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Smoke Signals Paperback – July 1, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Victor lives in the tension of this dilemma. As a 12-year-old youth, he witnessed the effects of alcohol on his family. His father vascillated between being loving and instantly "turning" to become hostile, violent, and humiliating to the young boy. Victor finds himself becoming more deeply embarrassed by his family's domestic abuse and alcohol use, even defiantly scolding his own father that his favorite Indian is "Nobody...nobody...nobody!"
Victor's mother awakens the next morning to see Victor angrily smashing his father's beer bottles on the back of his father's picup truck (the two things he believes his father loves more than him), and the epiphany stuns the mother, who insists on an immediate end to family drunkenness. Proving Victor's fears true, the father--forced to choose between alcohol and family--flees the family, and never returns. It is within that unchanged arrangement that his father dies, 8 years later, having never returned home.Read more ›
I found the constant talking of the one friend, although bordering on nerve-racking, was actually humorous in nature and the character was one to love. It was rather like Laurel & Hardy, straight and funny guy tactics, rarely seen today without one character overpowering the other.
I would highly recommend this to the younger set and young adult males who are having problems with relations with their fathers.
It's the first time I read a script and it was an interesting experience. It's interesting to see how the story was created and how it changed for various reasons. There is a long section of notes at the end of the scrip where Alexie relates all the changes in the transition from the script to the film. I didn't imagine so many different reasons could be behind a change. Sure, there are ideas the author came up with later on, there are ideas that worked on the paper, but not on the screen. There are pace consideration and there are actors improvising (and this was the most fascinating part for me).
But there are also extremely chancy reasons. For example a scene at the beginning of the film - the one where Victor plays basketball with some friends - that was written as happening outdoor, in the film eventually happened indoor because the day of the shooting there was a heavy rain raging outside.
But the most interesting parts, in my opinion, are those that are in the script and not in the film. Some give a new light to the characters.
My favourite is the argument between Thomas and Victor in the car, at night, before the car accident. That dialogue is kind of short it the film. In the scrip, it's quite a bit longer and it hints at Victor being jealous of Thomas because Thomas could accept Arnold the way Victor never could and so he created a bond with him that Victor (Arnold's son) didn't have.
This shed a completely new light (at least for me) on the two characters' relation. It makes a lot of sense inside the story, it makes the contrast between the two characters more meaningful and I'm very sorry it disappeared from the film. But I'm happy I had the opportunity to read it here.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Smoke signals gives a glimpse into life on an American Indian Reservation in the late 20th century...full of wit, humor and tons of sadness, loneliness and futility. Read morePublished on April 12, 2014 by bossmare
Let me begin by saying I like this author's prose.
His voice is accessible, upbeat and fun, and he knows a great deal about
Native Americans, being one himself. Read more
Not surprisingly, as in any culture, there are many voices speaking for and about American Indians, representing them from many points of view. Read morePublished on January 23, 2005 by Ronald Scheer
In this book about the reservation is full of caricatures of Native Americans. I find it hard to believe that a person who has not grown up on a reservation can write about... Read morePublished on December 16, 2004 by Dendarii
What can I say about an author that evokes so many emotions in one time. This movie ranks in my top 5 of all time, right beside Stand By Me, Dances with Wolves, and Schindler's... Read morePublished on February 23, 2000