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The Holy Road Hardcover – October, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Eleven years after winning an Academy Award for the film screenplay of his novel Dances with Wolves, Blake offers this dramatic sequel to his tale of army Lt. John Dunbar and his life with the Comanche Indians on the Great Plains. It is now 1874, 11 years after Dunbar deserted from the army to live among the Comanche. He has married Stands with a Fist, the captive white woman raised by Indians, and they have three children. Dunbar has forsworn the white man's ways and is accepted as Dances with Wolves, a full-fledged Comanche warrior. These are hard times for the Plains Indians, however, as the advance of the white man results in war, misery and a gloomy future. When a party of white rangers attacks his village and kidnaps his wife and youngest child, Dances with Wolves goes after them in a wild attempt at rescue. Alongside his tale of Dances with Wolves's personal turmoil, Blake more forcefully tells of the conflicts among the Indians regarding whether to fight the white man or to make peace. Raids, ambushes, atrocities and bitterness on both sides can have only one conclusion, despite an Indian peace delegation that goes to Washington, D.C., to meet the Great White Father. This novel focuses less on Dances with Wolves and much more on the confused plight of the Indians, who cannot understand the white man's greed, duplicity and brutality. Familiar characters from the original novel reappear here in more important roles, making this a more powerful historical novel with a much wider scope. Blake's ability to evoke sadness and joy, action and emotion is as strong as ever, and the ending hits hard. (Sept. 11)Forecast: Fans of the movie version of Dances with Wolves, starring Kevin Costner, will fall enthusiastically upon this sequel, though once they've bought it, they may be taken aback by the high ratio of history to heroics. A Western reading tour will attract extra attention.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Blake's sequel to his Dances with Wolves (1988) begins 11 years after the movie of that book ended. The former Lieutenant Dunbar is living peacefully with Stands with a Fist and their three children in the Comanche (not Lakota, as in the movie; there is a large cultural difference) village of Ten Bears. Change is in the wind. There are even fewer buffalo and more whites, and the white man's Holy Road, the railroad, looms larger with every passing year. Eventually, Texas Rangers descend on Ten Bears, kill half the inhabitants, and carry off Stands with a Fist and her infant daughter. Dances with Wolves, Wind in His Hair, and Kicking Bird decide to fight, but Dances with Wolves knows that he alone can rescue his family, and Kicking Bird wonders whether the Comanche are doomed. The subsequent action is brisk, vividly depicted, and, much to Blake's credit, devoid of gratuitous gore and artificial happy endings. Librarians should recognize that the book's potential readership is likely to be a function of the movie; be prepared to point out its Comanche, not Lakota, milieu; and direct the interested to Douglas C. Jones' Season of Yellow Leaf (1983) and Gone Are the Dreams and the Dancing (1984), which deal (arguably better) with the same period of Comanche history. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Hrymfaxe (October 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972475346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972475341
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Diana Faillace Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
In this sequel to "Dances With Wolves", we take a long, deep and suffering breath as characters we have grown to love and admire face the unstoppable, disheartening and inevitable encroachment of Indian land by white settlers and soldiers. Blake tells his story from many, mainly Indian perspectives: Ten Bears, the senior member of the village, who although intrigued by the marvel of the spectacles that somehow "make his eyes young again",can never forego his free life on the Plains---- Smiles Alot, the young horse whisperer who through the tragedy that befalls the village, finds his place as a brave warrior and wins the girl of his dreams---Kicking Bird, the one Indian who wants to understand the whites, thinks white technological advancements may actually help his people---Wind-in-his-hair, born a warrior, he prefers to die free and wild rather than ever acquiesce to the whites and Dances With Wolves and his family--Stands With a Fist and their three children who have eschewed the ways of their cultural pasts for the communal mystery that embraces all the Commanches. Even though the outcome has been dictated by history, Blake does a great job of telling a story befitting the best campfire. He does not overlook the details, but rather allows us entry into each of the Indian minds --- we smile as an Indian delegation goes by train to Washington and one of the members has a panic attack as the train goes into a tunnel; we feel the pain of Dances with Wolves when white rangers intercept Stands With a Fist and try to reunite her with her blood relatives--we cringe along with Ten Bears as he discovers the way white men "make meat" and shutter when Smiles Alot and his family are carted off to the white man's jail.Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "hightides" on February 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
At every turn in this book, Blake let the reader's imagination take over. Instead of lengthy descriptions he let dialog, actions, and situations plant the pictures in my head. I felt incredibly sad at times, mad at times, amazed and informed at times. I don't know if this was intended but that's how it read. I really enjoyed it and though I was a little miffed in the beginning that Dances With Wolves wasn't the main 'goin concern', I quickly got over that. This book delt with the tribes, their different views with white relations, and their struggle for survival.
Feeling Kicking Birds gut-wrenching realization that his way of life was forever lost was sobering. There could be no happy ending to this story and the lack of embellishment to the popular character's deaths, I think, coincided with the white mans attitude toward the Indians. (They didn't give it a second thought.)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By coleman on November 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The first 40 pages were tough to get through because of the narritive style. After that the story flies. Illustrates vivdly the conflict between two cultures. Real literature. Not the fluff that is published so much today. Looking forward to the movie.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tracey Cramer-Kelly on January 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I think it would be challenging to write a sequel to a novel that was made into such a popular movie. I, like others, was a fan of the movie, and though it took me awhile, I picked up this book because of the movie.

Unlike Dances with Wolves, there is no 'main character' in this book. That is both a plus and a minus.

On the plus side, it allows Blake to share several very distinct points of view (from staunch resistance to resigned acquiescence) - which is probably a very accurate depiction of the internal struggles of the Native Americans (considering the history in play here). I was impressed by Blake's ability to do this.

On the minus side, it is difficult to empathize with any one character when you're jumping from one head to another every chapter. For me, the minus over-rode the plus - in the first story I cheered for Dances with Wolves as I got to know him and his deep struggles. Although I could feel respect toward the various characters in this novel, that strong bond between reader and character did not have a chance to form.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By dheisler on December 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Recently read the book "Dances with Wolves" and anticipated getting this book for Christmas. Blake does an excellent job of weaving the wisdom of Ten Bears, the leadership of Kicking Bird, the strength of Winds in his Hair, and the courage of Dances with Wolves into this historical fiction. I should add that he put a lot of effort into developing the the Indian women and their lifes as well. As I read the description of the Indian sorrow when they saw their brother, the buffalo, destroyed by the Buffalo hunters I was reminded of the sorrow we felt on Sept 11 as we looked on horror of that tragedy. I enjoy the way Blake was able to skillfully choose his words throughout the book and make the situation come alive for me.
Before I even started reading I knew it would be difficult to bring the book to a happy ending. Blake did an adequate job with this, although I might have liked the ending to have been developed a bit more. Highly recommend this book to anyone looking for insight into the Indian culture, and the struggles they faced as they begin to come to grippes with the loss of their way of life.
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