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Ten Little Indians Paperback – March 17, 2004
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When Alexie is at his best, his stories function at a profoundly sad level, where broken down characters are broken down even more, but are fierce-willed enough to attempt Phoenix-like transitions. Unfortunately, the weakest stories appear first, where characters and situations seem far too contrived or forced, the dialogue wooden, and questions or exclamatory sentences appear annoyingly in bunches. In the last half of the book, a married couple, once intensely in love but now lost in life's routines, deal with infidelity ("Do You Know Where I Am?"); a bright basketball prospect attempts a comeback--twenty years after giving up the game ("Whatever Happened to Frank Snake Church?"); and a transient Indian finds his grandmother's regalia in a pawn shop and seeks to quickly raise the lofty purchase price ("What You Pawn I Will Redeem"). Brilliant turns of phrase abound, such as ceremonies being "pitiful cries to a disinterested God," or when a gym rat plays against "Basketball-Democrats who came to the court alone and ran with anybody and Basketball-Republicans who traveled in groups of five and only ran with each other." Ten Little Indians is an uneven collection, but contains some significant, memorable stories. --Michael Ferch --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The thing about Sherman Alexie is that he examines life from the inside out. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that he examines life from the reservation out. He has a way of pointing out these specific characteristics and challenges that one faces growing up on the reservation and beyond. But when you pay close attention to what he's saying (in such beautiful language), you find yourself relating to an emotional landscape that is universal in all of humanity no matter what race, religion, nationality blah blah blah. One is ultimately left with the impression of a genuine and credible storyteller who has experienced personal conflict, triumph, tragedy and joy within the boundaries of the reservation, then again in the vastness of life outside of the reservation and finally within the borderless limits of his own mind on a much higher and more profound level.
Don't expect any glamorized depictions of Native Americans or any other kind of American for that matter. He gives you the good with the bad in painfully honest observations and language. For example, in The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above (my favorite story in the book), Estelle, a Spokane Indian and the narrator's mother (and a feminist, militant vegan), raises her son in a poor white neighborhood in Seattle, sends him to white schools (plus, in several humorous passages gives him some embarrassing and especially traumatic advice on women and sex) and gets herself a college education (come hell or high water).Read more ›
I was lucky enough to see him read the last story in person. It was an unforgettable experience. As a friend who was there with me said, "He makes you burst out laughing one moment, then breaks your heart the next."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My first reading of anything by this wonderful author....certainly not my last. A glimpse into lives we might otherwise know nothing about. Superbly written.Published 3 months ago by IDIrishbiker
My husband and I are sharing this book in bed on lazy weekend mornings. The author is so talented and amazing, we are often exclaiming, WOW !" over some passage there. Read morePublished 18 months ago by SCARED SPITLESS in Coos Bay,OR
Mr. Alexie never fails to make me laugh. He also never fails to make me cry. Often his stories cause me to do both at the same time.Published 23 months ago by Davita
Ten Little Indians gave me a new view of contemporary native Americans. Ten stories of the real challenges facing Indians living in America today.Published on August 13, 2014 by Perriwinkle
Needed it for a class, but really enjoyed his story telling. Great sense of humor! Good read!Published on August 11, 2014 by Copswife2011