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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

4.5 (1573 )
5 star
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Overall
4.5 (1015 )
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Story
4.6 (1013 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Cyndi 10-26-09
    Cyndi 10-26-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A story of triumph"

    I laughed then I cried and sometime I did both simultaneously. A story of triumph that shows how where we are from can be a blessing and a curse, but it is what we are. I was sorry when this story ended.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 10-11-09
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 10-11-09 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Award Winning Youth Lit - Adult Appropriate"

    This award-winning, amazing youth literature work is definitely appropriate for any adult. Sadly, this little book, beautifully read by the author Sherman Alexie, was over too soon. His reading incorporated the lovely lyric of his oral history into a book which should be required reading for all non-Native American population. The story he sets out so clearly, punctuated with how events created changes in his life, is delightful, sad, humorous, forceful and eloquent. I am glad I read it and I recommend it with a four star plus rating.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris las vegas, NV, United States 10-11-09
    chris las vegas, NV, United States 10-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Be patient"

    I like Sherman Alexie a lot, but this one I almost gave up on. From the start it felt very directionless, but I'm glad I stuck with it. Once it got going it flowed into Alexie's distinct voice and was very enjoyable and funny. I wish they would post more of his books. Flight is also great.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl houston, TX, USA 09-04-09
    Carl houston, TX, USA 09-04-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian"

    What a tragedy of a culture and heritage. How cruel and distructive we can be with manipulation and control.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 02-20-09
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 02-20-09 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful"

    This book tells the struggle that one student had when confronted with the possibility of leaving the res(ervation). It is not a sentimental story, but a real recollection of what happened to one handicapped boy and his "adventure." It is just long enough, read well enough, and includes just enough insight into indian life that I was left informed, entertained, and happy with the experience.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kathy Troy, IL, United States 08-07-13
    kathy Troy, IL, United States 08-07-13
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    "I really should not rate the story..."

    I could not get far enough into the book to actually make a judgement of the story, the narrator sounded like he was on lithium. ALWAYS listen to the sample first!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 02-06-12
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2008

    Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it!"

    Not just for YA audiences! I really enjoyed listening to this book and highly recommend it. I wish all the best for Sherman Alexie!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mathew San Diego, CA, USA 03-20-10
    Mathew San Diego, CA, USA 03-20-10
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    "Please Mark by Chapter"

    I love this book and I love the reading, but I wanted to use this with my class and I felt like I was back in the days of audiotape. The audio recording is not marked so I'd have to try to figure out exactly what time I left of for each class and find that spot again. I wish it was marked by the chapters in the book. That would be so much easier!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Sturgeon Bay, WI, United States 04-04-14
    Stephen Sturgeon Bay, WI, United States 04-04-14 Member Since 2015
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    "One of my favorite Audible books!"
    What did you love best about The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian?

    Sherman Alexie is a brilliant writer, funny, insightful, fresh and unrestrained. Not only does he write well, but his spoken delivery makes it all that much better. I laughed and cried and listened again to this novel. It was one of those books you wanted never to end.


    What other book might you compare The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian to and why?

    This is the Native American version of Catcher in the Rye, a delightfully odd 14-year old hero, delivering a first-person narrative of an amazing life on and off the rez.


    Have you listened to any of Sherman Alexie’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have heard Sherman Alexie in person and he is just as sarcastically funny in this book performance.


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

    I couldn't stop listening so, I listened a second time and it was even better!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Humphreys Montana, USA 03-28-14
    Martha Humphreys Montana, USA 03-28-14 Member Since 2014

    coachwrite

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enlightening, Entertaining and Enchanting"

    As an Alexie fan since seeing him interviewed several years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed this "listen" and recommend it to anyone who's interested in the experience of today's American Indians on and off the "rez". We colonists look at the plight of these real Americans with a combination of pity, shame, guilt and disdain---or we tend to elevate these real people into a spiritual cloud of knowing something we wish we knew. My belief is that many of the indigenous people are more attuned to the important things in life, because their centuries of traditions, values of respect and acceptance for themselves individually and their "community" responsibilities. And many are not...just like us, colonists, immigrants. Sherman Alexie's enormous talent and his ability and willingness to "open a vein" on the page to share his experience with the rest of us is a national treasure hard to measure. Thank you, "Junior", and keep on creating....

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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