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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 (1523 )
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  •  
    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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    "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
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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
  •  
    Patricia 06-14-13
    Patricia 06-14-13
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    "Louise Erdrich Comes Through Again"
    What made the experience of listening to The Round House the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters were marvelous. Warm, intriguing, and surprising.


    What about Gary Farmer’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Round House and why?

    Joe - a young boy being thrust into an adult world earlier than expected but with his own integrity and love of family.


    Any additional comments?

    The ending was a surprise and left me wanting more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jessica minneapolis, minnesota 05-31-13
    jessica minneapolis, minnesota 05-31-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Great story - Terrible sound!"
    If you could sum up The Round House in three words, what would they be?

    Lyrical, beautiful, complicated


    What did you like best about this story?

    This story offers a life-like portrait of difficulties led by Native Americans.


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

    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.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Round House and why?

    I enjoyed Joe and his Aunt Sonya. They were both interesting and complex characters.


    Any additional comments?

    Do not use this narrator again. Seriously. Have YOU listened to this entire book?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Duchez, FAIRFAX, VA, United States 03-29-13
    Duchez, FAIRFAX, VA, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2015
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    "I love Louise Erdrich's novels"
    What made the experience of listening to The Round House the most enjoyable?

    A story about a people we frequently forget about but were here long before most of us, immigrants on this land.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the humanity, the emotion, the search for justice, and of course the voice of brave 13 year-old Joe.


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

    I had to relisten to multiple chapters just for the pleasure of listening to the flow of the words and the telling of story (for example Nanapush)..


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phoebe Utah 02-22-13
    Phoebe Utah 02-22-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Powerful story with a seriously flawed reading."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen FROSTBURG, MD, United States 02-06-13
    Ellen FROSTBURG, MD, United States 02-06-13
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    "Buy this title if you can stand the narrator...."

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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