A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
Alexie immediately grabs you with this story of Spokane tribal member and high school student Arnold Spirit, aka, Junior. Written in the first person, it is believable from the beginning and you think that Alexie is telling his own story.
Taking place mostly over Junior's freshman year, this book is a coming of age story as Junior learns more about himself and the world around him. There are thought provoking subtexts of the nature of friendships, redemption, and choice.
Some may be put off to the multiple references to masturbation, but this is a story about a 14 year old boy. With that warning, I think this book could, and maybe even should, be read by all 13+ year olds.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (true) - Life for Indians on "the rez" is a hopeless existence of poverty and prejudism that passes from generation to generation. Most of the tribe eventually die of alcoholism. Arnold Spirit has things even worse, being born with an enlarged head and a hydrocephalic brain. The story takes place during his freshman year in high school when he decides to break the bonds of hopelessness and attend an off-rez school where he will have a better chance at success in life. It is a coming-of-age story that is often sad but ultimately heartwarming and triumphant.
PERFORMANCE - The author narrates his own work and does a good-enough job.
OVERALL (actual rating 3.5) - It's sometimes a bit rambly, but enjoyable. I don't know why it won an award for young adult literature and is rated for ages 11 through 13. I think listeners would need to be at least 18 to enjoy its adult themes.
AUDIBLE COMPLAINT - Why does Audible sometimes bite off the end of a book? This story ended with a touching "pregnant moment" which deserved just a tiny second of reflection to be properly appreciated. Unfortunately, the narrator barely got the last word out before Audible immediately butted in with "This is Audible. We hope you enjoyed the performance." Kind of spoiled it.
I'm going from chapter to chapter in life. Some are definitely better than others!
No, the reader did a great job.
Life on the
The story was good, the performance was also good. My complaint is that the story was said to be for middle school ages and up. In my opinion it could be for high school and up, thus the reason for the 4 stars.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
Amazing book with real cultural significance. I am angry that I neglected this book all this time thinking that as a story for young people it wasn't going to be appropriate for me. How silly of me to underestimate the brilliant Sherman Alexie. Please treat yourself and crawl into the skin of a lonely geeky indian kid; when you crawl back out you will be a wiser person.
I loved listening to this book - the narrator, humor, messages were both entertaining and thought provoking. I laughed, I cried, I imagined life from the point of view of Junior. I am sure that I would enjoy the book a second or third time and would discover more important messages that went unnoticed early on.
I cannot pick out one memorable moment - from the start when Junior decides to leave the rez, to his first day, Thanksgiving, the night of the dance, his grandmother, the basketball games, the heartbreak - many scenes stirred up many emotions.
He is so believable as Junior. The accent, the cadence, the timing. He helps to bring the book alive. Junior is very likeable - and Alexie's portrayal enhances Junior's likeablity.
My interest and enjoyment never wained, and I often would sit in the driveway with my son to keep listening.
The book is a great jumping off point for many issues facing teens. Some may find certain language and references to sex offensive. I felt the references were appropriate and helped to convey Junior as a genuine teen. The book is appropriate for both boys and girls - and it is nice to have a book that would be appealing to most boys. Again, it could be a great catalyst for conversations about bigotry, social class, hope, relationships, social norms, emotions, alcohol, change, choices, and more.
Did I say I loved it?
This is a very engaging story. Although I don't usually like to listen to authors narrate their own, hearing Alexie added an authenticity to the story. A sad, funny, insightful look at a young rez kid who wants to attend a local white high school so he can make something of his life. Very much worth a listen.
Sherman Alexie narrates his own audiobook which makes the delivery of every humorous and poignant scene all the more touching. Wonderful laugh out loud moments juxtaposed with heart-wrenching, unflinching, tragic events.
From first word to last this very personal tale leads you into the richness of the life - on and off the 'Rez' - of Arnold Spirit. His unique challenges and circumstances coupled with what was, to me, an unfamiliar culture captured my attention and my heart! Never mawkish or seeking pity, I laughed as often as I felt sympathy.
An Indian Uprising!
I will keep this book near and listen again.
Honest, rough, clever
His description of the rematch home basketball game with his old tribal high school. It was so well written I was there with them on the basketball court and I've never played basketball before!
No I haven't. This was my first.
Kid without a chance makes his chances
Multicultural literature has a bad wrap with some people, and it's not completely undeserved. I don't think anyone should get a free pass for writing a horrible book, and writing (and publishing) a horrible children's book should be punished with 20 lashings with a wet noodle and a big, wet, stinky fart! Sherman Alexie does not disappoint with The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Anyone who wants to read about succeeding against the odds, and staying true to your own values even when it means risking everything else needs to add this to their must read list. Anyone who enjoys good fart jokes and riffs about masturbation also needs to add it as a must-read.
Listening to the Audible version is great because Sherman Alexie reads the book, so you get to hear his accent for the full effect.