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Love Medicine: Newly Revised Edition (P.S.) Paperback – May 5, 2009
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From the Back Cover
The stunning first novel in Louise Erdrich's Native American series, Love Medicine tells the story of two families, the Kashpaws and the Lamartines. Written in Erdrich's uniquely poetic, powerful style, it is a multi-generational portrait of strong men and women caught in an unforgettable drama of anger, desire, and the healing power that is love medicine.
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Top Customer Reviews
At this point, I have read approximately 15 Native American works/novels, including Momaday, Silko, Welch, Dorris, Alexie and Sa--and I think I must say that Erdrich's "Love Medicine" tops them all. It is well thought out...almost too well thought out.
It is funny and disturbing intermittently, but most of all, it is about families, rivals, and life. It is about connections.
Forget the fact that it is a "Native American Novel" and concern yourself only with the fact that it is one of the most engaging stories in contemporary fiction.
Warning: one must be on one's toes while reading this! Snooze for two paragraphs and you may be sorry. Much like Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich is a very deliberate writer...everything is written for a reason and you had best believe that every little detail is connected to something. This is a book you will insist upon reading at least twice.
P.S. Beware! There are two different versions of this novel out there...one of which is missing four valuable chapters. Before buying or borrowing, make sure your table of contents has "The Island," "Resurrection," "The Tomahawk Factory," and "Lyman's Luck." -Having read the more complete version of "Love Medicine," I absolutely cannot fathom doing without these four chapters. Avoid depriving yourself if possible.
Native American contemporary history is pretty bleak. It's a story of almost complete annihilation, isolation, broken promises and misguided compromises. Even using the phrase "Native American" in a way is defeatist- even 100 years ago, people knew tribes as being distinct, having very different ideas about life and how to live it. Now, there are so few of them left that we group them all together and are completely unaware of the nuances that separate one tribe from another.
Louise Erdrich writes about all this, but indirectly, through a series of short stories interwoven with each other to form a novel. We meet so many characters, all of them flawed, none of them very likeable and yet we can empathize with every one. There is so much sadness in this book- so much lost potential, so much despair, so much waste, often symbolized by bouts of extreme drunkenness and violence.Read more ›
The first chapter describes June Kashpaw, Chippewa mother and wife, off the Reservation walking down the boom-town of Williston, North Dakota, thinking of taking a bus home to the reservation. She meets a man at a bar, has a brief liaison, and then freezes to death walking home in a snow storm. The stories following cascade and are held together by her death, how her children, husband (Gordie Kashpaw), and others on the reservation are touched by the murder.
The story meanders in a unstructured way through short stories - interconnected - but could easily stand on their own. There are 18 Chapters in the expanded version. Characters from Chippewa and Mixed Blood families talk in mostly first person and connected through relatives or lovers over decades. Each chapter starts with a new character telling a piece of the interconnected story from their viewpoint. It takes awhile to understand which character is talking. The timeline is choppy and hops back and forth from the 1930's to the 1980's. It would have been good to have a "family tree" at the end of the book to see more clearly the interrelationships. However, I feel guilty saying that as the Chippewa don't believe in human measurement - of numbers, time, inches, feet, or quantification - as they are "all just plays for cutting nature down to size." The Chippewa feel the "grand scheme of nature is not ours to measure.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The writing style was boring. I wouldn't recommend this book to others.Published 2 months ago by Dona Parus
Pretty good. Love Medicine was required reading for my college english class.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Erdrich interweaves the life stories of members of three native american families in a fantastic way. Keeps you wanting more...Published 2 months ago by Aunt Barbara
Her ability to describe people and situations is uncanny and definitely not boring. This is the fourth Erdrich novel I've read and I can't wait to read my next. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Anny G.
Alrhough it can get confusing because it jumps around a bit from time to tune, it's still well worth reading!Published 4 months ago by Jennifer A Juhrend
Nothing held back in this book. I love the honesty. It's a definite must read!Published 5 months ago by Shelley C.