Customer Reviews for

The Round House

Average Rating 4
( 189 )
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5 Star

(73)

4 Star

(59)

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(25)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich just won (like last week!) the

The Round House by Louise Erdrich just won (like last week!) the National Book Award for fiction. I had this book on my to-read list for a while, but once I heard it won a large award, I had to see what the fuss was about.

The Round House takes place in 1988 on an Nat...
The Round House by Louise Erdrich just won (like last week!) the National Book Award for fiction. I had this book on my to-read list for a while, but once I heard it won a large award, I had to see what the fuss was about.

The Round House takes place in 1988 on an Native American reservation in North Dakota. The reservation is shaken when Joe’s mother is brutally raped. Joe and his father, a reservation judge, work to figure out who committed the crime in order to prosecute. This is a good distraction for them, since Mom has completely checked out and spends all her time in her room with the blinds closed.

However, solving this crime is not as easy as it seems, because the story is a little more complicated.

Joe’s only thirteen, but while he and his best friends work through their teenage trials and tribulations, they also work to find answers that they will be able to live with.

The Round House was an amazing read. The story was moving, honest, and emotional. You were able to peek into Native American traditions, as well as some of their struggles with the U.S. government. This is definitely a book I recommend!

Thank you to Goodreads First Reads and Harper Collins for the copy of this book!

Thanks for reading,

Rebecca @ Love at First Book

posted by RebeccaScaglione on November 19, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommended

I'm new to Louise Erdrich, so I can't compare this work with any of her others, but I enjoyed it very much. The protagonist, a 13 year old boy named Joe, is wise beyond his years, and is an unforgettable character. I love the way Erdrich writes from her Native America...
I'm new to Louise Erdrich, so I can't compare this work with any of her others, but I enjoyed it very much. The protagonist, a 13 year old boy named Joe, is wise beyond his years, and is an unforgettable character. I love the way Erdrich writes from her Native American perspective, giving the reader greater insight and understanding of that culture, while at the same time writing a very good story that is both universal and timeless. The story is complex and disturbing in a way real life stories can be, and I appreciated the fact that the ending to this book left me asking questions instead of tying everything up neatly. I should also say that I found the writing to be exceptional, and I will definitely start reading her other books.

posted by 2945798 on November 19, 2012

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  • Posted November 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Round House by Louise Erdrich just won (like last week!) the

    The Round House by Louise Erdrich just won (like last week!) the National Book Award for fiction. I had this book on my to-read list for a while, but once I heard it won a large award, I had to see what the fuss was about.

    The Round House takes place in 1988 on an Native American reservation in North Dakota. The reservation is shaken when Joe’s mother is brutally raped. Joe and his father, a reservation judge, work to figure out who committed the crime in order to prosecute. This is a good distraction for them, since Mom has completely checked out and spends all her time in her room with the blinds closed.

    However, solving this crime is not as easy as it seems, because the story is a little more complicated.

    Joe’s only thirteen, but while he and his best friends work through their teenage trials and tribulations, they also work to find answers that they will be able to live with.

    The Round House was an amazing read. The story was moving, honest, and emotional. You were able to peek into Native American traditions, as well as some of their struggles with the U.S. government. This is definitely a book I recommend!

    Thank you to Goodreads First Reads and Harper Collins for the copy of this book!

    Thanks for reading,

    Rebecca @ Love at First Book

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I'm new to Louise Erdrich, so I can't compare this work with any of her others, but I enjoyed it very much. The protagonist, a 13 year old boy named Joe, is wise beyond his years, and is an unforgettable character. I love the way Erdrich writes from her Native American perspective, giving the reader greater insight and understanding of that culture, while at the same time writing a very good story that is both universal and timeless. The story is complex and disturbing in a way real life stories can be, and I appreciated the fact that the ending to this book left me asking questions instead of tying everything up neatly. I should also say that I found the writing to be exceptional, and I will definitely start reading her other books.

    9 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Booklover

    Outstanding, muli~layered and a very good story.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2012

    Don't waste your $$

    This was about the dumbest thing I ever read. It could have been alot better, but everything was so disjointed and skipped around. Also it was a real put-off the way nothing any of the characters said was put in quotation marks.

    Very poorly written...wasted two days trying to slog my way through it. It sucked.

    6 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

    Highly recommend

    This novel is another great piece of literature from Louise Erdrich. I learn so much from her while being spellbound. She knows how to tell a story in the most compelling manner. While educating me about the modern day struggles of Native Americans,she never fails to show me clearly that our common humanity bonds us regardless of nationality of socioeconomic differences. I remain a devoted fan.

    6 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Good Louise Erdrich

    If you haven't read her, this is both a good introduction to her and a bit bewildering. Her writing is amazing - the first sentence will grab you. But some of the references to American Indian history, law and folklore may sail over your head. Also, as before, there are characters re -appearing from earlier novels. Also, if you don't read the New Yorker, you won't necessarily realize that some of the embedded "stories" were in fact short stories previously published. All of that being said - READ IT. She is an amazing writer. She narrates stories that all Americans should know about. And then go back and start with "Love Medicine," her first and go forward. You will relish every minute!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    Intricate, enjoyable, and entertaining story, though dealing wit

    Intricate, enjoyable, and entertaining story, though dealing with social issues that are uncomfortably challenging. Issues are not Anglo-European nor Native American, but human issues. Not all loose ends are tied, but that is how it should be. - Doctor Blue

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2012

    More great writing

    Great plot...and of course her unique way of delivery.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2013

    I loved this book

    I don't usually identify with stories about preteen boys, but this is story for anyone with a heart or conscience. Don't skip the Afterword. Knowing that this a story that seems to have no end, makes it that much more poignant.

