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Ledfeather Paperback – August 10, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Fiction Collective 2; 1st Edition edition (August 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573661465
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573661461
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Set on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, and spanning 125 years, this is a mesmerizing tale of characters bound by the mystical ties of familial love, death wishes, and survival. Opening with the near death of Doby Saxon from exposure, the tale leads the reader backward and forward in Doby’s pathetic life, always returning to his futile attempt at killing himself by stepping in front of speeding cars near the Starr School. The scene shifts to 1884, and the letters written by an Indian agent on the Blackfeet Reservation to his wife—letters never sent, never opened. He witnesses the attempts of a 12-year-old Blackfeet boy to stone himself to death. The two stories are tied by characters and emotions, coincidence and magic realism—but ultimately by Blackfeet author Jones’ deft portraits of the seemingly hopeless life on this reservation, years apart but similar in myriad ways. His depiction of how small events eventually lead to apparently preordained outcomes, and how these outcomes come full circle over decades, is masterful. --Deborah Donovan

Review

"Stephen Graham Jones's Ledfeather unfolds like an automobile accident in slow motion. The novel's moments of drama expand continuously and seamlessly to include the historical past and to prefigure the present. He writes with a compelling sense of omnipresent danger and the fragility of human survival, and the reality he creates is riveting."
--Barry Lopez

More About the Author

Born and raised in Texas. In Boulder, Colorado now. Forty-two. Blackfeet. Into werewolves and slashers and zombies. Would wear pirate shirts a lot if I could find them. And probably carry some kind of sword. More over at http://demontheory.net or @SGJ72

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Roger on October 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Ledfeather" represents a breakthrough for author Stephen Graham Jones. It is his most perfect novel to date, exceeding even the brilliant "All the Beautiful Sinners." An overreaction? Perhaps. My strong reaction to this novel may have more to do with my growing understanding and appreciation of SGJ's prose in general rather than the story told in "Ledfeather." Most likely it's a combination of both.

Reading SGJ is challenging. His books do not make for easy reading. And thank you, Stephen, for that. Casual readers who gravitate to the bestseller list would probably not get past the first few pages of "Ledfeather" (or "All The Beautiful Sinners" and particularly not "Bird Is Gone: A Manifesto"). And what a shame, for the rewards to the reader who takes on the challenge are many.

I forgot who said it, though I suspect it was not just one individual, but reading is an active (as opposed to passive) activity. Reading someone like Dan Brown is akin to watching Zoolander (a movie I admit I like more than I should). Reading Stephen is more like watching a film by Bergman or Lynch or Tarkovsky, for example. And these three directors are typically not grouped together. The point I'm trying to make is that, like all great literature and film, the experience affects everyone differently, but it does affect them, not just entertain them. Meanings and linkages that are not readily apparent upon initial reading creep into the reader's minds later -- sometimes days, weeks or months later.

"Ledfeather." The novel opens with a blank page save a single sentence: "I remember you." Perfect for so many reasons, which, again, man not resonate until well after the last page is read. The main character -- Doby Saxon -- is SGJ's most memorable character to date.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Deal on August 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In what is either his latest or second-latest novel (see 'The Long Trial of Nolan Dugatti), Stephen Graham Jones' 'Ledfeather' is a powerful piece of prose, a work that burns into your mind. Concerning the young and luckless Doby Saxon, his suicide attempts and the whole of the Blackfeet people, Jones weaves a connection from the past right to Doby's pitiful existence, to the redemption he seeks. Beautifully written, 'Ledfeather' is Stephen Graham Jones most poignant work to date, and is highly recommended. Transcending genre, culture, this is a work about guilt and redemption.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Wilson on November 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ledfeather is another excellent work by Stephen Graham Jones. Although it begins abruptly, it will stay with you to the end and beyond.

Ledfeather, is a story of survival, but also a story of identity. A young Native American teen, Doby Saxton tries to discover his true identity outside the boundaries of the reservation that he lives on. Doby soon discovers that his identify is more complex than he thought. The novel is more complex than I thought it would be when I started to read this. I’m sure that we are all familiar with novels that expand upon the identity of a character over a given amount of time, however, Ledfeather is different. Jones quickly embeds another seemingly unrelated plot line into the novel, the inclusion of an Indian Agent 100 years before Doby. Through the struggle of the Indian Agent Dalimpere, readers start to understand the challenges that Doby encounters in his own time. It really makes you wonder if all struggles are eternal.

The plot itself is easy to understand despite the various folds, and incongruities that occur throughout the novel. The effect is there not to be flashy, but instead to make you think ‘outside of the box’. Sure, these tropes come up time and time again in modern fiction, however, Jones skillfully crafts Ledfeather into a novel that has great storytelling inside of a greater artistic medium; the novel. Outside of the plot line, the novel is a journey in itself. It changes in real time while reading it. For example, an event that took place earlier in the novel can suddenly come back with a bang in later chapters. Things that don’t seem significant at the beginning will suddenly become clearer near the end of the novel. The best part is that you don’t have to scrutinize the novel for meaning.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CandleFaces on August 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've thought this for some time now, - verily, whenever I inhale, skim or touch one of his works - but it must be written somewhere, anywhere, so why not here: existing now, alongside Jones, and reading his copious literary releases just as they're released, is to run alongside a literary master as he elbows the profligacy of independent authors and literary experimentalists away, galloping toward some wide, critically lauded level where he so rightly belongs. If it never happens, it is to be considered a crime against the reading public.

Ledfeather is astounding.

To see the features of the narrative face eventually figured into some logical, natural, glorious countenance bespeaking significance, utter significance, is an event with the wherewithal to rend me from that place where I'm a reader, reading, and lay me gently unto where the experience is inextricable from me. Astounding, just astounding.

The narrative sprawls through time and viewpoints, all of them congealing into a markedly succinct tale, one with the narrative that simply reaches in order to encapsulate the emotional quality, the characterization, the poetry in the vernacular and in the mundane, packing its cheeks with threading that, at times charmingly matted and lackadaisical, forms a consummate and beautiful tapestry.

Ledfeather is a dormant beast that, from the first page, rises toward full volume, length, glory.

For a man in no want of potency in his work, this is his most potent book.
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