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
I am not sure if the audio version is better. It was nice hearing it read by a Native American, but I felt his inflection was off at times. I would still highly recommend it!
Definitely Joe. He provided great insight into the mind of a kid.
It was a book about Native American culture, so it was nice hearing it with the correct narrative voice.
Geraldine... she was so sad.
I have seen this book all over the place and have had many people recommend it. I work with Native people in Oregon and I found the book to be both entertaining and educational.
yes, but only if you have read some other works by Louise Erdrich there are characters that pepper this novel from some of her earlier works that make it delightful to hear them mentioned again.
Linda - she just had a mystery about her.
His voice but I felt his accent was spot on...and brought real life to the male characters especially.
That's tough probably "ooops" I just loved him!
I enjoy Louise Erdrich books. Some mystery and suspense mixed in with a well written personal family history. They show the Native American contemporary experience in a new way for me. The Round House is not too long and Gary Farmer does a nicely paced read.
This book was beautifully written, but I was a little bored while listening. I felt detached from the characters and found my mind wandered quite often.
Yes, Gary Farmer was wonderful. Perfect voice.
The elders telling stories.
He has a great voice, a great rhythm and a sense of the stories.
I love books!
First time author, very interesting. The author is part Chippewa who grew up in Minnesota with her Cjhippewa roots in North Dakota where this story takes place. The author went to Dartmouth as part of the first time ever co-ed class there in the 1970's when the school was introducing Native American studies. She met and married a professor in that program. They had a family, moved away, she got her Masters at John Hopkins then the marriage fell apart. She moved home to Minnesota to be close to her family and write stories with Native American themes and backgrounds. I read in the reviews of this book that it's a coming of age story and it is that. But I suspect it's more than that. Many authors write from their personal experiences. I suspect at least some of this book is a confessional and a way to heal and move forward from her own past and something for her children to learn and grow from. I invite you to research the author's background and come up with your own conclusions. I invite you to google image the author and see for yourself if you don't see a sadness in her eyes. Whatever you conclude it's a very interesting story. Enjoy
I love it when I have no idea what's going to happen next.
Great book with wonderful characters and interesting insights into modern Native American culture. But the narrator spoke soooooo slowly.
The narrator was so slow that I sped him up to 1.75x on my audible app. It was ok after that.
The teenage boys watching a video they liked by peering through the priest's window into his home.
I listened to the audio version of this book. It was an OK story that was well told but just not my usual intense mystery/thriller. This was a slight mystery/drama set in the late 80's on an Indian reservation and told from a 13 year old boy's perspective. I will say there are some very funny moments with the 13 year old boy and his buddies.
The narrator's voice and style matched the cultural context and storytelling of the native people very well.
Promotes culture values and beliefs, while providing an excellent well developed plot.
When the woman that was raped set up and spoke when she heard the baby's name mentioned in a conversation, who she was protecting by her silence.
Yes. The story is well-written and compelling. I thought the narrator was great. To describe it is diffcult. It is a coming of age story, sure. It is a thriller, sure. But it is more than that, and the description of reservation life sounds authentic.
Lots of memorable moments. The priest's chasing the kid all around was particularly good. And ths strip tease, although that was not at all convincing as realistic and I thought it hit a very off note. Golf course scene was amazing.
No. I like the narrator a lot, though.
Somewhat. The story was fairly compelling. I would say there were sections that were hard to put down. But then there were breaks in the action.
I thought the final section was superfluous and seemed like it was just dopped in for emotional impact. There were some arguably jarring not believeable aspects of the book. No way those kids were 13 years old. Maybe 16. There are jurisdiction issues with enforcing criminal law in and around Native American reservations, but clearly this would not have been one, unless one considers kidnapping and assault to be a mnor crime.
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