- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Perennial; Reprint edition (October 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060976241
- ISBN-13: 978-0060976248
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 356 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #762,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Reprint Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
A collection of 22 powerful short stories by Spokane Indian writer Alexie.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This work chronicles modern life on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Victor, through whose eyes we view the community, is strongly aware of Native American traditions but wonders whether his ancestors view today's Indians--mired in alcohol, violence, and an almost palpable sense of despair--with sympathy or disgust. In spite of the bleakness of reservation life, the text brims with humor and passion as it juxtaposes ancient customs with such contemporary artifacts as electric guitars and diet Pepsi. The author of two previous poetry collections, Alexie writes with grit and lyricism that perfectly capture the absurdity of a proud, dignified people living in the squalor, struggling to survive in a society they disdain. Highly recommended for all fiction collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/93.
- Dan Bogey, Clearfield Cty. P.L. Federation, Curwensville, Pa.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
However, Sherman Alexie gave a great interview in the New York Times book review last month, full of warmth and humor, and expressing a personal dislike of "Native American" books himself. He won my admiration and I decided he had earned my book purchase.
To me, this book seems to have a lot in common with Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried," in that it's fiction, but uses fiction to tell deeper truths than might have been possible with a strict work of nonfiction. Also, like "The Things They Carried," this is a collection of short stories, but with so much overlap in themes and characters and setting that it more-or-less tells a single story.
It's a story about childhood, and being an Indian (Alexie uses the word freely, so I'm going to use it here), and growing up on the "rez." And it's a story about a world drenched with alcohol and drug abuse. I found "The Trial of Thomas Builds-the-Fire" and "Jesus Christ's Half-Brother is Alive and Well on the Spokane Indian Reservation" to be the strongest pieces in the collection.
Some of the characters in some of these stories experience victory, but for the most part they're stuck in a difficult place, far from the centers of commerce and culture, jealous of their ancestors, bitter at their contemporaries, proud even when there don't seem to be any concrete accomplishments to be proud of. I've lived in areas with significant Native American populations, but I think my empathy is much deeper for having read this collection than it could possibly have been before.
This is the 20th Anniversary Edition, and it includes two introductory essays. One is an e-mailed dialog between Alexie and a fellow Native American Writer. This is forgettable. The other is Alexie's reminiscences about publishing his first collection of poems, and how against incredible odds it was picked up by the New York Times Book Review and given a glowing review, and how totally his life changed as a result. This collection was his follow-up to that small book of poems. I am glad this essay was included, to remind us that, for all the injustice and difficulties in this country, including those experienced by Indians living on reservations, sometimes America does deliver on its promise.