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The Round House Audiobook

The Round House: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

National Book Award, Fiction, 2012

One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and 13-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.

Written with undeniable urgency, and illuminating the harsh realities of contemporary life in a community where Ojibwe and white live uneasily together, The Round House is a brilliant and entertaining novel, a masterpiece of literary fiction. Louise Erdrich embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too-human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today.

©2012 Louise Erdrich (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1604 )
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Performance
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  •  
    W. Thomaston, CT, United States 11-16-13
    W. Thomaston, CT, United States 11-16-13 Member Since 2014
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    6
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    "Cannot recommend audio version"
    What did you love best about The Round House?

    The story was compelling


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character was appealing to me


    What didn’t you like about Gary Farmer’s performance?

    I am familiar with the fact that Native American cadence can be different than non Native American. The problem with Gary Farmer's narration for me was that his performance rendered the story unintelligible. The long, poorly placed pauses and curious rushes of his speech serve to make each sentence very difficult to follow. I do not know what went on in that recording studio, but it would seem that Farmer was reading the story cold, for the first time, with no preparation whatsoever. The editing and sound is extremely poor as well. There are break points in the middle of a chapter - in the middle of a paragraph - where Farmer's voice changes so much I replayed it over and over to discern if a new person was reading. I love audio books, but a good reader, sound studio and editor are essential to the end product and this book is going down 0 for 3. I would love to see this book re-recorded.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sand 10-22-13
    Sand 10-22-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Louise Erdrich + Gary Farmer = Perfect Experience"

    Louise Erdrich's writing is so exquisite--and so pared-down and simple you're not even conscious of how good it is when you're in it. Because you're just so...in it. How she's able to boil down the angst of human experience into such effortless, casual prose is one mystery, but there's also the actual story, which is its own mystery/suspense story.

    I didn't research Gary Farmer but he sounds like an authentic native American--if not an Ojibwe. In any case, his reading is spot-on, and I felt like he captured Erdrich's voice (channeled through a 13 year old boy) perfectly. (There are some very minor editing glitches; nothing distracting though).

    I can't imagine who wouldn't be mesmerized by this story from the start, regardless of age or reading tastes...highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer rockport,maine 08-08-13
    Amazon Customer rockport,maine 08-08-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Speaks a powerful Truth!"
    Would you listen to The Round House again? Why?

    Yes


    What other book might you compare The Round House to and why?

    No Comparisons


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Every page! I had read the book, but wanted to give a try and listen. The narration really added a powerful dimension. I was so pleased.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    Louise Erdrich speaks these powerful truths of Life. Not always simple, but profound and moving! Life is not black and white and this story illustrates that precisely. Thank you Louise!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi Evans Goleta, CA United States 07-29-13
    Kathi Evans Goleta, CA United States 07-29-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Pretty good story - terrible narration"
    Would you try another book from Louise Erdrich and/or Gary Farmer?

    I've listened to Louise Erdich's other books and I think they're not bad; however, I think the book was very poorly read and I will avoid books in the future that are read by this narrator.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Gambone Zionsville, IN USA 07-29-13
    Mary Gambone Zionsville, IN USA 07-29-13 Member Since 2013
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    Story
    "Story touched my heart"
    Would you listen to The Round House again? Why?

    Probably. There are a lot of layers to this story that made me think.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The book was a lot like Angela's Ashes for me. It had both deep tragedy and light hearted moments - often layered on top of each other,


    What does Gary Farmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He sounds native American; so it is as if the man the boy became is telling you the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both. Sometimes one right after the other.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book and have to several people. It was not what i expected - the story was more nuanced and interesting than I anticipated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kali Walnut Creek, CA 07-16-13
    Kali Walnut Creek, CA 07-16-13 Member Since 2014
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    "'stand by me' on the reservation"

    I couldn't help but think of the coming of age film Stand By Me while listening to this book. Despite the brutal assault and its aftermath interweaving through the story, I didn't feel this book was too noir or dark - if you're worried you can't handle the subject matter, I'd say try taking it on. The Round House documents the growth of a young man on a reservation, at a pivotal time in his adolescence, as he begins to understand racisms and 'Indian'isms and all sorts of things about the world. I loved Erdrich's writing - it was easy to get lost in - clear and true to its source but not overly verbose. This is a big story, and it contains tales within, so if you are looking for a quick read this may not be the best book for you. I can also see how the narrator might be off-putting, I would listen to a sample before purchasing. I loved his voice and style of narration, found it very refreshing, and thought it went perfectly with the story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 07-04-13
    Susan 07-04-13
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    3
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    "My favorite author takes a new turn!"
    What did you love best about The Round House?

    I loved its honesty, a hallmark of all of her novels.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator and main character, of course, is my favorite, mostly because of his courage, but also because of his growth throughout the story.


    Which character – as performed by Gary Farmer – was your favorite?

    Gary Farmer is so perfect for this. His attention to phrasing and timing is stellar. Other than the narrator himself, I liked his portrayal of the women. He achieves the subtle character changes without any distraction.


    If you could rename The Round House, what would you call it?

    "Roundhouse Attack" maybe, but it is not better.


    Any additional comments?

    Louise Erdrich has created a book for young adults in this novel. I teach 9th grade English, and will be adding this title to my suggested reading list. Its themes are relevant to all young people in many way. These themes include parental issues, peer issues, and dealing with strong feelings of loyalty, passion, sexuality, and violence, to name a few. I thoroughly enjoyed the first person narrative aspect as well as the glimpse into native american experience and culture, which is the the trademark of this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly 06-28-13
    Molly 06-28-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Heading out to buy the paperback..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    ....so I can complete my consumption of this story, which is pretty good about a third of the way in.
    It has my interest, but I have real real trouble with the narrator. It's not just his cadence, which some others have mentioned and is a *little* distracting, but his very strange choices of when to inject feeling and emphasis, which I ultimately found *too* distracting to continue listening.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Gary Farmer’s performances?

    Sorry, not a chance.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 06-27-13
    Sarah 06-27-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Narrator more intoxicated than intoxicating"
    What did you like best about The Round House? What did you like least?

    This could have been a great audiobook with a different narrator. I set a ton of bookmarks, all of which were to share with my husband the best of the slurs, awkward intonations, and odd mid-sentence pauses. I did like when he read for mooshim - but that's it.


    Any additional comments?

    I would advise: listen to a sample first - if you can take Mr. Farmer, then you will probably enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Delmont, PA, United States 06-21-13
    Joyce Delmont, PA, United States 06-21-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A moving story with likeable characters"
    What made the experience of listening to The Round House the most enjoyable?

    The detail of the lives, surroundings and situations really put you into the story. This is something I believe Louise E. does best.


    What other book might you compare The Round House to and why?

    I have read nearly all of her books and could feel the connection between characters and her other books.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The one where oops! was sleeping in the room with his grandfather and heard him tell the stories of the past in his sleep.


    If you could take any character from The Round House out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The father


    Any additional comments?

    A wonderful story and characters and the reader was great to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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