Customer Reviews for

Black Hills: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(6)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted January 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a refreshing super paranormal historical thriller

    In 1876 following the battle of Little Big Horn, ten years old Sioux warrior Paha Sapa collects coup from the dead. However, on his last breath, the spirit of General George Custer leaves his dead body to enter that of Paha.

    For the rest of his life, Paha heard Custer speaking to him inside his head. He also gained the uncanny ability to know someone's past and future by simply touching them. For himself he has remained patient having seen what will occur to the sacred Black Hills in the 1930s. Thus in 1936, the septuagenarian who worked on the monuments begins his final days of atonement and exorcism with plans to blow up Mt. Rushmore as FDR arrives on a visit.

    This is a refreshing super paranormal historical thriller that grips the audience from the opening battle locale until the final confrontation inside and outside of the lead character's head. The story line is driven by Paha=Custer, but filled with plenty of action as events lead from Little Big Horn to Mt. Rushmore. Dan Simmons effortlessly switches from Ancient Greek and Dickensian mythologies to an American legend with this superb incredibly creative tale.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another Disappointment

    I was so looking forward to Black Hills. The Terror is one of my favorite books and after being disappointed with Drood I was hoping for much more from Black Hills. I almost gave up on this book and stopped reading it (the fact that I'm so anal and can't NOT finish something I've started is the only thing that kept me going with it). The jumping back and forth from different time periods didn't bother me in the least. The premise of the story is something that really interested me but, sadly, it just couldn't keep me engaged in the book. I could see no purpose whatsoever in Custer's letters to his wife, other than to showcase their freaky-deakiness in their sex life. I am far from a prude, but I just didn't see any purpose in the crudeness of those sections of the book. For me, they didn't enhance the story in any way or make me view Custer and Libby in a specific manner, if that was the author's intent. It didn't serve to make me feel some deep connection between the two of them. I found myself skimming A LOT through the Custer chapters. The most interesting part of this book for me was Paha Sapa's son's life. How I wish the book would have included more about Robert's life! It would have been a much more interesting book for me. By the second half of the book, I was forcing myself to finish reading it, which is a sad, sad thing for me because I get so much enjoyment from reading. Time to pick up the book again? Darn. It was almost like a punishment. Quite honestly, I found myself not really caring how things turned out. I forced myself to finish the book and can only hope that Dan Simmons' next novel is better than his last two. After The Terror, I expect so much more from him.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    Lucky to even get 1 star

    I completely agree with the reviewer who wrote that they found this book a chore to read. I LOVE to read and and am a bit more then half way through this one and don't think I'll be able to finish it. I've never NOT finished a book but I find myself extremely aggravated when reading it because there is so much unneccessary crap in there. I would not waste my time with this book nor will I pick up another book from this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    I sure wish non-Natives would stop writing about cultures they d

    I sure wish non-Natives would stop writing about cultures they don't understand. Within the first pages I found many errors and improbabilities. Some is downright incorrect and offensive. I don't know where he got his information, but someone must have been messing with him. He misinterprets Crazy Horse, as well as Lakota spirituality. No one would keep a ghost of the enemy when there were medicine men to get rid of it! Fictional books that are based on facts distort history and desecrate traditions and spirituality. People should stop trying to interpret Crazy Horse's thoughts. In this instance, the author is culturally inaccurate. He doesn't know the man, the culture, or the spirituality. It is very insulting. I can't even finish the book. It's too ludicrous.

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  • Posted May 13, 2012

    I really liked the main character Paha Sapa, but each story line

    I really liked the main character Paha Sapa, but each story line was never completely developed where I wanted to get emotionally involved. It jumped around so much, but I never felt like any story line came to a full and satisfying conclusion, although it was well written. But the end was what really disappointed me. Really? It seemed liked the Dallas ending all over again. I died, everything that happened after that was a dream, oh! Excuse me I really didn't die. At the end Dan Simmons seem to get on his soap box about global warming, cattle overgrazing, over population and religion. And really! Genetically engineered biospheres to reintroduce extinct ancient mammals with Native American Indians as a tourist attraction! Is that really the ultimate goal in our evolution? What a disappointing ending, I couldn't wait until I was finished. I was holding out hope until the end, but once I read the ending I definitely knew that I would not recommend this book to anyone that I knew.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    waste of time!!!!!

    this book had a great beginning but lost me in the middle and the end was awful!!! took me forever to finish because it was so dry and boring. wish i could get my money back.....

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Oh My!

    Can Dan Simmons get an better? What a writer! I had just finished "The Terror" "Drood" and now "Black Hills." He cannot write fast enough for me. Once you open his book there is no turning back. You're caught like a web, and cannot get out until you get to the end. I feel hypnotized when I read his books. Yes, they'e thick, they're long, but were worth taking the time to read them. Read Dan Simmons, You will convert! My vocabulary alone has doubled in words I never heard of and had to go to others to learn how to say. He doesn't just write, he teaches. Go Dan!

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Simmons returns to form with a blending of fantasy and historical fiction

    Dan Simmons loves to learn and loves to teach. That's clear from just about every book he's written whether it be science fiction (his marvelous HYPERION novels), fantasy, noir (his Hardcase novels) or a novel that combines historical characters and the supernatural with BLACK HILLS.

    Paha Sapa finds his life haunted; as a child he absorbed the ghost of Custer at Little Big Horn with the dead man constantly lurking in his mind. Later, Sapa discovers that he can see into the memories of others and the future of people like Crazy Horse. Sapa escape these haunting visions, memories of others and spirits that dog him and plans on doing so at the dedication of Mount Rushmore putting the lives of others such as FDR at risk.

    Simmons' most accomplished novels interweave history, insightful references to literature, fascinating characters in an inventive suspenseful story. The narrative in the dual novels ILLUM & OLYMPUS one of Simmons most fascinating and ambitious novels outside of the HYPERION series fell apart in the even more ambitious OLYMPUS. Working with such a massive canvas would of overwhelmed most novelists and Simmons would probably have been best served best restricting his story to a single novel or expanding it to four or five novels. With BLACK HILLS Simmons has restricted his story to what he could tell in what novel allowing him to create a fascinating, involving novel that focuses on what Simmons does best as a novelist--tell a fascinating occasionally sprawling story but working within strict boundaries.

    Simmons continues to have a problem with his endings with this novel (something that has dogged a couple of his other recent novels) that, however, doesn't detract from the ride itself which is enjoyable.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Black Hills

    BLACK HILLS by Dan Simmons is an unique story of a young Indian boy, Paha Sapa who at the end of the Battle of Little Big Horn, touches the dying George Amstrong Custer. Custer's spirit enters Paha's body and we watch as Paha Sapa works on the Mount Rushmore project determined to sabotage and stop it. Simmons has written a excellent story with fascinating historical events and at first confused me with the time jumping back and but enthralled me with quite an enthralling character even if he was haunted by Custer's ghost.

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    Posted May 13, 2010

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    Posted July 25, 2011

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    Posted April 3, 2011

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    Posted February 10, 2013

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    Posted March 30, 2010

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