I would read another book from Louise Erdich.
The young protagonist and his friends are painted in a realistic manner. The story also provides glimpse into life on an Indian reservation.
I understand that Native American speech patterns are different and Gary Farmer's narration provides authenticity, but the pacing, weird pauses, and inflection slowed the story. It was like listening to a beginning reader who does not understand punctuation marks. When I stopped listening to read the book I could not get Gary's slow voice out of my head. Oy.
Yes. It combines a coming of age mystery filled with some really sad moments, some happy times, humor, and the struggle of a family to come to terms with rape and the laws that tied their hands. It also gave a glimpse in to the lives of Native Americans and how they have been discriminated over the years. The characters were so varied and different and they were all developed and weaved through the story. This was not one of those books where you guessed what happened next at every turn, and that's a good thing. The story was both fresh and poignant and the narrator made it even better.
The birthday gift from Sonja to Mushim (and I listened to the audio version so I doubt that I've spelled his name correctly); I really didn't see that one coming, and even more memorable is how Sonja spilled her story out to Joe in a way that had a very strong impact on both of them.
I feel his voice and accent were perfect for this book. I feel this Native American narrator did a wonderful job, absolutely wonderful.
I loved how the whole community stuck together, taking care of one another.
I liked how there were several little stories that for the most part all came together at the end. It starts out being the story of Joe's family and the terrible tragedy that occurs in their lives and how they react to it, but continues on to pull in the stories of those in their community, their family and friends. The end was sad and I think the book could have ended sooner without adding that part, but, in a way it continued how the four friends stuck together through many life changing events; they were always there for one another. This was a good use of a credit. The story brought to the reader Native American culture, and, how they are treated unfairly by discrimination and laws but keep strong to their heritage. I liked the side stories that brought out culture and history.
I just love Erdrich's books, but the narrator rendered this unlistenable. And I know we're supposed to be getting the effect of a Native American reading the story, but that's not the end result. Words are forgotten and then reintroduced, punctuation is anybody's guess. I have gotten her stuff recorded before and enjoyed it, but this narrator gives every impression of not reading onto the next page quickly enough, or something like that. On every page. I'll have to get a hard copy of the book and read it on a plane or something. I can't get through this version.
I quit listening almost 3/4 through because I remained unconnected to characters and uninvolved in plot. Narration flat. Perhaps this was a conscious choice to remain consistent with American Indian minimal inflection.
I think I've read all her work, but not of this book.
Perhaps George Guidall.
living in los angeles I drive a lot, so audio books save me from a lot of frustration!
One of my favorites for the year. It's an amazing coming of age story, a good mystery, and an interesting and deep portrait of reservation life with elements of magical realism. What more could you ask for in a novel? She deserved the National Book Award.
More adult perspective about life on a reservation. I didn't learn much about Native American culture. What I did learn I found very interesting.
The story revolves around the detailed inner life (and some outer) of a teenage boy. It just didn't hold my interest for an entire book. Positives: some interesting insights into Native American life. But it was limited. There were a lot of telling of Native American spiritual/traditional stories- again in limited amounts interesting but they didn't capture my interest enough for the amount that was there. Positive: some really great writing. I really felt the boys' experiences, their sweat, their hunger, the woods, etc. Nice to read but lost its power as I got bored with the underlying story.
Perhaps this is a book better read than listened to. I couldn't sustain interest and gave up just over halfway through. The book has many detours that seem to go nowhere and that one could skim as a reader. However, the narrator of this book is very slow and deliberate, as if he were reading to first-graders, and after taking a few-day break, I just couldn't bring myself to return to finish.
This is not a bad book and it is very interesting in terms of learning about the culture of one of the Native groups (Chippewa, I believe). The narrator is a young teenager who reacts to the rape and almost murder of his mother. The writing is very good, but I was not too interested in the story and also have a hard time with stories that I perceive as showing a stereotyped view of women (as weak, serving roles in stories primarily as victims). There are some interesting minor female characters, but the primary roles of women in this story is to have something terrible happen to them and then the male figures have to react. Unfortunately, this view has become so dominant in our literature that even highly rated female authors fall for it. In contrast, the women that I see in every day life are brave and struggle with many issues of meaning, spirituality, goals, etc.
I also had difficulty with the narrator's style but listened to this right after listening to "Sense of the Ending" which has one of the best narrators ever. After a while, either I got used to it or he got into the flow better.
Many people love this book and my tastes are different than many, so see what I like or don't to see if this review applies to you.
I have enjoyed several of Louise Erdich's novels. This is the least of them. I was not engaged until almost one third of the way into the book. If not for Erdich's reputation I might not have continued on. The plot did pick up mid-way through, but in the end, I was still disappointed.
I found the narrators stilted diction stereotypical and annoying.
This might make a good movie. maybe.
This book is tedious with a bunch of short stories patched together. The reader's voice is just odd. I quit about 1/4 of the way through it.
I seemed very disjointed. I'm not sure the rape was the primary focus ... she seemed to lose track of what she was talking about.
Strange accent, strange cadence ...