• The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo

  • A Child, an Elder, and the Light from an Ancient Sky
  • By: Kent Nerburn
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 06-26-18
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

Regular price: $20.99

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Publisher's Summary

A haunting dream that will not relent pulls author Kent Nerburn back into the hidden world of Native America, where dreams have meaning, animals are teachers, and the "old ones" still have powers beyond our understanding.

In this moving narrative, we travel through the lands of the Lakota and the Ojibwe, where we encounter a strange little girl with an unnerving connection to the past, a forgotten asylum that history has tried to hide, and the complex, unforgettable characters we have come to know from Neither Wolf nor Dog and The Wolf at Twilight.

Part history, part mystery, part spiritual journey and teaching story, The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo is filled with the profound insight into humanity and Native American culture we have come to expect from Nerburn's journeys. As the American Indian College Fund has stated, once you have encountered Nerburn's stirring evocations of America's high plains and incisive insights into the human heart, "you can never look at the world, or at people, the same way again."

©2013 Kent Nerburn (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Thought-provoking, though flawed

I'm a bit conflicted about this audiobook. Ultimately, I feel like it was a positive experience. I enjoyed the parts of the book very much, particularly the interactions with the various native characters and having their thoughts, fears and angers portrayed. Unfortunately, those are few and far between. The title character is really little more than a literary device that leads to the finale. But, I enjoyed moments of the journey. I kept hoping there would be a theme to give the book some grounding. But it is neither committed enough to a "magic realism", for example, on one hand, or deeply allegorical insight into spirituality on the other. Native spirituality is treated with a fawning reverence, but yet uncomfortably, as yet another example of native wisdom through white men's eyes.

If this book were written by a native person, it may have had more resonance. It may still have been a bit sentimental and overwrought. But this book adds a level of righteous indignation that can only be achieved by a well-meaning outsider. The author is quite defensive in the foreword of the book, detailing what is and isn't accessible to outsiders, but I feel that he misses the irony of self-servingly painting himself as "one of the good ones".

I am very sympathetic to native stories and history of injustices toward native peoples, so that's why this book interested me. I think I need more access to the author, perhaps to learn more about his experiences and conflicts (it seems clear that he has received blowback in the past, judging by his defensiveness). The book made me think more, so ultimately, I'd call it a success, even with its flaws. I'm giving 4 stars, not because it's great, as the guide indicates (I'm more inclined to say it's "pretty good", which is 3), but I feel the intention of the book was honest, if not fully realized.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

grateful for thus story

the story is worth the listen. the narrator i think furnished many moments with the right kind of emotion...but in an awkward way 25 percent of the time. he made kent's character seem like a whimpy baby. he made kents humility seem like he was humiliated instead of humble. he made kent sound like a child not getting his way.

i know from the story itself that the narrator was too colorful in this way. but hey kent let it fly and get published on audible so apparantly hes happy with it.

maybe its an inside joke between he and the old indian guys about white men who get involved with indians. and that he knew theyd get a laugh when they listened to this when it got done

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    5 out of 5 stars
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awesome

the author wrote an awesome story that is educational yet humorous. I greatly enjoyed it.