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 ...
I was hopeful that I would be drawn into this book. Unfortunately, the narration is awful, the pace of the plot slow and the characters forgettable. I'm not going to finish listening and write this one off to "They can't all be good." Blech.
I fell for it. I thought the story slogged along and this was one of the worst narrators ever. So many times, I had inserted a mental period only to discover that it was a mistimed, inappropriate pause. The only reason I finished was I didn't have the good sense to download a backup for my roadtrip. Thumbs down!
Joe, his buddies and their antics provided such real life humor in an otherwise sad tale.
Mr Farmer brought this book to life. I felt like a fly on the wall seeing it all happen. Superb performance.
It's most definitely a 4 out of 5 stars. At first, honestly, I was thinking 3 - the narrator's voice was flat, but it began to work with the story. The voice sounded Native American (I know - however that is "supposed" to sound).
As a coming-of-age novel, it compares to lots of novels - from Great Expectations to Catcher in the Rye, but given that it happens on a Native American reservation, it is a whole different experience.
Probably not and definitely not.
I do not think the story was very well told, and it was definitely not well narrated. It may be that Mr. Farmer's garbled speech was an impediment to Ms. Erdrich's story telling. At the time of the big reveal of who the perpetrator of the terrible crime was, I thought, "Wait, what? He did it? How did they figure that out?"
I've read quite a few mysteries and all of them were better than this one. The characters were interesting enough, but the story telling was poor.
Almost anyone. Will Patton, Craig Wasson, Dick Hill, Campbell Scott.
I didn't hate it, but I would have a hard time recommending it to anyone.
Cappy - Joe's best friend. He loves his friend Joe and is loyal to him through all there antics. He is also funny and you like the character immediately.
He brought each character to life, giving each one a voice and character.
Boomer-type who loves science, especially physics and cosmology.
I'd buy another Erdrich book, but not if Farmer narrated it.
This story is about the effects of a violent crime on the coming of age of a teenage boy. It is woven in an interesting way with little bits of insight on how laws governing native Americans have been manipulated to rob them of their wealth, dignity, and self reliance. However, the narrator- chosen I think because he is native American- really detracted from the story. He read the first chapter so slowly that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to stand listening to the book at all. Someone must have pointed this out to him because he sped up the reading in subsequent chapters. He also had an irritating habit of pausing so that descriptive clauses sounded like they were part of the next sentence, e.g. "She made us a lunch of sandwiches, pickles, and fry bread. Wrapped to absorb the grease, which I put into my bag." (Not an actual sentence from the book, but meant to illustrate the odd pauses). I was relieved to finish the book just to be done with the awful narration. Overall I thought the story was good, but I'd wished I'd read it instead of listened to it.