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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shook-mani-took-tonka Oh wachi
The Costner movie based on this book is one of my favorite movies ever, so it was only natural for me to pick this book when I saw it. As most would agree, the movie is NEVER as good as the book, so I quickly surmised that, since the movie was fabulous, the book must reach vast unknown limits of greatness, right? Well, not exactly. Michael Blake's writing of DANCES WITH...
Published on April 22, 2006 by Monty Rainey

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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A simple tale that became a great movie
It's a bit hard to believe that Kevin Costner turned such a simply written book into such a wonderfully sophisticated film. But that's exactly what happened.

Michael Blake's book reads as though it was written for a junior high and high school audience. That doesn't stop it from being a well-done tale of life on the prairie in 19th-century America, although...
Published on July 5, 2005 by William Sugarman


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A simple tale that became a great movie, July 5, 2005
This review is from: Dances with Wolves (Paperback)
It's a bit hard to believe that Kevin Costner turned such a simply written book into such a wonderfully sophisticated film. But that's exactly what happened.

Michael Blake's book reads as though it was written for a junior high and high school audience. That doesn't stop it from being a well-done tale of life on the prairie in 19th-century America, although why Costner made his Indians Sioux instead of Commanche as written by Blake is beyond me.

Aside from that difference, Costner obviously followed Blake's novel almost to the letter; I felt as if I was seeing the movie all over again. But Blake's writing style is something of a disappointment. After seeing the movie I was expecting a much more detailed story of John Dunbar's transformation into Dances With Wolves - something on the order of James Clavell's "Shogun". If you picked this book up looking for information on how Native Americans lived back in their glory days I suggest you look elsewhere. But if you're looking for a well done Western this is the book for you.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shook-mani-took-tonka Oh wachi, April 22, 2006
By 
Monty Rainey (New Braunfels, TX) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dances with Wolves (Hardcover)
The Costner movie based on this book is one of my favorite movies ever, so it was only natural for me to pick this book when I saw it. As most would agree, the movie is NEVER as good as the book, so I quickly surmised that, since the movie was fabulous, the book must reach vast unknown limits of greatness, right? Well, not exactly. Michael Blake's writing of DANCES WITH WOLVES is certainly a good book and a wonderful story, it is Costner's ability to turn this story into such a brilliant production that is the real achievement here.

I have found that normally, if I like a movie and read the book afterwards, it serves to enhance what I saw on film. In this case, however, the book had somewhat the opposite effect for me. There are differences between the two that only seem to diminish Costner's work. A couple of things I knew already, such as Costner's use of the Indian Chief, Ten Bears, who I knew to have been a great Comanche, not a Sioux.

Well, as it turns out, the book is written to that effect. The Indians befriended by Lt. Dunbar and portrayed in the movie as Sioux, are actually Comanche. Now I can understand the alteration here, for a couple of reasons. First of all, though most Americans are notoriously ignorant of our rich history, for the most part, people do know the Comanche were the badest of the bad and it would be an increased degree of difficulty to portray the Comanche in a positive light as being rather passive and wanting only to be left alone to live in peace. Though the Sioux were hardly any more docile, their reputation is certainly not nearly as notorious. Also, for cinematic reasons, it's certainly understandable that the domain of the northern Sioux is a more picturesque backdrop that the barren plains of the Southern Comanche. Also, the Sioux language of the movie has a more poetic feel to it and is somewhat more widely recognized than the rather obscure Shoshonean spoken by the Comanche.

I hope I haven't given the wrong impression here. This is a very enjoyable read, though it is a rare occasion where the book was not nearly as enjoyable, for me at least, as was the movie.