    It is so well written that the characters will stay in your mind as if you are remembering them as real, not invented. This is a novel but will stay with you as if you lived it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2012

    Absolutely wonderful!

    No wonder she has been recently nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for this book - her third time being nominated for writing.

    The book is written through the viewpoint of a young teenager, but is totally identifiable.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    On a reservation in North Dakota, a woman is brutally raped and

    On a reservation in North Dakota, a woman is brutally raped and beaten and nearly killed, but escapes her attacker. What follows throughout this story is a sorting-out, a coming-to-terms, and a desire for justice.

    The story is narrated by Joe Coutts, a courageous thirteen-year-old Ojibwe boy living on the reservation. His family is “wealthy” by reservation standards, with a nice, but modest, home and plenty to eat. His father Antone is a tribal judge, and his mother Geraldine is something of a tribal genealogist-- it’s her job to keep track of family lines and name changes and the like.

    Geraldine is the woman raped at the beginning of the story, and her son Joe must deal with the feelings this rouses in him, and must attempt, along with his father, to repair their fractured family.

    The extended family consists of Geraldine's sister Clemence, who lives nearby with their father Mooshum (Joe's grandfather), and her husband Edward. Also Geraldine and Clemence's brother Whitey lives on the reservation, and along with ex-stripper Sonja he runs a gas station on the reservation.

    Young Joe has the emotional support of his group of friends. Cappy Lafournais is his loyal best friend, and like a brother to him. Zack and cousin Angus round out the group (Angus lives in abject poverty on the res, and it isn't uncommon to see him sporting a black eye or bruised cheek.)

    This story shines a spotlight on the inability to prosecute many crimes committed against Native Americans, due to the convoluted maze of laws in regard to Natives, reservation grounds vs. non-reservation property, and who is even considered to be Native American (which has turned into a complicated formula of what percent you are this or that.)

    One thing I had difficulty with at times is the author's writing style. At times it is very clipped and staccato, which is always a bit of a put-off for me. And the dialogue doesn’t use quotations, which I always find a bit confusing, as it makes it difficult for me to discern dialogue from thought from narrative. But she definitely has a way with words, and at times I felt my mind say, "Oh!" at the way she expressed something.

    Overall I found it to be a powerful story, original and unembellished.

    My final word: Part mystery and part family drama, it’s a tragic story, rife with poverty, abuse, alcoholism, death. But overshadowing it all is a sense of hope, of a people who hold a fragile grasp on all of the good that life has to offer, who suck the marrow from life. There is hope in this young boy Joe.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    Could not finish. TERRIBLE

    Not a single redeeming quality. Waste of time and money. Terrible terrible terrible. Wish i could give it zero stars.

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2013

    Not my favorite Louise Erdrich book, but an okay read.

    Not my favorite Louise Erdrich book, but an okay read.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    Excellent

    A very moveing glimpse into a little known part of American society.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    A pretty good read

    I enjoyed the book, thoughbat times it was very slow. Some of the information seemed endless and unncessary and took constraint not to skip it.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    an easy read that keeps you wanting to know the end

    Living in North Dakota and knowing of the Native American culture in the area, I wanted to read this book. It didn't give me the insight I thought it would into the culture but instead I found an easy book to read that kept me wanting to know how it ended. The author paints a clear picture of her characters and the book could have been longer to give the characters more depth. I first heard of the book as it was highlighted in the Whole Living Magazine and then I heard about it on NPR, a found it to be a sign that I should read it, I am glad that I did.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Good story, and it held my interest. Only complaint is that quot

    Good story, and it held my interest. Only complaint is that quotation marks were not used for dialogue, which could be VERY confusing at times The story is told in first-person, so if the dialogue was in first-person too, it was difficult to know whether it was another character speaking, or just the main character narrating.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Discovering a new, powerful voice, this was my first read of Ms.

    Discovering a new, powerful voice, this was my first read of Ms. Erdrich's work. I was instantly struck by her ease in conveying the setting and the characters on the Ojibwe Reservation. Having spent many years with Native folks from several different Nations in our family business, her writing brought me right back into those memories with an astounding accuracy. She also has created some of the most accurate, moving portraits of teen age boys that I have ever read. Putting thoughtful, good people into the heart of impossible evil and telling the story of their journey to re-discover themselves and some sense of justice, brought this reader serious lessons, but not devoid of humor, high spirits or joy along the way. She captures the spirit that sustains Native people caught between cultural pressures and helps clarify to the rest of America, how far we still need to come to provide equal protection under the law. She has also revealed a great deal of her own heart in the process. She is a first rate storyteller not to be missed. Once I read a bit about the author, I realized that there was another spirit alive in her work. It seemed to me to be the same spirit that had a group of traditional Lakota women find the courage to occupy Wounded Knee back in the early 1970s to protest what passed for justice in Pine Ridge. Ms. Erdrich's story reminded me of the power, humor and strength in another Ojibwe from Turtle Mountain. Leonard Peltier

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2014

    Extremely well written and compelling. Though I struggled throug

    Extremely well written and compelling. Though I struggled through some parts because of the vulgar and obscene
    conversations and scenes, the book was a decent read and I enjoyed the tragic ending. Would I read it again?
    Probably not--the language and scenes verge on being extremely erotic and disturbing. 

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  • Posted September 4, 2014

    Of Little Interest

    I had difficulty understanding the victim, the mother, and the villain, not telling. Both seemed to have conflicting motives and their personalities seemed off. I had difficulty understanding and therefore relating to the characters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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