Louise Erdrich's ability to tell a captivating story made this a book I couldn't stop listening to once again. Her characters have depth and color that make them memorable. Her storyline is not predictable. She hooks you and holds you throughout.
The characters were marvelous. Warm, intriguing, and surprising.
At the school where I used to work, we often had Native American storytellers. Gary Farmer performed the story with similar cadence and tonal quality of those storytellers so it added to the believability of the story for me.
Joe - a young boy being thrust into an adult world earlier than expected but with his own integrity and love of family.
The ending was a surprise and left me wanting more.
Lyrical, beautiful, complicated
This story offers a life-like portrait of difficulties led by Native Americans.
This narrator was the low point of this audio book for me. The narrator was hard to understand and the sound quality was bad. For an award winning book of this quality, I am very disappointed by the narration.
I enjoyed Joe and his Aunt Sonya. They were both interesting and complex characters.
Do not use this narrator again. Seriously. Have YOU listened to this entire book?
The reader, Gary Farmer, is very distracting. For the first 15 minutes I think he was on Valium or nervous or something that made his rhythms rather bizarre. I really think there was some slurred speech in the beginning. But, all of a sudden, the voice changed. There was some enthusiasm and the story came alive. The story is tragic and powerful and raw and Louise Erdrich does not make it easy on you. She is nothing less than amazing. But I honestly think that it ought to be re-recorded to be experienced without the distraction of this reading.
Erdrich is one of my very favorite authors, so I looked forward to listening to The Round House. The narration was extremely odd and halting, almost as if the narrator had just recently learned to read. The wrong words in a sentence were emphasized, the pace was inconsistent, and it was very distracting. I strongly recommend The Round House, but even more strongly recommend that you buy the actual book and read it, not listen to it.
Yes. The story is really enthralling, and so much more than you think it will be at first. At first, it seems like it will be just about a boy and his family disintegrating after a trauma, maybe a bit of a mystery, with a bit of "exotic" culture since it's set on a rez. The first maybe third of the book does these things, and does them very well, but then the novel weaves in several rich side stories and introduces new moral quandaries, and makes the narrative more complex and rich.
"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, "Stand by Me" by Stephen King, and "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros. It has Lee's lawyer's child grappling with injustice, King's the coming-of-age boyhood friends (with appropriate contemporary pop culture references that those of us who grew up in the late 80's will appreciate, but it's not too heavy-handed), and Cineros' vignettes that bring a community alive.
It seems like some listeners loved Gary Farmer's narration, and others not so much. I am on the not so much side. I appreciate the use of a Native narrator to tell a Native story, and some of the rhythms of his voice are characteristic of North Dakota Natives - which I really enjoyed and I thought it brought a lot to the story. I thought he did a really nice job with the men in the story (Mooshem, Bazil), and with the boys to a lesser extent. On the other hand, I really didn't like his treatment of Sonja's monologue after Mooshem's birthday, or Linda Wishkob, in general. Since these two characters were part of the power of the story, it really detracted for me.
I was transported to the Rez, to the inner circle of the four teenage boys. I could smell the grass and feel the rain and taste the Rez steak sandwiches. This book surprised me time and again. It is basically a serious story, but just when you think it's bleak, Joe and his friends, speaking colloquially, make you laugh with their expressions, their sense of wonder at the world of drinking, sex, religion, etc.
Joe. This kid is great. He is a well-rounded character--is intelligent, ok looking, somewhat athletic, loyal to his friends and his parents.
All of them. Gary Farmer was my personal Indian guide into this world. His cadence was weird, just weird enough to sound somewhat foreign, but not "Me no speakum English" kind of nonsense.
When the neighbor woman came to visit Joe's mother. I was so hoping that she would regain her strength.
The scene of the priest chasing Cappy was hilarious.
I did not expect to enjoy this book but chose it because it had recently been mentioned. I am glad I did.
I'm a professional dog trainer who loves to read. I have degrees in English and Adult Ed. I love well written books that take me away.
Ms Erdrich's prose takes you in to her world so intimately that you feel like you're actually sitting on the sidelines watching as the story unfolds. I loved every moment of being in that world. The life of a teenaged boy on an Indian reservation so unfamiliar - and yet the inevitable unfolding of the human drama so familiar, gives the story a resonance that lasts long after the last word. I also loved (as always) her mastery of the writing craft - there's not one extraneous or redundant word. A story I'll definitely read/listen to again.
Learning so much about the reservation culture.
The way several stories were woven together.
The narrator was meant to sound like an indian and he did but his voice got a little boring and it would have been nice if a female actor could be used to speak the women's parts.
I have almost finished listening to "The Roundhouse" by Louise Erdrick" It is about a Lakota reservation lawyer and his family who experience a violent crime and struggle to deal with it professionally, personally and within the context of First Nations community life and US legal history regarding treaty rights. The audio version is read by by a First Nations actor, Gary Farmer, and is told through the eyes of the 13 year old son. This book is so good I would rate it as high as "The Help" or "The Book of Negros" as far as excellent literature. It is a riveting story, with absolutely hilarious Native humour, loveable, heroic, pitiful and sad characters and the infuriating and debilitating injustice of living as outcasts in your own country and as prisoners in your own land. This is a must read people. Get the book.
Consistent story, peaks & dips as appropriate & unexpected subtopic. Kept my interest. Couldn't wait to get back to the gym so I could listen to more.