The Round House ePUB ¼ The Round PDF/EPUB or

The Round House Louise Erdrich now has me as a fan, even though I ve previously resisted reading her adult novels There are two reasons for this 1 As part of my Native American studies curriculum, I tried reading her children s book The Birchbark House to a class of second graders It bored them to tears so I stopped reading the book aloud to them and abandoned it altogether 2 Louise Erdrich was married to Michael Dorris, a professor writer whose claim to Native American heritage was called into question Louise Erdrich now has me as a fan, even though I ve previously resisted reading her adult novels There are two reasons for this 1 As part of my Native American studies curriculum, I tried reading her children s book The Birchbark House to a class of second graders It bored them to tears so I stopped reading the book aloud to them and abandoned it altogether 2 Louise Erdrich was married to Michael Dorris, a professor writer whose claim to Native American heritage was called into question I m still unsure if it s ever been proven whether or not he was authentically Native American Dorris committed suicide after he and Erdrich divorced Even though the latter is no wrongdoing of Erdrich s, I never really shook off the negative connection to Dorris.I picked up The Round House before it was crowned the National Book Award winner because it received rave reviews on goodreads and because my local independent bookstore was selling signed copies Here s one instance in which my book buying addiction has served me well Everything about The Round House was just right Erdrich captures how an Ojibwe family carefully deals with the mother s violent rape Even though thirteen year old Joe and his dad Bazil are angry and want to know who did this heinous crime, there s a calm thoughtfulness that is carried throughout the story I attribute this quiet to the self possessed nature that seems inherent in the Native culture.One of the most interesting characters for me is Linda Wishkob, a white woman who was adopted by an Ojibwe hopsital janitor after the doctor said she had a congenital deformity Linda s birth parents decided to abandon her, taking only Linda s healthier twin brother Linden The reader finds out that later as an adult, Linda is contacted by her birth mother because her twin needs a new kidney and that Linda is his only hope of being a good match Linda s decision has a huge impact on how the story plays out and I love how Erdrich has given this control to a minor character.The Round House is not only about tragedy and justice It also focuses on the strong friendship bonds of horny and goofy teenage boys who are also dealing with very grownup themes of religion, spirituality, culture, and sense of belonging I highly recommend this novel and yes, I will be readingbooks by Louise Erdrich Librarian s note An alternate cover edition can be found hereOne of the most revered novelists of our time a brilliant chronicler of Native American life Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family Riveting and suspenseful, arguably the most accessible novel to date from the creator of Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and The Bingo Palace, Erdrich s The Round House is a page turning masterpiece of literary fiction at once a powerful coming of age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture This is a wonderful, moving book, I m sure it will be one of my reading highlights this year Picked it up at Newark airport last January Great, interesting and fascinating story, variety of great and weird characters, a bit of surreal supernatural woven in, insights into the culture, traditions and life on an Indian reservation, the love of family and friends, a coming of age story which made me think a bit of Stand By Me It s the story of Joe, 13 years old, living on an Indian reservation in This is a wonderful, moving book, I m sure it will be one of my reading highlights this year Picked it up at Newark airport last January Great, interesting and fascinating story, variety of great and weird characters, a bit of surreal supernatural woven in, insights into the culture, traditions and life on an Indian reservation, the love of family and friends, a coming of age story which made me think a bit of Stand By Me It s the story of Joe, 13 years old, living on an Indian reservation in North Dakota, whose mother is brutally attacked The family situation changes overnight and is desperate The mother in shock only stays in her bedroom, the father, a tribal judge, does not know what to do, and Joe wants to find the attacker He sets off with his friends Cappy, Zack and Angus to investigate I stayed up late last night to finish the book, just could not stop Highly recommended My first novel by Louise Erdrich, and I am absolutely taken by the story that took me to North Dakota and revealed so much about the world that is still a little unknown to me It takes a master to write a book that has an intriguing plot, and that opens to a reader gradually I love this type of narration This novel will stay with me for a long time There is obviously a lot of erudition about Native American lore, folkways and post