Thomas Doty – Storyteller
Larry Grave's Review, May 1, 2016
I have never read anything by Thomas Doty, the author and narrator, before listening to this audiobook, but now I am a big fan. To say that Mr Doty is the author, though, is to tell a half-truth and belittle what he has given us in Doty Meets Coyote. He is a storyteller. His passion for the myths and stories he expertly tells is unmistakable and mesmerizing and, in his practiced and purposefully overly dramatic voice, he transports the listener to a time before TV, before the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to a time when sitting at a campfire with the stars shining overhead and a masterful storyteller telling tales was all the entertainment one wanted or needed. In a word, I am awed by the experience of listening to Mr Doty tell the stories of Doty Meets Coyote.
I have always been interested in legends and mythologies. Starting as an early teen reading "Thor" comic books, I eventually read most of the mythologies I could get my hands on. But I have never felt satisfied when it came to Native American myths and legends. Whatever collection I could get my hands on at the time always felt ... wooden. Incomplete and stiff, if that makes sense. Passionless. Mr Doty has finally filled in that void in my Native American mythos learning. If I could only use one word to describe Doty Meets Coyote, that word would be "Passion".
The storyteller (not narrator) entertains us with a fascinating collection of tales in a voice that expertly conveys emotion and wonder and character. To listen to him is to listen to a father read a bedtime story to his enraptured children who are experiencing all the wonder in the whole wide world and asking "What happened next?" I have listened to more than a few books read by the author instead of a professional voice actor and have always found the audio experience lacking as a result. Until now. This professionally recorded work of story-telling art is filled, beginning to end, with both passion and a knowledge of how to properly tell a story around a campfire. As soon as you hear the first story, of how the People got light, it will immediately become apparent what is missing in whatever sitcom is your current favorite. I may not be able to adequately convey what I mean or you may not understand what I am trying to say but, if you listen to this truly great audiobook, you will understand immediately.
Bottom Line: You NEED to listen to this superior work of storytelling. It collects a huge amount of American Indian legends and wisdom into a fantastically entertaining audio experience told by a Master Storyteller whose passion and knowledge of the subject are obvious and overwhelming. Doty Meets Coyote is a true five-star audiobook experience and deserves to be listened to again and again.
I received this audiobook free courtesy of the publisher and Audiobook Jukebox in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
Postscript by Larry Graves – June 5, 2016: I should have mentioned it in the review, but this isn't just a collection of individual stories, like an anthology. It also has an over-arching storyline where the author meets and is traveling with Coyote, the Indian trickster god. While there is no perfect (or even good) comparison, Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (one of my Top 10 all-time fav audiobooks) comes to mind. If you give it a try, I think you will be blown away. We are all audiophiles here, and this was amazing not just for the content, but how it is told.
Kelly Knapp's Review, April 15, 2016
Doty's unique background makes him perfectly suited to storytelling. These short stories, beginning with telling of his Grandmother's influence and poetic tribute to all grandmothers, remind everyone that our heritages are important.