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There There

A Novel
Length: 8 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,602 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the 10 Best Books of the Year - The New York Times Book Review

Winner of the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

One of the best books of the year: The Washington Post, NPR, Time, O, The Oprah Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly, The Boston Globe, GQ, The Dallas Morning News, Buzzfeed, BookPage, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews.

New York Times Best Seller

Tommy Orange's "groundbreaking, extraordinary" (The New York Times) There There is the "brilliant, propulsive" (People Magazine) story of 12 unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. It's "the year's most galvanizing debut novel" (Entertainment Weekly).

As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow - some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent - momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle's death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle's memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and will perform in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss. 

There There is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen. It's "masterful...white-hot...devastating" (The Washington Post) at the same time as it is fierce, funny, suspenseful, thoroughly modern, and impossible to pause. Here is a voice we have never heard - a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with urgency and force. Tommy Orange has written a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide. This is the book that everyone is talking about right now, and it's destined to be a classic.

©2018 Tommy Orange (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Masterful. White-hot. A devastating debut novel." (Ron Charles, The Washington Post)

"A gripping deep dive into urban indigenous community in California: an astonishing literary debut!" (Margaret Atwood, via Twitter)

"Visceral... A chronicle of domestic violence, alcoholism, addiction, and pain, the book reveals the perseverance and spirit of the characters... Unflinching candor... Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

Audible Editors Get to Know Tommy Orange at BookExpo 2018

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  • Overall
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A gorgeous, white-hot debut

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once gave a TED talk called “The Danger of the Single Story,” outlining the negative effects of reducing complex people and histories to the same narrow, well-worn narrative. I’m convinced that her heart will swell, like mine, at the arrival of Tommy Orange’s incendiary first novel. Written—and narrated—from the perspectives of many characters, whose lives intersect in unexpected and technically impressive ways, the connected stories pay profound attention to the individual experiences of urban Native Americans. And yet for all its depth of purpose and history, it’s absolutely un-put-downable. Visionary, mind-bendingly virtuosic, and racing to a searing finish, There Thereis a work of sacred intensity. I’m still reeling.

70 of 74 people found this review helpful

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Highly recommend.

As an urban Native American woman, this book has touched me deep within my heart. Books that are written about Natives usually have a pretty stereotypical plot about our people on reservations, and don’t delve into the experiences of urban Indians and how our relationship with our culture and traditions is different. I’m so overjoyed that the author is Native, because I’m sick of seeing white men or white woman writing books about our experiences.

I loved this book and just finished it, but plan on re listening to it immediately. We still exist; don’t forget that.

70 of 77 people found this review helpful

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Amazing!

There There is a wonderful work of fiction that represents very real experiences in urban indigenous communities. Tommy Orange does an amazing job in his storytelling, creating characters who are so complex that they could each stand alone in a book of their own. I highly recommend this book.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Wonderfully compelling characters

It takes a while for the plot to come together. The stories of the individual characters keep you engaged until the pieces come together .

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Stunning

The word, "stunning", is often used to denote, "good looking" person/art/attire. But here it means for me this shocking reality of the cruelty we humans can and do inflict on each other. First couple of chapters, my breath is withheld with the very early history lesson explained in the book; my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, ultimately shattered. Then, each character, of which there are many, hammers the reader with the inequalities and injustices that exist for all indigenous people, tho specifically native americans here. I'm reluctant to used even that term to identify. This is a harsh story of painful realities in my country and it's incredibly well written. This is not news for me but I grew up comfortable and white in a stable family, so I make it a point to peel back the layers with books like this one. It's powerful. It's provocative. It made me cry. The narrators were very good. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in relearning some American history and making sure they can see truth exposed.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Heads Vs Tails

The book is a toss up. I think this would have best been read by reading and not listening to. The start and middle felt disjointed but that might be because I couldn't see the chapters names, the names of all the different characters to refer to. There were alot of characters.

I am glad I didn't quit when half way through like I wanted to. The last quarter of the book is where the characters started to come together and where everything in the begging started to make sense. I liked the work up to the final end and how everyone came together at the one event. Nice job there.

This book has potential. Maybe if you start listening. Write down the names of the characters and their bylines. It will help when you get further on in the book.

I do love the reflection on Native American Indians and their history.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Confused :-(

I had not read any reviews or the synopsis prior to reading this novel . I read it for my September book club pick.
Firstly, i think the title and cover are genius! so i was immediately intrigued by the book’s content.
Secondly, i really enjoyed the prologue and the first few chapters. My initial impression was that the writer did his research and wrote the characters with color, depth and authenticity. I also enjoyed the fact that i was reading something well outside my usual genre of ‘love gone wrong,’ ‘betrayal,’ ‘murder,’ ‘revenge,’ etc.
Thirdly, while i was immediately invested in the story, the history, and the characters, at some point, maybe mid-way, i started to get confused by all the different characters. Basically, the story centers around too many, and it’s difficult, as a reader, to keep track of their individual stories, their timelines, and histories. I started to feel frustrated trying to remember a lot of information on all the characters, including their names. I honestly got lost and just continued on while not feeling as invested anymore.
Lastly, there was a feeling of a poorly constructed story, where the pieces were disjointed to the point of my questioning the necessity of certain parts and conversations. There were weird interludes and tangents that felt out of place and were distracting to the reader (listener).
There could have been better editing, which would have helped.
I will add that the writer’s depiction of certain elements was deliciously done and the suspenseful scenes had my heart going so fast, i felt like i was physically in the scene. But, there were too many chapter-ending cliffhangers with no real closure brought about in later chapters. In fact, i felt that the ending was not satisfying. It was as though the writer gave up.
Note: The performance of the narrators was superb! All of them did a fantastic job!!

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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powerful

what an outstanding 1st novel. this is a powerhouse of thought-provoking tragedy - love, forgiveness, regret, redemption, destruction, and death. this one's gonna stick with me for awhile. the audible cast and production was amazing. I wish audible would let me loan a copy to all of my friends

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Amazing!

This is an incredible story. it is sensorial and heavy and heart breaking and triumphant and very, very human. It is a story of the past brilliantly woven into today and gives hope for a future. The narration is a gift and makes the story shine with even greater authenticity than reading the book. I highly recommend it and believe it may be one of the best audible stories I have ever experienced.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I’m Invested in their lives now… What happens next?

I’m invested in their lives now! I want to know what happens next.
I like things to be tied up and neat, but I know that life isn’t like that.
So this book, like life… Like native American lives… Is not neat, it’s not tidy, and we don’t know where it’s going to go next.
I hope this is made into a movie.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful