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Green Grass, Running Water Unknown Binding – January 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co.; First Edition. edition (1993)
  • ASIN: B001JYO6LU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Thomas King is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter, and photographer. His many books include the novels Medicine River; Green Grass, Running Water; Truth and Bright Water; two short story collections, One Good Story, That One (Minnesota, 2013) and A Short History of Indians in Canada (Minnesota, 2013); nonfiction, The Truth About Stories (Minnesota, 2005); and the children's books A Coyote Columbus Story, Coyote Sings to the Moon, Coyote's New Suit, and A Coyote Solstice Tale. King edited the literary anthology All My Relations and wrote and starred in the popular CBC radio series, The Dead Dog Café. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award (2003), and was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2004. He has taught Native literature and history and creative writing at the University of Lethbridge, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Guelph and is now retired and lives in Guelph, Ontario.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to all adult readers!
Jez Layman
Throughout this Theatre of the Imagination Mr.King proves that he is an Engaging Literary Voice to be Respected and Treasured for Generations to come.
Ancient One
I liked the characters and their development, and the many sub-plots are woven together remarkably well.
Dan Mitchell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
... I'd make them all read this book. I discovered it in my Native American Fiction class during my senior year at Yale, and in my four years as a literature major, I'd never read anything better. Thomas King is a genius. He is also, according to my professor, a man-- a fact that my entirely female class refused to believe after reading the brilliantly satirical reworkings of phallocentric myths and legends that he intersperses throughout the book. His characters are hilariously and achingly real; his prose transcends the written word in its effortless use of oral storytelling methods. If you're still reading my stumbling attempts to convey the brilliance of this book, please stop immediately and buy it. Buy a few copies, because you'll want to share this with your friends, and they won't want to give it back.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "spaceprincess12" on October 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a brilliant, if slightly confusing, satire on the way white-christian-capitalist culture in North America has mistreated the aboriginal people. Blending reality and legend, this story pokes fun at the Canadian and American governments, Hollywood, and Christianity, through the lives of several Blackfoot people, both on and off the reserve, and the meddling of four ancient Indians and the trickster-god Coyote. This is a story that makes you think, while tears of laughter are rolling down your cheeks.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
Halfway through "Green Grass.." , I stopped and read it from the start again. I've read everyone from Alexie to Welch and this is simply and undoubtedly the very best novel (or fiction) I've read about native americans yet. Actually, I think it's the best novel I've read in a decade at least. with Terrific characters and dialogue, a wicked sense of humor and a poignant sense of the human condition, this book is both mischievous and brilliant, capturing the trickster spirit, and the humor of modern day native american people. I can't wait for King's next book...And where is it, anyway?
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
This kind of book I had never read before. I liked the way King tries to tell you something about Native American culture without getting boring. Actually my stomache cramped from the laughing after almost every 2 pages. On the other hand the book is not only comic but it has also its serious side. The book deals with native american families who have to find out for themselves who they are and what their culture means to them. I can advise evryone to read this book and if you don't like it, go see a doctor or something!
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J. G. Heiser on March 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a great romp. King has an almost Wodehousian sense of comic coincidence, but with a subtler and rarer touch. Although it is a hilarious book, the discovery of yet another connection between the novel's converging story lines is just as likely to elicit an 'ah ha' as a belly laugh. It's funny, but humor is applied with some depth.
King pokes fun at his characters and their foibles, but he always does it with a certain sense of reverance. "Tomorrow, he would begin to floss." he says of one character when at the age of 40 he decides to finally do something meaningful with his life. It takes courage in a post modern, politically correct world, but maybe laughing with someone about their own cultural baggage is a sincere and accessible form of respect.
I have to point out that from a Christian perspective, parts of the book could be viewed as sacrilegious. Although they are the heroes of the book, perhaps some aboriginal Americans would also consider his reworking of mythological stories as being inappropriate--I cannot say. I choose instead to interpret this in cultural instead of religious terms. One of the major themes of the book is the oppressiveness of western cultural imperialism and its affect on the remaining indigenous population. Its hard to do that without taking a poke or two at the religion that has so frequently been used as an excuse for non-religious cultural and economic activities.
King is insightful and droll--no gender, race, or occupation is completely safe from his biting wit and sense of the absurd. A review on the book cover describes his similarity to Twain, and I think the comparison is apt. Like Twain, the dialogue is snappy, colloquial and believable. The story is funny, engrossing and challenging. I think Twain would have liked it and recommended it. I do too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Shepard on October 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an inventive, magical book for anyone who knows, or wishes to know, American Indian ways of seeing the world. Rather than ponderously attempting to explain the Indian mind, King simply puts it on display: storytelling, puckish humor, memory, quiet persistence and all. Through that Indian lens, the book examines the interactions of men and women, white and Indian attitudes, modern and traditional ways, Hollywood and real history.

It is understandable that those not familiar with Indians might find the book disjointed or hard to follow or less laugh-out-loud hilarious than it is. Much of my enjoyment came from seeing all my Mohican aunts, uncles and cousins -- and the Blackfeet who is married to one of them -- reflected in King's Blackfeet characters.

Nonetheless, for those who know -- or take the time to understand -- Indian ways of thinking, this is a simply wonderful book, a more polished companion to the delightful movie "Smoke Signals" and the Sherman Alexie short stories in "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" from which that film is drawn.
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