Customer Reviews for

Green Grass, Running Water

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2004

    An interesting look at a universal problem

    An interesting and funny book that explores the personal and cultural search for an identity. Through the juxtaposition of multiple stories one can see the culture clash that drives King¿s story forward. Lionel searches for his place in a world that is pulling him in two different directions. Not only does he have the familial pressure to stay true to his heritage, he also has the societal pressure to be assimilated into the white culture, is entire life is at constant war with each other. His aunt Norma continually tells him that he should be proud of his family and where he comes from yet Lionel works as a television salesman off the reservation where he was born and his family still lives. As well as Lionel there are a host of other characters that struggle with their place in the world. While some characters thrive on the stereotypes about Indian, such as Latisha and the Dead Dog Café, others hide and attempt to run away from their past and what is ultimately their future. Along with this idea of identity problems comes the story of the four characters that are Anglo and either have a native sidekick or attempt to live the native life. These four ¿men¿, Hawkeye, Robinson Crusoe, Ishmael, and The Lone Ranger, are out to fix the world and return it to the right path. The world has gone out of balance and so these four ¿men¿ are out to return the balance of the world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2003

    Green Grass, Ambitious and Pithy

    Rarely does an author dare to write such a serious novel in such a jocular style. Apart from the impressively ambitious manner in which King writes, the book deals with content that few mainstream Americans understand or feel comfortable with. Juxtapositioned with multiple narratives of highly amusing and colourful characters is the story of the native American peoples of the Midwest, and the gradual descent of their culture into the murky waters of the past. King's intimate knowledge of his subject allows him to paint a particularly vivid portrait of Native American life modern America. The thoughtful yet troubled Lionel searches for a direction in a world unsure of its place for him, while his roots on the reservation call him back to his people. Dr Hovaugh, Alberta,Babo, and a host of other eloquently designed characters grapple with the same existential and material problems that will lead them all eventually back to the core and theme of King's witty and experimental masterpiece, Green Grass and Running Water.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2002

    Laugh-out-Loud Fun Read !!

    First-rate comic novel about Lionel Red Dog, a Canadian Blackfoot stereo and TV salesman, his uncle Eli Stands Alone, and his sister Latisha (who runs the Dead Dog Cafe).' This summary was quirky enough to peak my interest so I got the book and now 2 days later I'm happy to report it was terrific ! The last book to make me laugh out loud was Catch 22...what a delight to have another to recommend to my friends ! If you enjoyed the off beat fun of the first 2 seasons of Northern Exposure on TV..this is the read for you. If the mistakes and implausible twists to a well known nursery tale that a 5-year old child can make in trying to tell you the story in her own words , can have you biting your lip in repressed giggles..this is the read for you!! If the sly play on words that a good episode of Frazier can be counted on to deliver is your cup of Chateau Thames Embankment...this is the read for you !!! Enjoy and spread the Word !!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2001

    Green Grass, Running Water -a delight to read!

    <P> Man has questioned the meaning of life since the beginning of time. This issue is complex as well as dynamic, and often times involves one questioning his or her identity. Thomas King displays his comprehension of this dilemma in ¿Green Grass, Running Water¿, by cleverly intertwining various worlds into one intricate tale. In this story, Canadian Indians struggle to define their identity while resisting white oppression. As each character undergoes hi or her own personal tribulations, an unnamed narrator insists on retelling the story of creation until it is told correctly with the assistance of coyote and four old Indians: Lone Ranger, Hawkeye, Robinson Crusoe and Ishmael. <P> As with any society, when two or more cultures attempt to co-exist side by side with one another they begin to transpose, often times leaving one culture more deeply influenced than the other. King utilizes this truth by using it as a tool to convey to the reader the true realities of life as an Indian. What makes the book a good literary piece is the fashion is which he applies it. Irony is the manner in which he implements this tool. The three old Indians who are ¿out to fix the world¿ (133) all possess names of characters found in western literature; characters whom were Anglo and either had an assistant who was non-Caucasian, or lived a glamorized indigenous lifestyle. The Lone Ranger had a Native American assistant Tonto, Hawkeye was an Anglo man whom adapted the Native American lifestyle, Robinson Crusoe had Friday and Ishmael befriended a South Sea Islander, Queequeg. <P>

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2000

    A great comedy by Thomas King

    ¿Green Grass Running Water¿ is a rather interesting book, that is written to enlighten and give humor to it¿s reader. The book keeps switching back and fourth between the stories main characters, and a kind of comic relief in which some other characters like ¿Coyote¿, and ¿that G O D¿, discuss about how everything came to be what it is today. But they can¿t seem to do it without disagreeing with each other. The book is mainly about a handful of people, who have their own desires and wants that seem to conflict a bit with their heritage and tradition. The characters are Native Americans and give an insight to how other people and cultures might think. For example there is one woman in this book named Alberta. She has two boyfriends, neither of whom know about the other and both are fairly serious. She can¿t decide which one she wants to keeps, and just decides that she¿s better off with both. The one thing that she really wants though is a child of her own. She doesn¿t care with whom or how she gets it she just wants one. She even tries to get herself pregnant with some guy off the street, but of course no one picks her up. Kind of a funny situation, and the way that she deals with it is even better. It¿s that kind of writing that makes a reader wonder if there are really people out there who think like that, and it just gives a whole new perspective on the world today. <P> A reader might think that Thomas King accomplishes his goal in writing this book. It seems that he wants to allow people from other cultures see what Native American is like, and how it is adapting to this whole new world. He¿s showing how old traditions and heritage¿s are being forgotten, and left in the dark, while the rest of society moves on. Though it¿s the same idea that all cultures seem to be following, it was interesting to view it from another. King does it in an amusing and fun-to-read way. It keeps the book flowing and easy to read. Defiantly a great book full of comedy that still allows the author get his point across.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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