The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Audiobook | Sherman Alexie | Audible.com
We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
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.
Regular Price:$21.67
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (1113 )
5 star
 (686)
4 star
 (279)
3 star
 (98)
2 star
 (22)
1 star
 (28)
Overall
4.5 (605 )
5 star
 (391)
4 star
 (139)
3 star
 (52)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (13)
Story
4.5 (600 )
5 star
 (422)
4 star
 (109)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (10)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    FanB14 Rockville, VA, United States 03-06-13
    FanB14 Rockville, VA, United States 03-06-13 Member Since 2011

    Short, Simple, No Spoilers

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3028
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    116
    111
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    164
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Entertaining Memoir"

    Fifteen year old Junior lives on a reservation, overcoming almost insurmountable obstacles to seek a better life. Born with too much fluid on his brain; attending a failing school system; having 2 parents who drink, but love him, Junior/Arnold receives advice to attend a county school about 20 miles away.

    Alexie wrote and narrates a straightforward, mater-of-fact, witty Native American how-to guide for surviving an all-Caucasian school and navigating the reservation where many are angered by his leaving. He's intelligent, resourceful, and his stumblings to fit in are funny, yet there is an underlying sadness. You learn a great deal in this short novel about the heartbreaking conditions on the "Indian" territory and of one boy's spirit and perseverence to reach his potential.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 03-01-13
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 03-01-13 Member Since 2011

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6083
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    360
    356
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    995
    13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood"

    "The Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood" wrote Sherman Alexie in a 2011 WSJ post about how trying to protect children from the harsh realities of life is pointless.

    This YA novel dances and laughs in the shadows and with ghosts of poverty, loneliness, abuse, alcoholism, depression, racism, etc.. Alexie does his redemptive dance with tears that both salve and baptize the reader. His voice is real. His pain is authentic. His narrator IS hope. This is a book that is built to confront difficult issues, to pour salt and sunshine on wounds that refuse to heal. I don't know how someone can read Alexie and not walk away lifted up.

    I also think he narrates the HELL out of this book. I can't imagine anyone else giving this book the same kind of heart and soul. Listening to Alexie read his book was amazing. I kept having to remind myself that Alexie was not Arnold. Sometimes I've wondered if authors would be better off letting pros read their work, but Alexie absolutely demolished that bias.

    27 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurel Klamath Falls, OR, USA 07-15-08
    Laurel Klamath Falls, OR, USA 07-15-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "more real than most would know"

    I loved this book. This is a accurate accounting of what really happens in the life of an Native American "Indian", told in way that makes you laugh and cry. Growing up in a town on what was a former Indian reservation turned public/private owned land I can relate totally to this story. The author hits the mark in every aspect. While his story may seem like fiction to some - those who lived it know just how truthful this is. I recommended this to anyone who wants to know what modern day Native Americans face on a daily basis - Most Indians are not rich from casino dollars, as many non-Indians people seem to think.

    39 of 46 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 04-03-11
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 04-03-11 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

    HELPFUL VOTES
    473
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    254
    105
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    97
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Dead On - Perfection!"

    This story is about my home - exactly as it was when I was growing up there. I am from a small town that was split down the middle by the neighboring reservation to the one in this story. I was thrilled by the way Mr. Alexie wove the story of this amazing young man into the fabric of my own memories so seamlessly. This goes into my top 5 of all time. If you are searching for a sure-thing, a book that guarantees laughter, tears, joy, brutal honesty, amazing insight into a world few have glimpsed - then you need to get this book.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan Hartsdale, NY, United States 05-24-09
    Megan Hartsdale, NY, United States 05-24-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Simply amazing."

    I have listened to this this book four times in the last 5 months. I have never read a more touching story for young adults. I read a lot of YA books because I am a teacher. This is the best by a mile. I recommended it to several students and they all LOVED it. Boys and girls have enjoyed it equally.It should be required reading.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krista Wilbur, WA, United States 10-16-10
    Krista Wilbur, WA, United States 10-16-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    199
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Not suitable for kids- but a good adult read."

