters... A horrible seri
Alan Teder
Alaskan True Crime and Mythology
Review of the Audible Originals audiobook edition (2019)
“The experience that Mr. Smith had is a cultural and spiritual experience, that turned out very badly, but, it’s a cultural experience, not a mental illness. He is no more mentally ill than any other belief system that we have that is criticized at times as irrational as well.“ - Angela Greene, Public Defender.
“You never hear white people vouching for our spiritual experiences. It’s like we don’t get to have
Kenneth Geary
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rian *fire and books*
Feb 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
This was 100% a podcast in book form. 100%.

Absolutely nothing wrong with the narration and I loved the musical accompaniment! But this wasn’t it for me. I was entertained but I wish I knew what I was getting into when I started.

I think this is a worthwhile listen for sure, just don’t pay full price, whatever that is.
Wayland Smith
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: popsugar2019
This is a very unique book with a story that sounds like it should have gotten a lot more press than it did. An up an coming Native actor in Alaska has some kind of breakdown, may or may not have killed his own mother, and then shoots at the people that come to help. Fleeing, Teddy Smith goes on an epic trek in the arctic wilderness where he claims to have encountered creatures from his people's myth before he gets caught.

James Dommeck, great-grandson of a famed storyteller, looks into the case
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5. I thought this book would be a true crime thriller, but it is surprisingly more. I learned about Alaskan folklore, culture, and story telling in a non-traditional voice. The crime parts seemed secondary to the development of the narrator and that became of greater interest. I wouldn't recommend to just anybody but it had my attention the whole time. It also gave a much better view of what it's like to live in the bush than all the TV shows out there glamorizing living off the grid. ...more
Bonnie DeMoss
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyable. I listened to the audiobook, but it was more a presentation than an audiobook. It contained music, personal interviews, and storytelling, and James Dommek Jr. is a good storyteller. This is the true story of Alaskan Native Teddy Smith, a trial for attempted murder, and how a mysterious legendary people, the Enukins, may have played a part.

I hope James Dommek Jr. creates more audio presentations. He's good at it.
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homes, owned, crime, audible
I enjoyed this selection greatly. I listened to it in one sitting because I was so engrossed in the book. It brings up points that need to be discussed. What does make up a jury of peers, is one. Mental health and alcoholism are others. It is a sad tale though interesting. I don’t always enjoy narrators who are the author. In this audio selection, I did. Perhaps be the story is a true one and the narration respected that. In my opinion it was well done. I’m happy I listened to it.
3.5 stars!
I am on a roll with Audible Originals and true crime! This was a fascinating documentary about an Alaskan native actor-turned-fugitive, and how he came to be sentenced to prison for some terrible crimes.

Teddy Kyle Smith was a rising Alaskan native actor in the early 2010’s, until his life derailed and he took to the bush, leaving behind terrified victims whenever he came across them. Was his behavior the product of alcoholism, delusions of rockstar grandeur, or something more mysterio
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Midnight Son refers to Teddy Kyle Smith, a native Inupiaq Alaskan who realized his dream of becoming a Hollywood actor only to seemingly snap mentally, shoot some people, and disappear in to the Alaskan wilderness, to become the target of an Alaska State Troopers manhunt. The audiobook contains interviews with Teddy and a number of acquaintances and audio from law enforcement and Teddy's courtroom trial. It seems like a straight-ahead "why did he do it?" mystery until the Iñukuns, a mysterious t ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
The narration seemed rather unfocused throughout the story, so although it was interesting, I don’t think I got much out of it. There were simply varying themes that the story kept shifting through, so it was difficult to tell where it was going.
Jennifer Holik
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm still trying to figure out: what was the point?

On the one hand, I really enjoyed the author/narrator's method of storytelling. He reminds you a few times that his father was "the last great storyteller". Whether he inherited his gift, or just picked it up by growing up around someone else who knew how to tell a story, I did find his method and delivery appealing. I was even intrigued by the folklore and the general true crime story here.

But the end product feels like something is missing.
Leah Polcar
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review refers to the audiobook (though I'm not sure there is another option!).

As a true crime book, Midnight Sun wins my praise for bringing an interesting, and somewhat horrifying, story to light I had never heard before. Dommek loses some points on dragging out the likely why of Teddy's decent into murder and mayhem, but he gained even more points for bringing the story out of Alaska and into the public eye. From the true crime perspective, Dommek gives a decent recount of the major playe
Colin Davis
Jan 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
The author makes it seem like an investigation book but doesnt actually discover anything and even admits he didn't find anything. Definitely a waste of time. ...more
Dec 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
This could have been a very intriguing story: what happened to a missing Alaskan tribe? Instead, it's a "you can't judge him" review of an Inupait actor who went off the rails shooting people. While it's interesting that he seemed to find a trail thru the wilderness that shouldn't be there, that's as far as the writer took this. The writer left it at "Hey, I found it, too!" Without more in depth investigation of the missing tribe, this is just an easily solved crime. ...more
Sherrie G
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Set in Alaska, this narrative non-fiction production tells the story of Teddy Kyle Smith, a native actor whose promising life was cut short by his a cascading series of poor choices culminating in attempted murders and imprisonment.

This is told NPR style - with news clips spliced in. Only the audio clips are unusual: they're frequently of the subject himself, for example, firing a gun and running away from his rural home.

The style of the story, told by a 20-something, is just like someone calle
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26 likes · 5 comments
“People tend to misspell my English name, but they 100% of the time misspell my Inupiaq name: ??Milukruk??. It means: Warrior Who Pulls Arrows Out of Own Body and Fires Back at Enemy. I’m messing with you. It means Breast-feeding Mama’s Boy.” 3 likes
“The experience that Mr. Smith had is a cultural and spiritual experience, that turned out very badly, but, it’s a cultural experience, not a mental illness. He is no more mentally ill than any other belief system that we have that is criticized at times as irrational as well. (quoting Angela Greene, Public Defender)” 0 likes
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