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Publisher's Summary

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

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  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Claudia
  • SHARON, CT, United States
  • 03-04-13

Great new book by a wonderful writer.

Listening drew me into the lives of the characters more than reading it would have.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Bought the book instead

Well written vintage Louise Erdrich. I loved the book, the story, about the very important issue of violence against Native American women. Written with sensitivity and also with Erdrich's characteristic humor, it's a book you can't put down.
But the reader is awful. He was chosen I suppose because he is or sounds Native American (think Free Willie) which would have been nice. But this reader ends his sentences in the middle of a sentence. You can almost see the period. And then takes up again to finish. Ad he reads very slowly.
I bought the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Shirlene
  • East Grand Forks, MN, United States
  • 02-25-13

A great look into North Dakota reservation life.

If you could sum up The Round House in three words, what would they be?

Informative sadness compassion

What did you like best about this story?

The honesty of the story and characters. The positive and negative.

What about Gary Farmer’s performance did you like?

Excellent. I truly felt that he was the author and main character as he read.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I grew up in N.Dak., and tho white, I am well aware of the problems on the reservations and the prejudice suffered by the Natives. Even tho I smiled at the antics of some of the characters, I was also terribly sad for them.

Any additional comments?

I will be anxious to read more by this author and listen to Gary Farmer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Fantastic

Would you listen to The Round House again? Why?

Yes - it was a great story, and beautifully told.

Which scene was your favorite?

Its hard to pick - there were so many beautifully crafted scenes.

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

No. It was difficult at times, because the subject matter was dark. But the family (all of them) were crafted with such care that the story kept pulling me back.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann
  • United States
  • 02-20-13

Engaging

Would you consider the audio edition of The Round House to be better than the print version?

I am really enjoying this audiobook. I have been wanting to read a Louise Erdrich book for quite some time, so when I saw the audio version, I decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed. The story makes me laugh out loud and tugs on my heart at the same time. The characters are well-developed and the performance is clear and authentic. I highly recommend this audiobook.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Round House?

The heart wrenching detail of Joe's description of how his life changes will touch you.

Which character – as performed by Gary Farmer – was your favorite?

I love them all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Gripping Story, Colorful Characters

Would you consider the audio edition of The Round House to be better than the print version?

I am not sure about that. There were times when I wished I had a print copy to go back and re-read some scenes because either my brain wandered off while I was listening or I just didn't understand abstractly what was happening.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Round House?

I think Joe's mother's depression really spoke to me. The author made me feel her pain and what she was going through. I both pulled for her and wanted her to snap out of it, but also felt understanding toward her and allowed her time to heal.

What about Gary Farmer’s performance did you like?

At first, I thought the narrator of this book sounded a little....er....drunk. But then I felt bad for thinking that because I realized it was an actual American Indian with a slight drawl of an accent! Once I was used to him, he helped make the book come alive to me by being an authentic part of the story!

If you could rename The Round House, what would you call it?

Wow...what a question. No idea. How about "Swamp Tea?"

Any additional comments?

This book has coming of age, Indian culture, religion, and strong families--a very enjoyable read and brilliantly researched and written by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nancy
  • ENCINITAS, CA, United States
  • 02-04-13

rare look into Tribal justice

If you could sum up The Round House in three words, what would they be?

tribal justice denied

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Round House?

not finished yet

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

narrators voice was sometimes halting, broke the continuity of the thought

Any additional comments?

not finished yet

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Classic Erdich

This is a Native American story that should be read and heard by every American. It truly tells the story of the plight of their journey, now and then.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • poplarville, MS, United States
  • 01-28-13

life on the reservation with a terrific narrator.

excellent book about an indian woman's rape and the effects it has on not just her life but the life around her. Contrary to some people's opinion about the reader, I really loved the narrater, and thought the story would not have been as rich without him. He is an indian himself, and it gives the lives he speaks of an aura of authenticity. There are many insights into what life can be like on a reservation, its isolation, poverty, and what happens to some people because of it.

there is a legal snafu concerning tribal versus U.S. law, and that becomes the crux of the idea of justice -

highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 01-22-13

The Round House

What made the experience of listening to The Round House the most enjoyable?

Gary Farmer's reading of Louise Erdrich's harsh and beautiful story of innocence, boyhood, family, frienship, horror, innocence lost, and loyalty moved me deeply. Farmer's cadence and Erdrich's prose are a perfect match. Will they pair up again. Please, make it so.

Which scene was your favorite?

Too many to single one out as favorite, but Moosham's stories (and Farmer's wonderful reading of them) are hard to beat.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There are many, none more than the last few pages

Any additional comments?

Will Erdrich and Farmer pair up again. Please, make it so.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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