    I was very disappointed by AUDIBLE listing this as appropriate for 8 year olds in the 8-80 advertisment. THIS IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR KIDS! Perhaps Audible needs to adopt a rating system, G, PG, PG 13 etc. This is PG-13 for sure - aside from the masturbation humor, there is a lot profanity. Just a warning. Still a good listen and a good story. It is not the autobiography of Sherman Alexie - this book is set in 2000, which he was not 15 years old in 2000. However, that being said, some of the events are thought by many to be related directly to his experiences in the northwest. He did not change the names of the schools he went to, and perhaps even some of the names of the families. He grew up very near where I live and many names and places are familiar. I thought the story was great - authentic and fairly accurate regarding the white kids and the Indian kids when he would have been a kid- sadly I wonder if much has changed.
    I was very happy to here this book in his voice. He did a fine job narrating and I almost always enjoy listening to the author - lends additional insight in to how the author hears the characters. Sad that we refer to leaving the rez as "getting out," but this is a good story about a kid growing up, and leaving the rez.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-29-11
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-29-11 Member Since 2009

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3100
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    346
    212
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2021
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nothing wrong with this brain."

    Nothing wrong with this guy's brain. That's actually part of the story and what a wonderful story it is. The book is a collection of anecdotes that remind me of This American Life or The Onion. The book is magical and touching, short and sweet. The book is very well written and narrated by the author. No fluff here; just succinct, cohesive, meaningful stories of a Spokane American Indian coming of age in a modern world. These are frank and candid memoirs appropriate for adults and young adults. The book is highly rated on most lists and deservedly so.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. E. Maher Boise, Id 01-08-09
    M. E. Maher Boise, Id 01-08-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Will lift your Great Spirits!"

    I selected this book before reading any reviews; I was curious about the title and found it kept getting my attention.

    Alexie is a gifted word picturer. He had me totally on the res and feeling the emotions that he was relating. I'm not from the rez - just a little white boy who somehow grew up in similar surroundings and felt that this was a little bit of my story. I laughed and cried so much that I had to keep listening until the end. A must for your library. An easy but great listen.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict Austin, Texas, USA 01-12-14
    AudioAddict Austin, Texas, USA 01-12-14 Member Since 2013

    I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    144
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    149
    148
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't let life suffocate you"

    STORY (true) - Life for Indians on "the rez" is a hopeless existence of poverty and prejudism that passes from generation to generation. Most of the tribe eventually die of alcoholism. Arnold Spirit has things even worse, being born with an enlarged head and a hydrocephalic brain. The story takes place during his freshman year in high school when he decides to break the bonds of hopelessness and attend an off-rez school where he will have a better chance at success in life. It is a coming-of-age story that is often sad but ultimately heartwarming and triumphant.

    PERFORMANCE - The author narrates his own work and does a good-enough job.

    OVERALL (actual rating 3.5) - It's sometimes a bit rambly, but enjoyable. I don't know why it won an award for young adult literature and is rated for ages 11 through 13. I think listeners would need to be at least 18 to enjoy its adult themes.

    AUDIBLE COMPLAINT - Why does Audible sometimes bite off the end of a book? This story ended with a touching "pregnant moment" which deserved just a tiny second of reflection to be properly appreciated. Unfortunately, the narrator barely got the last word out before Audible immediately butted in with "This is Audible. We hope you enjoyed the performance." Kind of spoiled it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Jackson, WY, USA 05-06-10
    Jennifer Jackson, WY, USA 05-06-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Honest, Heartbreaking, and Hilarious"

    Let me start by saying that Sherman Alexie is one of my all-time favorite writers. That being said, hearing him read his own (semi-autibiographical) words elevates the experience to a whole new level. Alexie's reading in the sing-song cadence of the rez adds to the dimension to the characters. The story itself reveals the brutality and beauty that humans are capable of and gives a truly honest window into the life on the reservation as well as the experience away from it. Full of sorrow and hope and many moments of tear-jerking hilarity. I was so sad when it was over. In short, get this one now!

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 107 results PREVIOUS1211NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.