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The Plague of Doves: A Novel (P.S.) Paperback – May 12, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Louise Erdrich brings together the great silent expanses of the northern plains, the uneasy truce between White and Native Americans, and a touch of pantheistic, tribal mysticism to tell the story of three generations' residents in the unlikely town of Pluto, North Dakota. Ostensibly named before the planet Pluto was discovered, this Pluto nevertheless contains elements of both the mythological Greek underworld and the end of the solar system. If the end of the world (North Dakota) can have its own, slowly dying end of the world, Pluto is it.
The 1911 tragedy that left behind the surviving infant involved a brutal family slaying of a farm family - parents, a teenage girl, and her two younger brothers. In a racially-charged act of vigilante justice, three Indian men and a young boy who happened upon the murder scene several days later are hanged by a gang of white men.Read more ›
The murder and lynching reverberate through the relationships within both the Indian and white communities over almost one hundred years. Erdrich is at her best here, telling overlapping family stories--horrifying, loving, hilarious, mystical, passionate, lyrical, and thoughtful--as she reveals life in the Native American and white communities from multiple points of view, across time. As the characters evolve, Erdrich reveals her major theme--the diminishing hold the distant past has on successive generations as each generation creates and feeds on its own past. The influx of white residents to Pluto, numerous intermarriages, and the influence of Christian priests, among other effects, all reduce the emphasis on shared Native American values.
Filling her novel with vibrant characters who reveal their lives and stories--and often cast new light on old stories--Erdrich creates a kaleidoscope of swirling images and moods, filled with irony. The drama of the murder and hangings shares time and space with hilarious scenes in which Mooshum and his unregenerate friends taunt the local priest.Read more ›
The novel feels a little more like a collection of stories than like a novel, though the characters are all related to one another in some way. Some of these stories are wonderful. The most living sections of the book are those that possess a folkloric quality and have to do with the older members of the novel's community, Mooshun and Shamengwa. Mooshun, now a grandfather, is sort of a trickster figure at moments (his pranks on the Catholic priest are the funniest and most entertaining parts of the book), and his storytelling is the key thread to tie the novel together. Years ago, he was the only survivor among a party of Obijwe hung for the murder of a white family (they were, of course, innocent). That story, and the mysteries that surround it, is gradually told throughout the novel, with information added by multiple characters, and most of the characters are shaped in some way by the tragedy. Shamengwa, Mooshun's brother, provides a sort of spiritual center to the novel, as he plays music from his violin that gives voice to sorrows that truths that transcend words.
Other stories within the book, however, do not seem to fit with these. Particularly, the middle section tells the story of Billy Peace and his family as he founds a cult and as his family tries to survive his increasing sadism.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this author, and the local legends and stories woven into the story the author is telling.Published 4 days ago by Jenny Mayo
The plague of doves is a look into the lynching of innocent Native Americans in Pluto ND, from the point of view of their decedents on both sides, who continue to be intertwined.Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
So many stories within these pages. Thoughtful, reflective & unabashed look at the human struggle spirit & evolution and how they come together to make a community. Read morePublished 19 days ago by T. Lopez
This is my first novel by Louise Erdrich, and I love the story telling, and charachters, and especailly the description of the landscape and way of life during the times portrayed.Published 22 days ago by Nikki
Characters difficult to follow. Timelines and voices indistinguishable. FrustratingPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Very confusing - I was lost most of the time reading this! I couldn't find a cohesive thread at all.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer