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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian | [Sherman Alexie]

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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.
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Publisher's Summary

National Book Award, Young People's Literature, 2007

Sherman 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

What the Critics Say

"Delivers a positive message." (School Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1396 )
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  •  
    Reney 06-24-11
    Reney 06-24-11 Member Since 2010

    I like to listen to adventure stories and funny stories. I have a real preference for travel tales and sometimes even enjoy a good mystery. I love fiction, but also like to learn facts. I like all kinds of stories. Follow me, if you do too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just Get It, You'll Love It!"

    It's honest, gritty, real and it's written by a Part-time Indian. Maybe a full-time Indian would be better, but where would we get one. They are a dying breed and their culture is rapidly deteriorating. Let's hear from as many as possible before that happens. This guy is likeable - really, I'll never forget him. This is the guy you wanted to sit near in school, just to be a part of his running commentary. I actually listened to this twice in a row, just to be sure I didn't miss anything. Sherman, you RULE!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronnie Roberts 05-27-11 Member Since 2014
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    6
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    "Refreshing and Insightful"

    The story of Arnold Spirit is lively, humourous and heartbreaking all at the same time.
    Using Arnold's voice the story begins gently, unfolding in a deceptively uncomplicated way, giving the reader a teasing peek into the lives of the people who live on 'The Rez' before following Arnold out into the world to meet main-stream America in a middle-class white high school. Stepping in and out of these two widely diverse worlds, Arnold meets the challenges of adolecence, class, race and opportunity given or withheld, with humour, courage and grace.
    Much like Frank McCourt illustrated the abject proverty of Ireland that surrounded his young self in Angela's Ashes by using accurate but not-yet-understood dialiogue and exposition, Sherman Alexis uses Arnold's young mind and voice to build for the reader a rich understanding of the North American Indian experience in modern America. Unlike Angela's Ashes, however, Arnold's story is one of hope.
    Through Arnold's adolecent eyes author Sherman Alexie begins the layering of character and culture. Arnold may be small and different, but he's no wimp. He's funny and brave - a teenage philosopher. Arnold is always a surprise, whether it's dealing with his best friend or the school jock: the most popular girl: alcoholism on the Rez: the classroom nerd: the school dance: his absent sister: the basketball team.
    As Arnold traverses the hallways of high school and the backroads of the Rez, we're begin a better understanding of Native American culture in modern America.
    I loved this book, and highly recommend it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne Clark Geneva Switzerland 05-14-11
    Joanne Clark Geneva Switzerland 05-14-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Looking for more by Sherman Alexie"

    My 12-year old son has now listened to this book some 6 times. He loves Sherman Alexie's voice so much that we regulary check to see if the he has recorded any of this other books. CBC has a great podcast interviewing the author which is a great complement to the book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cool.unique.name 04-20-11 Member Since 2012
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    "Alexie is my new hero!"

    I wish I had the skill and vocabulary to adequately describe how good this book is. Let's see, the words that come to mind are: real, surprising, gut wrenching, laugh out loud, laugh out loud hard, retard, human, awkward, thumbs, actually recognizing love, and funny....chocolate milk through the nose funny. I started this audio book at 10pm and could not go to sleep until I finished it. In three days I've downloaded and listened to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Flight and War Dances. I love all of them but my favorite is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

    Alexie is my new hero!

    Side note: I highly recommend buying the book in print. It is full of fantastically funny doodles and cartoons. The artwork adds a lot to the story. Brand new it runs only around $10, well worth it!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Saint Paul, MN, United States 04-17-11
    Patricia Saint Paul, MN, United States 04-17-11 Member Since 2013
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    9
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    "Loved It"

    I think the story was enhanced by having it read by the author. His voice sounded like a couple of Native Americans with whom I have worked. Thanks

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Panama City, FL, United States 03-25-11
    Mr. Panama City, FL, United States 03-25-11 Member Since 2014

    Jonnie

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    "Bittersweet...funny and sad but a great listen"

    I almost gave up after an hour. Sherman's voice was initially annoying and the story was slow. I'm glad I continued listening. As the story developed I got used to the voice and then enjoyed it because it "fit". Sherman is a very talented writer and his stories are funny, sad, quirky, emotional, and entertaining. They draw you into his life and environment in a way that makes you feel like you are there experiencing the pain and the joy and reliving those same kinds of times you went through in your own life. This is a very good book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Frank 01-15-11 Member Since 2007
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    "not so crazy injun"

    a wonderfully humorous, poignant tale of a gifted indian boy in his adolescence learning profound life lessons as an "imigrant" in a "white" world. autobiographical fiction.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Oakville, ON, Canada 11-09-10
    Judy Oakville, ON, Canada 11-09-10
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    "Absolutely True Diary is Absolutely Wonderful!"

    I love listening to Sherman Alexie's voice. I love the honesty of his story telling. He exposes life in such an innocent, clear and humorous way...so easy to love this author! Alexie deserves the many awards he has received for his works. Thank you for having this book available!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher San Diego, CA, United States 10-19-10
    Christopher San Diego, CA, United States 10-19-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Good humor and emotion"

    This book was the perfect balance of great humor and deep emotion. This book was written by (or from the perspective) of an adolescent boy however I feel the emotions and jokes translate well to adults and people of both sexes.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    10-02-10
    10-02-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Great Little Surprise"

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I bought this book and I'm not sure why I did. I am so glad I did. It's a great story. Funny and Charming and totally honest. I didn't want it to be over .

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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