Regular price: $13.68

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Louise Erdrich's mesmerizing new novel, her first in almost three years, centers on a compelling mystery.

The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subsequent distortions of truth transform the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation and shape the passions of both communities for the next generation. The descendants of Ojibwe and white intermarry, their lives intertwine; only the youngest generation, of mixed blood, remains unaware of the role the past continues to play in their lives.

Evelina Harp is a witty, ambitious young girl, part Ojibwe, part white, who is prone to falling hopelessly in love. Mooshum, Evelina's grandfather, is a seductive storyteller, a repository of family and tribal history with an all-too-intimate knowledge of the violent past. Nobody understands the weight of historical injustice better than Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, a thoughtful mixed blood who witnesses the lives of those who appear before him, and whose own love life reflects the entire history of the territory.

In distinct and winning voices, Erdrich's narrators unravel the stories of different generations and families in this corner of North Dakota. Bound by love, torn by history, the two communities' collective stories finally come together in a wrenching truth.

The Plague of Doves is one of the major achievements of Louise Erdrich's considerable oeuvre, a quintessentially American story and the most complex and original of her books.

©2008 Louise Erdrich (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Louise Erdrich's imaginative freedom has reached its zenith - The Plague of Doves is her dazzling masterpiece." (Philip Roth)
"[A]t once mythic and down-to-earth...beautiful, funny, moving, and unexpected." ( Elle)
"A multigenerational tour de force of sin, redemption, murder and vengeance." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    127
  • 4 Stars
    100
  • 3 Stars
    64
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    11

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    102
  • 4 Stars
    63
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    88
  • 4 Stars
    63
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    6
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lori
  • Dallas, TX
  • 12-02-08

Great American Tale

This story is full of quirky, interesting charcters, touches of magical realism. This book unrolls across the generations and is a uniquely American tale. The audio version is smooth and easy to listen to.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • carri
  • HAWTHORNE, CA, United States
  • 01-26-15

Another great take by Erdrich

I thoroughly enjoyed these stories of many different people whose lives are intertwined. I have always loved Erdrich's novels- the way she tells stories. It is somewhat poetic in the way she weaves their lives into words.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth it for the first chapter

The plague of doves is an infestation of passenger pigeons, and Erdrich made it real for me as never before. Because I had read 2 of the chapters as stories in the New Yorker, and pictured the characters differently, I personally had trouble making this hang together as a novel. The characters and incidents portrayed are compelling, even so. Yes, I'll probably read this again someday.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Great sections

The readers are great. I loved most of it but not the section about Billy, his wife, M. & the religious group. It seemed like it belonged in a different novel. The thing that unites the novel is the murder partially described. But I wanted more development of the characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Avoid this Plague

After reading a mildly favorable review for the book in the NY Times I decided to give it a go. Little did I realize what I was in for. The book is in need of an editor...a junior editor...anyone with a red pen and a bit of common sense. This book is endless. Beyond endless. Tiresome. Imagine a small town inhabited by one-dimensional characters who all sound so alike one another that the reader/listener can't tell one from the other. All they do is rehashing plot twists that could have been borrowed from a daytime soap. The gratuitous sex...what was the author thinking? There are too many options of far better quality to waste time on this "Plague."

12 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Scattered

While this book contains some wonderfully mythic material, I couldn't get past the delivery. The book jumps from 1st person to 3rd person narrative. It jumps from story-telling to what appears to be reading directly from someone's autobiography of their past.

I liked the characters, but I couldn't love the characters because there was no continuity to the story.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Strong & wonderful beginning, with a anticlimactic ending

A story teller of unusual imagination, Erdrich’s mastery attenuates over too many characters over too many generations in this novel. I liked it for its first two thirds but took a star off for the last third.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

So hard to keep it all straight

read this for book club. 5/5 did not like it. it was a difficult read with too much flashback and characters. too many stories in one book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Dense and Complex

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I have a lot of friends who are huge Erdrich fans but I am not. I wanted to like this as much as I liked The Master Butcher's Singing Club but it was simply to convoluted for me to follow. I listen to audio books because I do not have the time to read and maybe this would be better digested as the written word as opposed to the spoken word, I don't know. I tried but at three quarters of the way through, I decided to move on. I never finished it.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Still browsing.

What does Peter Francis James and Kathleen McInerney bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I really appreciate the narrators of all the audio books - even when the book is less than enjoyable - the narration always seems great!

Did The Plague of Doves inspire you to do anything?

Stop listening to it.

Any additional comments?

None.

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

Complex, beautifully written and worth concentrating

This is a densely layered complex story of the interwoven lives of many generations of whites, Ojibwe and mixed in a moribund town in ND. Told through several narrators, and spanning a century, the story is complicated, hilarious in parts, tragic in parts, and always gripping. It reminds me of Faulkner, and as with a Faulkner novel, attention must be paid.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Cita
  • 12-14-15

Difficult to follow

Any additional comments?

This book should have been great. I chose it to read while I was visiting the states described in the novel. In parts it was intersting and had potential but I found it very disjointed and in the end gave up on it.