Monty Rainey

[...]
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Book!, December 2, 2003
This review is from: Dances with Wolves (Mass Market Paperback)
"Dances With Wolves",by Michael Blake, reveals an exciting story about the war for territory between the Native Americans and Settlers. If you enjoy stories about the West this book is an excellent choice. It depicts the frontier from the viewpoint of Native Amerians. Moreover the reader is invited to experience the constant pressure that was placed on the Native Americans by the Settlers. The main character, Lieutenant John Dunbar, who was originally sympathetic to the early Settlers, joins a Native American tribe. This shift is what makes this story so unusual and unique, because the antagonists in the book become the protagonists. In the beginning of the story the author depicts Indians as the antagonists, when the warriors from Pawnee tribe kill Timmons, Lieutenant Dunbar's escort. The reader gets an impression that all of the Native Americans are evil and cruel savages. However further into the book, Indians become the protagonists when the Comanche make peace with Dunbar, and they are described as victims of colonization.
The love story between Dunbar and "Stands With A Fist",a unique Comanche white woman, makes the book even more interesting. This book is a great example of American literature and I would recommend it to everyone.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Moving, deeper than the movie, very visual, July 11, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Dances with Wolves (Paperback)
Should be on your summer list. Even though the movie did a great job of picking up the breadth of this huge story, the book is better at getting all the details. Plus, it has plenty of heart, fast action, romance, adventure, to keep anyone interested.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Switching Over, December 5, 2003
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Dances with Wolves (Paperback)
The book Dances with Wolves is a extremely well writen story about a veteran of the civil war who is trying to get on with his life. During the story Lietenant Dunbar is trying to get past all of the savage actions that he was forced to proceed with during the most terrible war America has ever seen. He is shipped out to an abandoned post on the frontier where he is supposed to be fighting the indians but instead he decides to make friends with them. He decides to be friends with them because he is tired of fighting. In the end he becomes one of the tribe and has a nice wife who was also adopted by the tribe. In the end all he wanted is to live freely and peacefully. This is one of the best written books that I have read in a lon time, it keeps the readers interest which can be a very hard task at times.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like this book., December 2, 2003
This review is from: Dances with Wolves (Mass Market Paperback)
The book, "Dances With Wolves," written by Michael Blake is a wonderful novel. This story is about the life of one person, Lieutenant John Dunbar. He is anxious to be a good U.S.Soldier. After the Civil War, he arrives at an abandoned army post, where he finds himself alone. The author, Michael Blake,depicts Dunbar as a strong human character,who despite his surrounding circumstances, has lived productively and organized his week-days. Later he becomes friends with an Indian tribe and soon he finds his love. My favorite part of the story is the development of the main character, because the reader is gradually introduced to a dynamic, handsome individual with a strong soul. When I read this book I learned about the life and traditions of Native Americans. I like books which make me smile, laugh and sometimes want to cry. I really would recommend this book for people, who are sixteen and older.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dances with Wolves, very good, September 5, 2009
By 
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I requested Dances with Wolves because I wanted to see how the author originally developed the story line. The book was just like the movie with a few extra details. It explained some aspects of the movie that, while interesting, would not have added greatly to the enjoyment of the film. Overall I enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it to others that like western stories.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, September 13, 2005
By 
M. Perkins "vtmom13" (Bennington County, Vermont United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dances with Wolves (Hardcover)
What a joy this book was to read. "Dances with Wolves" is such a wonderful story, and is so well told in this book, that I feel perfection can be applied to it. My only wish is that I had found and read the book, before I ever saw the movie. As is usually the case, Hollywood did not do justice to the story.

Michael Blake has brought to life a time in our history that so fragile, and so very beautiful. He showed us that people are just that, people. He gave the faults, and strengths, the loves and hates, the understandings and prejudices that belong to the human race to both the whites and well as the Indians in this book, and just plan showed that these people also lived.

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It should perhaps become required reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Story about the West, December 2, 2003
By 
Ina Znak (Rochester, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dances with Wolves (Mass Market Paperback)
Do you enjoy stories about American history? The book, "Dances With Wolves," written by Michael Blake is a spectacular story. This story is instructive. The author illustrates how important it is to change one's identity in order to survive in a different culture. The overall tone of the book is encouraging. This is an honest tale that describes relationships between an American soldier and Native Americans. The Comanches, a Native American tribe, are depicted here as real people. Readers gain access to the life of the main character through his intimate thoughts and feelings. This is also a great love story. I would recommend this book to teens and adults who are interested in stories about the Old West, American history, and good old fashioned adventure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This is great book, December 2, 2003
By 
This review is from: Dances with Wolves (Mass Market Paperback)
"Dance with Wolves", written by Michael Blake, is a famous book. It's a wonderful book because it explains some aspects of Native American History. It is great read because it shows the life of both settlers and Native Americans in the past. The book reveals the advantages and disadvantages of life. For example, if you lose a war you feel sorry, but if you win you feel great and powerful.

John Dunbar is strong man. He made a brave decision by accepting to live with the Comanche. His decision impacted his life and his survival. I believe that this book is interesting to read, and I also liked the movie. It makes you think - if you were faced with similar problems in life - how would you survive?
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Dances with Wolves
Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake (Mass Market Paperback - August 12, 1988)
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