colonization history that went into this book There is also clearly a lot of love put into the detailed recreation of life on a reservation in the 1980s And there are also the bones of a classic coming of age story here, along with some memorable characters the randy foul mouthed octagenarian grandparents, the quirky postmistress who was abandoned by her white family and is a rare adopted in Native America There is obviously a lot of erudition about Native American lore, folkways and post colonization history that went into this book There is also clearly a lot of love put into the detailed recreation of life on a reservation in the 1980s And there are also the bones of a classic coming of age story here, along with some memorable characters the randy foul mouthed octagenarian grandparents, the quirky postmistress who was abandoned by her white family and is a rare adopted in Native American, the fierce athletic priest etc The problem is that the book feels flabby and bloated There are a lot of detours, a fewcharacters than you can realistically keep track of or care about , and one too many well meaning but ultimately dragging lectures on the Native American legal system and its relationship to white American law Although nominally structured as a thriller, the novel has a notably leisurely pace Thus, while I enjoyed almost all of it in an anecdotal pleasant kind of way, it never gripped me and forced me to turn pages A solid 3 Just an observation of the truth I initially gave The Round House 3 stars It is a good read, with some excellent characterization and I read it at a decent pace and enjoyed it while doing so However, when I was done with it, I was like well, that was good, what s next I was hoping for it to inducethan that in me After discussing it with my book club, I moved up my opinion of it I am content to give it 4 stars in the end.The good thing about this novel is that the suspense builds Just an observation of the truth I initially gave The Round House 3 stars It is a good read, with some excellent characterization and I read it at a decent pace and enjoyed it while doing so However, when I was done with it, I was like well, that was good, what s next I was hoping for it to inducethan that in me After discussing it with my book club, I moved up my opinion of it I am content to give it 4 stars in the end.The good thing about this novel is that the suspense builds nicely, the story is an interesting one, and Louise Erdrich is a smart enough writer not to harangue the reader with issues She could easily have made this a novel about legal jurisdiction on Indian reservations, the effects of colonization on Native Americans hundreds of years after the fact, the impact of Catholicism on native populations, etc However, to do so would have been to write a boring and pedantic novel Instead, she has written a really interesting story that touches on without whining or preaching those topics in the context of a muchinteresting human story that I doubt would isolate any reader Kudos to her for that.One of the joys of this text is the unexpected humor it is quite funny at times and the author s wonderful grasp of teenage boys The characterization of the protagonist, 13 year old Joe, and his three friends is well done The book is set in 1988 I was a teenage boy in the 80s once, I recognized myself in many of the elements and characteristics she imbues the characters with in this text The book is filled with real people, and there were times I was unexpectedly moved by some subtle element Erdrich created within a character This happens in real life, and when novels capture that it pleases me to no end.I have some small quibbles with the conclusion of the novel, but overall it is an enjoyable read Don t read the critical blurbs printed in the book They overpraise The Round House to a ridiculous degree It is a very good novel it tells a poignant tale and will give you something to reflect on Take it at that and enjoy A perfect novel to me, with Erdrich at the top of her game Through several of her past books, she has a great track record in bringing to life a memorable line of characters in the Ojibwe tribe in North Dakota over different epochs of history Here we get the vibrant portrait of a family on the reservation trying to recover from a brutal rape of the mother in 1988 The story is from the perspective of a 13 year old boy, Joe, with occasional overviews that reveal the fictional narrator is making A perfect novel to me, with Erdrich at the top of her game Through several of her past books, she has a great track record in bringing to life a memorable line of characters in the Ojibwe tribe in North Dakota over different epochs of history Here we get the vibrant portrait of a family on the reservation trying to recover from a brutal rape of the mother in 1988 The story is from the perspective of a 13 year old boy, Joe, with occasional overviews that reveal the fictional narrator is making sense of events from a point decades later.Joe is an only child of Bazil, a tribal judge, and Geraldine, who works as a clerk in the tribal office, which includes processing documentation of tribal membership His parents try to spare him from clear knowledge