Code Talker: A Novel of the Navajo [NOOK Book]

Overview

A Noble Inquiry into Survival and Belonging

Navajo code talker and U.S. Marine, Talking Boy Gorman, lies wounded and alone as the WWII fight for Iwo Jima explodes all around. Pain drives his urgent need to discover why Vargas, his own bodyguard, tries to kill him. He remembers the frequently told stories of his great grandparents, Juanito and Hunts Quail, and how Juanito’s half-brother and mortal enemy murdered Hunts Quail just as she gave ...
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Code Talker: A Novel of the Navajo

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Overview

A Noble Inquiry into Survival and Belonging

Navajo code talker and U.S. Marine, Talking Boy Gorman, lies wounded and alone as the WWII fight for Iwo Jima explodes all around. Pain drives his urgent need to discover why Vargas, his own bodyguard, tries to kill him. He remembers the frequently told stories of his great grandparents, Juanito and Hunts Quail, and how Juanito’s half-brother and mortal enemy murdered Hunts Quail just as she gave life to his own grandfather on the Long Walk. In the morphine haze, Talking Boy hears these same old stories of the Navajo Nation during the U.S. army’s recent attempts to exterminate an entire people. He tries to imitate Juanito’s mountain cry, “I shall surrender never!” but knows that, by joining the marines, somehow, he’s already given up something sacred. In a letter in his mind he asks his sweetheart, Penny Joe, “how come I change flags so easily?” Talking Boy radios his Indian language code which helps save a nation at war and hears the sing-song words among flying bombs and bullets. He faces Varga’s revenge and unravels the mystery of family hate. In the end, he discovers the secret which drives him and all of the Navajo Code Talkers to war.

“With Code Talker Ivon Blum tells the largely unsung story of bilingual heroes and WWII—draftees of the much-maligned Navajo nation who used their own tongue to transmit top-secret battlefield messages to outwit Japanese forces. Blum’s compelling characters keep the action coming and the suspense high while weaving in Navajo history, life and spiritual beliefs.” Vicki Leon, author of 40 books of historical detection, including 4000 Years of Uppity Women and 2013’s The Joy of Sexus—.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940015825855
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/21/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 260
  • Sales rank: 614,542
  • File size: 440 KB

Meet the Author

Ivon Blum is a retired Los Angeles lawyer who has been researching and writing about the American Southwest for more than 20 years. His novel, River of Souls, about the Santa Fe Trail, was well received. He’s visited the Tewa and Navajo in their hometowns and fly-fished many of the rivers in New Mexico and Arizona. He’s a member of Western Writers of America. When he writes about Canyon del Muerto, Shiprock, or old Fort Defiance, he is no stranger.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite "Code Talke

    Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite

    "Code Talker" by Ivon Blum takes two critical periods of history and writes a parallel process novel. Native American Marine Talking Boy Gorman is trained as a Navajo code talker. His job is to confuse communications intercepted by the Japanese during World War II. As the story unfolds, the unit is at Iwo Jima on D-Day in February of 1945 and Talking Boy has just been seriously injured. This brings a series of flashbacks in which the demise of the Navajo Nation is occurring during a period of time in 1861 when the US Government attempted to eliminate the Native American population as a threat to an expanding nation. That part of the story is told through the eyes and ears of Juanito, a Mexican/Native American man who attempts to find his identity through going back to the tribe of a Native American woman he has rescued from potential slavery. As he remembers the stories told to him by his family, Talking Boy begins to understand the motivation of his ancestors who fought to the end rather than surrender a heritage that was theirs.

    For history buffs, "Code Talker" is a fascinating journey into a past in which a parallel process seems to occur between two time frames. Both Talking Boy and Juanito have unresolved issues as to where they belong and what appears to motivate them. At first, they react to hate and later, they come to realize they are but players in a greater drama. I loved the way Blum interwove the two stories and how Navajo history and spiritual beliefs come to life in the characters portrayed in the Navajo Nation. The book's messages will stay with you long after you close the book.

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