National Book Award, Young People's Literature, 2007Sherman Alexie delivers a captivating, semi-autobiographical account of one Spokane Indian's struggle against incredible obstacles.
Born poor and hydrocephalic, Arnold Spirit survives brain surgery. But his enormous skull, lopsided eyes, profound stuttering, and frequent seizures target him for abuse on his Indian reservation. Protected by a formidable friend, the book-loving artist survives childhood. And then - convinced his future lies off the rez - the bright 14-year-old enrolls in an all-white high school 22 miles away.
©2007 Sherman Alexie; (P)2008 Recorded Books
"Delivers a positive message." (School Library Journal)
I can't exactly say, having never read the print version. There seemed to be some elements that were changed for the audiobook format and some things that were very clearly tailored to reading the actual book.
I don't think I've read a semi-autobiographical novel that I can compare to similarly. There's a lot of self-deprecating humor in it that reminds me of some stand-up comedians I enjoy, like John Mulaney.
His narration has a very rhythmic, melodic flow to it. It made it easier to hear the speech differences between the Native American characters compared to everyone else. Narration also helped sell a lot of the dramatic moments and comedic punchlines so much better than if I were to be reading the text on a page.
There were a few moments that made me laugh. Quite a few made me think. Being of an "ethnic" persuasion myself I saw a lot of parallels to growing up in a certain world with a completely different culture than elsewhere, and having to reconcile those differences. There were also aspects that I never experienced at all that made me reevaluate my worldview.
This is a definite must-listen. Or a must-read. Either or.
My daughter, as a grad student, interviewed Sherman Alexi for her Masters project. She was so impressed with his kindness, his talent, and most of all, his spirit. I had heard her speak of him so often, and she recommended that I read his book. I love audio books, so I can work on other things while listening, and I have to admit I binge-listened all day, to this book. Loved every minute. He tells his story with humor, even though we, as the listener, can feel the sadness coming through. Even through all his many trials, he has managed to keep looking forward. I admire him.
I loved this book. It humorously and touchingly points out the struggles Arnold has growing up on a reservation near Spokane, and then transferring to a white school in ninth grade.
I absolutely loved this book and have devoured it twice in my studio after purchasing it a week ago. I love the narrator and the story is an impeccable roller coaster. It will have you laughing and crying within minutes of each other. Why did I wait so long to read Sherman Alexie? Why didn't I just do it sooner?
The narrator is wonderful too, I could listen to him forever.
How is it that the most mediocre and sub-par books are the kind that always end up in education?
If you don't HAVE to read this for school, there is NO reason to ever waste time reading, let alone waste money buying, this book.
I don't know who these authors have to blow to get the cash flow of getting there books into education, but I can guarantee this book isn't being taught for it's merit.
This novel is either crude and unintelligent and constantly switches between the two. It's impossible to identify a moral or theme in this novel. It switches between having and not having meaning. Nothing feels consistent. If I were to describe it perfectly, this novel is absurd.
This novels only redeeming value is its occasional expression of the protagonists individualism in a world governed by the idea of "race".
I thoroughly DO NOT RECOMMEND.
I couldn't stop thinking about the story and the character. makes you look at life on the reservation from their view, it was unforgettable, funny and serious altogether. I loved it, fell in love with the characters and relationships and will probably buy a physical copy to keep around the house for another read.
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