of what happened to his mother Their devastation undermines his supports from them, so he seeksfrom the company of his three close friends and from his extended family of uncles and aunts and his grandfather He slowly learns what rape means and about the location of the crime near the old and unused tribal council meeting place, the Roundhouse His idolized father feels impotent because felony crimes by whites on the reservation fall into county and state jurisdiction, while if the crime was on neighboring federal land it falls to the FBI to investigate Thus Joe is challenged to grow up fast He begins to feel he must find the perpetrator and help bring him to justice Past childish pursuits become transformed Eavesdropping on adults as a form of fun becomes a compulsion to glean clues His recourse in childish fantasies with his friends over roles of various characters from Star Trek The Next Generation fuels his quest to become a hero The burgeoning of his own sexuality, sparked by fantasies about an aunt who once was an exotic dancer and the lusty joking and reminiscences of his grandfather and great aunt, is shadowed due to the rape And his experimentation with alcohol with his buddies is not much fun given his sensitivity to its role in facilitating violence in so many families on the reservation.Another form of guidance for Joe derives from spirituality The myths and ghosts that imbue the consciousness of most Ojibwe come alive in this story, and they provide a framework for the significance of Joe s quest and of the Roundhouse itself Joe also seeks some guidance by asking the new priest, Father Travis, about what to do about evil in the world It is unclear whether he sees platitudes or wisdom from his answer The only thing God can do, and does all of the time, is to draw good from any evil situation Every time there is an evil, much good comes from it people in these circumstances choose to do an extra amount of good, become stronger in their devotion to Jesus, or to their favorite saint or attain an unusual communion of some sort in their families.Through the story, Erdrich is able to paint a wonderful portrait of the tribal community, of the strengths it gains from family and cultural traditions, and the resilience of its members in the face of poverty and the lingering burden of historical disenfranchisement and genocide There is much joy and humor throughout the tale despite the dark theme of the impacts of an unprosecuted rape Erdrich s ability to make you both laugh and cry is my signature of excellence in reading In my view, she deserved the National Book Award for this effort I hate cilantro even a tiny bit can ruin an otherwise wonderful dish I mostly hate ghosts, mythology, dreams, religion, and political messages, and these topics all ruined an otherwise fine novel I realize it s a long list of dislikes, but really, a novel should be all about character and plot development The characters were sort of boring or too stereotypical, and the plot, though interesting, was too broken up for me to appreciate it Okay, the main character, Joe, did struggle with the bi I hate cilantro even a tiny bit can ruin an otherwise wonderful dish I mostly hate ghosts, mythology, dreams, religion, and political messages, and these topics all ruined an otherwise fine novel I realize it s a long list of dislikes, but really, a novel should be all about character and plot development The characters were sort of boring or too stereotypical, and the plot, though interesting, was too broken up for me to appreciate it Okay, the main character, Joe, did struggle with the big issues of shame and morality, and he was well drawn, but I didn t really feel a whole lot for him I might have been too annoyed at the author to have room to enjoy him much.I don t understand why a good writer feels the need to add ghosts the novel loses its veracity immediately Or why she forces me to listen to an unrelated little precious myth, or preaches about oppression, or adds a bunch of church scenes when all I really want is for her to finish telling me the story already Pace is everything, and I resent the intrusions Luckily I wasn t asked to edit this book or it would have ended up a very short novella It feels lonely when everyone else seems to be gushing over this National Book Award winner, and I m fairly outraged that I got cheated out of a good read I read Erdrich novels twenty years ago and liked them this one didn t cut it Either she has lost her touch or I ve become a way harsher critic I can t believe I m giving Erdrich 2 stars, but I really didn t like the book The Round House is narrated by Joe, a thirteen year old Indian boy I hate the term Native American it sounds patronising to my ears unless you re going to call all white Americans ex Europeans or some such nonsense Indians might be daft but at least like cowboys it summons up the exotic wonder and affection of childhood living on a reservation when the events depicted in the novel take place When his mother is raped and becomes a shell of her former self Joe is catapulted into a pre The Round House is narrated by Joe, a thirteen year old Indian boy I hate the term Native American it sounds patronising to my