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Most Helpful Favorable Review
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
Imagination meets Ethos
The prose is brillantly composed in a manner that will quickly engage the reader. If you love short stories, then you will love this. If you hate short stories, this will take some getting use to but you'll quickly see the payoff.
Also, the last two stories included in the collection make the overall novel all the more poignant.
posted by AK95 on October 10, 2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.
I think it'll stay with me
That glimpse into another world, the world of the Spokane Indian Reservation, is a lot of what kept me reading, but I wondered at times when Alexie was giving us a look behind the stereotypes or playing with them. Especially given the touches of magical realism, I found myself wishing at times this was straight memoir and not (as admitted in the introduction) autobiographically inspired fiction.
This is a very bleak book--so much of it dealt with drunkenness and alcoholism and the self-destructive behavior it engenders, sprinkled with historical grievance and the experience of present-day bigotry and a terrible poverty. The most upbeat tale in the book revolved around a terminally ill cancer patient: "The Approximate Size of My Favorite Tumor." Two of the other standouts for me were "Fun House," about a women who finally has had it with the behavior of her husband and son, and "Indian Education." Here's a quote from that story that stuck with me:
"The farm town high school I play for is nicknamed the "Indians," and I'm probably the only actual Indian ever to play for a team with such a mascot. This morning I pick up the sports page and read the headline: INDIANS LOSE AGAIN. Go ahead and tell me none of this is supposed to hurt me very much."
I think that's a passage that captures a lot about the book. Clean, spare style, sometimes lyrical, spiked with a dark humor.
I find myself dithering about the rating here. I don't know if it's a book that I can say I enjoyed, or one where the individual stories impressed--I think it's one where the whole is more than its parts, but the repeated (and repetitive) notes of hopelessness ground me down. However, the book did make me think and a time or two broke my heart a little, and I think it'll stay with me.
posted by Lisa_RR_H on May 31, 2010Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 23, 2007
Bad to worse
This book is primarily about the worst thing that could happen to you if you lived on a reservation. The truth is that this is a small and isolated case and by no means represents the whole Indian population on a reservation
0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.