This book impressed me so much that it warrants my one and only Audible review. I listened to the audio version read by the author and it was PERFECT. Sherman made the story come alive and I felt like I was deeply involved with the characters. The main character faces major hardships (I cried a few times, not like me) but also has many great things that happen to him - a perfect combination of pathos and success. I am often annoyed by books with a hopeful and happy ending, not this time. The only thing that made me sad at the end the book was that the story was over. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the audiobook as well. TRUST ME.
I taught and lived on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico for three years, so I am generally leery of "Native American" things. Often they are romanticized or dripping with guilt or excuse. Not this.
This is the story of what a reservation is. Really. In full color.
Do you want to know what it is like? Even today? This is what it's like.
A great boon to the story is the fact that it is read by the author and sounds exactly correct. If you haven't spent a great deal of time around Native Americans--enough to be able to imagine the voices as they are while you read--reading the book in print will rob you of the full experience.
The characacters are funny and sad and accurate. I have also never been to as many funerals as I attended while on the rez. I could tell you stories of such horror and desperation... and tell you of the beauty and the wonderful children. But my voice is not a Native voice. Why not do yourself a favor and just listen to Mr. Alexie instead?
Mr. Alexie: Thank you for writing this. I'm glad you were able.
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.
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.
The fourteen-year-old narrator, Jr./Arnold walks the line of identifying with and loving his culture while seeing its limits. Most listeners will feel the pain of separation and the joy of liberation in this coming of age tale.
This was one of the best books I ever read/listened to. It was truly wonderful.
Great read for the money - got it for $1/hr. It was fun and short, and well told. It's about relationships, family, culture clash, alternative perspectives, inclusion and exclusion, love of ethnic background with all it's positives and negatives, yet reaching out to explore life's alternative paths. It's about courage, persistence, and life's struggles. Recommended for men and women. The narration (as well as the prose) gave it authenticity.
I would listen again to this story, because as with War Dances by Alexie, the stories are filled with great characters. Even though you know what will happen your imagination gets to enjoy the trip again.
Huckleberry Finn is comparable because of the American culture's impact on a boy's life who is trying to understand the world he was placed in.Both are funny, sad, insightful, and sensitive.
Sherman's voice helps emphasize the emotions of the characters.
Many of the scenes have great visions, but particularly moving when he lost his sister.
Looking forward to more great writing from Sherman. THANK YOU!
This was an interesting book and I liked the author's performance. It helped that the narrator had an authentic accent. The story was interesting, funny, sad, eye-opening, and left me fulfilled as a listener, but also pondering. I recommend it.
A university professor recommended this book to me, and I ordered it right away and loved it! Had to own the audio book since it was read by the author. I'll admit it took me a little while to get used to his voice/reading style, but that's not uncomon for me and I had already read it once and the voice "in my head" was a little different. Either way - don't listen to this on the bus, as people will stare at you when you burst out laughing every couple of minutes. The themes are sometimes sad and serious, but humor can be a useful tool when dealing with them, and Sherman Alexie sure knows how to do that.