ears unless you re going to call all white Americans ex Europeans or some such nonsense Indians might be daft but at least like cowboys it summons up the exotic wonder and affection of childhood living on a reservation when the events depicted in the novel take place When his mother is raped and becomes a shell of her former self Joe is catapulted into a premature spiritual crisis He wants justice but sees no signs of it arriving He becomes disillusioned with his father as he learns how ineffective he is in his role as a local judge The cases he tries all of a somewhat petty nature Neither does he have any religious faith to provide guidance since the tribe s spiritual life is on the decline as a result of the long term banning of all their traditional ceremonies Only a few elders are still connected to the old ways The depiction of a powwow was interesting as all its former significance seemed to have tapered to littlethan an excuse to show off for the opposite sex, a mating dance Joe will seek guidance from his father, one of his elders and from a Catholic priest, none of whom quite provides answers When the perpetrator of the rape is identified and arrested but then released because white men can t be prosecuted as a result of absurd disputes of sovereignty and jurisdiction related to Indian territory he will have to take the law into his own hands I thought the ideas behind this book deserved a slightly better execution It begins really well and ends really well but is prone to flabbiness in the middle section I d have liked it to be tightened up, perhaps fifty or so pages edited out It also deserved acomplex baddie The rapist isn t very convincing except as a prototype of malevolence On the whole though this was a novel I enjoyed and it raises important issues concerning the rights of minority groups In fact it made me sad that difference is becoming almost outlawed in our modern world as if the ideal is to homogenise the entire human race Of course the insistence on difference, personified at its worst by ISIS, sometimes leads to violence so on one level it s understandable we want everyone to be one happy family but there s also the risk of losing so much culture and spirituality in the process Erdrich did a great job of showing me what a rich cultural heritage the Ojibwe tribe have Told from the perspective of a 13 year old Indian boy in 1988, it is the story of how the brutal rape of his mother effects his life, the life of his family and his community A New York Times best seller, many must find this book compelling, however I found the writing tedious and had a hard time finishing.


About the Author: Louise Erdrich

Karen Louise Erdrich is a American author of novels, poetry, and children s books Her father is German American and mother is half Ojibwe and half French American She is an enrolled member of the Anishinaabe nation also known as Chippewa She is widely acclaimed as one of the most significant Native writers of the second wave of what critic Kenneth Lincoln has called the Native American Renaissance.Forinformation, please see a book description Author Biography Louise Erdrich is one of the most gifted, prolific, and challenging of contemporary Native American novelists Born in 1954 in Little Falls, Minnesota, she grew up mostly in Wahpeton, North Dakota, where her parents taught at Bureau of Indian Affairs schools Her fiction reflects aspects of her mixed heritage German through her father, and French and Ojibwa through her mother She worked at various jobs, such as hoeing sugar beets, farm work, waitressing, short order cooking, lifeguarding, and construction work, before becoming a writer She attended the Johns Hopkins creative writing program and received fellowships at the McDowell Colony and the Yaddo Colony After she was named writer in residence at Dartmouth, she married professor Michael Dorris and raised several children, some of them adopted She and Michael became a picture book husband and wife writing team, though they wrote only one truly collaborative novel, The Crown of Columbus 1991 The Antelope Wife was published in 1998, not long after her separation from Michael and his subsequent suicide Some reviewers believed they saw in The Antelope Wife the anguish Erdrich must have felt as her marriage crumbled, but she has stated that she is unconscious of having mirrored any real life events.She is the author of four previous bestselling andaward winning novels, including Love Medicine The Beet Queen Tracks and The Bingo Palace She also has written two collections of poetry, Jacklight, and Baptism of Desire Her fiction has been honored by the National Book Critics Circle 1984 and The Los Angeles Times 1985 , and has been translated into fourteen languages Several of her short stories have been selected for O Henry awards and for inclusion in the annual Best American Short Story anthologies The Blue Jay s Dance, a memoir of motherhood, was her first nonfiction work, and her children s book, Grandmother s Pigeon, has been published by Hyperion Press She lives in Minnesota with her children, who help her run a small independent bookstore called The Birchbark.


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