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Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder 2nd Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 268 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1577312338
ISBN-10: 1577312333
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Non-Indian theologian and editor Nerburn attempts to "bridge the gap between the world into which I had been born and the world of a people I had grown to know and love" by narrating the fascinating toils and truths of Dan, a 78-year-old Lakota man.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Readers looking for another red-man-departs-wise-words-to-white-man-to-lessen-white- man's-guilt will be disappointed by the tone and content of this work. Realists wanting a truthful, fiery, and, ultimately, cleansing dialogue between Indian and white will definitely want it. Nerburn reluctantly agrees to a meeting with Dan, a Lakota elder who asks him to construct a book from a motley collection of notes, diatribes, and political and social commentaries written over seven decades and kept in an old shoe box. Void of the hypocrisy rampant in many books that have whites adopting the ways of "the great spirit," Nerburn exposes the real truth, which whites are unwilling to face: that in "the hunger to own a piece of the earth, we had destroyed the dreams and families of an entire race." Joined by a dog named Fatback, Dan gives Nerburn the ride of his life as they cross the vast Midwest in Dan's Buick. Along the way, Dan alternates between rage and melancholy, and Nerburn between shame and confusion. Nerburn unintentionally touches nerve after nerve and elicits an almost unbearable flood of anguish and despair. The truth revealed in this book will be difficult for most whites to face, but it is painfully necessary if healing is ever to begin. Kevin Roddy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library; 2nd edition (August 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577312333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577312338
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I love this book, this story, perhaps more than any other that I own. It is that moving! All my life I have had a deep heartache about the destruction of our Mother Earth at the hands of industrial humans in general, and the destruction of this land we call America at the hands of the European invaders in particular. This book delves deeply into this wound, brings tears of pain and anguish, and ultimately brings about some healing as well. I think it is a GREAT combination of Kerouac and Black Elk Speaks. It is beautifully written and hard to put down. I have read the book many times by now and have given copies to friends. Rumor has it there's a movie version in the works. I love this book so much I'm not sure I'd want to see what Hollywood might do to it! The book is enough, anyway.

UPDATE 15 years later: Well like anybody with a mind and a pulse I have evolved, and so I read my review here from the year 2000 with a little embarrassment. I actually bought the book when it first came out in 1994 and fell into its beautiful depths instantly. It became - and it remains! - a classic book in my library. In the now twenty years since I first read it I have of course read a lot of other books and have had my orientations and horizons challenged and broadened. Maybe I would have outgrown this book like so many others, but that is not the case. Neither Wolf Nor Dog stands the test of time for me. It is still very valid and deeply moving.
So far as the movie notion goes: as we speak ( so to speak!) it is in production, and from what I have seen on Facebook it looks very good indeed. I think Kent Nerburn's story is being treated with respect and with illuminating creativity. I contributed to its Kickstarter campaign and look forward to its release - sometime later this year, I think!
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Format: Paperback
Review written by Russell P. Loven and Juanita Loven:
Once I finally got into this book, it was hard to put it down. Nerburn's style is exciting and easy reading. The author rides around with an "old" (elder) indian resulting in a very thought provoking oral history. The old man trusted few white people, but it is evident that he trusted Nerburn. His comments regarding the white man's treatment of Indians is very dramatic, philosophical and revealing.
While I did not expect to enjoy this book, I quickly found it held my attention to the end. An excellent oral history about the sobering and sad violence inflicted upon the Native Americans. It was moving, powerful and forcefully forced me to think about (and reevaluate) this sad chapter in American history. It should be read by all students of American history. I learned more about the the feelings held by Native Americas (about whites) from this book than from all the other American History accounts studied in my entire life (age 68)."
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Format: Paperback
I'm Lakota from Paha Sapa. I think the people who want to know if this book is true are all white people. I don't care if everything in it happened. It is true. That's how we were raised. We tell stories that have our truth. I think Dan taught Nerburn this. There are clues. It is very smart like an Indian. Nerburn couldn't make these things up. There is an Indian telling this story. I think the old man was a trickster. He knew how to make wasichu crazy. Nerburn did a good job. This is how the world looks to us. You should read this book.
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Format: Paperback
Join Fatback the dog, Kent Neburn the author and Dan a Lakota elder as they take a ride through the past, present and perhaps even the future. Meet people like Grover who makes a mean boloney sandwich but finds the white man's world wanting.

A hard hitting book that spares no punches, and takes no prisoners, don't read this book if you are looking for spiritual enlightenment and the way of the Native American.

Because there is no englightenment to be found and the "way" of the so called Native American has all but been wiped out by the presence of the greedy, self serving white man who is now looking for redemption but is unable to find it no matter how hard he/she looks.

"It's not so much about talking" Dan tells Kent one day but rather it is about listening to the world to the voices which are not necessarily human voices, something that white people aren't very good at, past, present or future.

And the land, who owns the land, is it the white man, is it the people who were there before them, or is it "just there" for everyone to use and respect.

I have to admit this book both enchanted and shocked me, enchanted me because it was so fresh and original, shocked me because it told of words that most people are afraid to say but know are true even whilst indignantly denying them.

I can see some people disliking this book, mainly because there is no forgiveness to be found in any of its many pages and this brutal honesty is what makes this book have teeth that bite.

I mean how can anyone ask to be forgiven for ripping up the land, taking children away from their parents, forcing Christianity down people's throats, creating reservations and making a mockery of the past as it REALLY was?

A worthy read for those with strong stomachs and an acceptance that the evil that men do, does not necessarily just have a foothold in the past.
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