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The Round House by Louise Erdrich
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The Round House (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Louise Erdrich

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,2851752,791 (3.96)351
Member:brenzi
Title:The Round House
Authors:Louise Erdrich
Info:Harper (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, Read in 2012
Rating:****
Tags:North Dakota, reservation, Native Americans, Ojibwe, rape

Work details

The Round House by Louise Erdrich (2012)

  1. 40
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (JenMDB)
  2. 20
    The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich (Limelite, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    Limelite: Not exactly a prequel, but featuring several of the same characters that appear in this more recent novel.
    BookshelfMonstrosity: If you want to read more about the characters and events portrayed in The Round House, read The Plague of Doves, which shares characters and events with the later novel.
  3. 20
    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Alexie's Absolutely True Diary shows a teenager (a little older than Joe) struggling with the poverty, alcoholism and injustice found on the reservation and the bullying and racism he faces from the outside world. A similar theme of the heartaches of growing up on a reservation in an unjust world - Alexie's work shows more humor, though.… (more)
  4. 00
    Midwives by Chris Bohjalian (sweetiegherkin)
    sweetiegherkin: Both books deal with a huge family crisis (the rape of the mother in The Round House, the trial of the mother in Midwives) and are told from the point of view of the family's 12- to 14-year-old only child, interspersing the tragic with the everyday life of a preteen/teen; both books also have unexpected endings.… (more)
  5. 00
    Waylaid by Ed Lin (Othemts)
  6. 00
    Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich (JenMDB)
  7. 11
    A Time to Kill by John Grisham (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Less literary and as a legal thriller more focused on the courtroom drama, but Grisham's A Time To Kill focuses on similar problems of racism and unspeakable crimes and the drive for the victim's family to seek revenge.
  8. 00
    Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (Iudita)
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» See also 351 mentions

English (171)  Spanish (4)  All languages (175)
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
4.5 stars. This is a beautiful book about an ugly event. Erdrich is such a fine writer that the reader feels every emotion right along with the character(s) in this book. She has woven a story about tragedy, friendship, reservation life, justice, non-justice, and ultimately family into a novel that simply transports one to a different time and place. She is truly a master of prose unlike any other author writing today. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
Loved the novel. Hated the ending. Justice, my foot! ( )
  KimKimpton | Jul 14, 2016 |
Every bit as powerful as To Kill a Mockingbird. In The Round House the question of jurisdiction at a crime scene hinders justice and leads to an act that, in spirit, fulfills the requirement of traditional tribal law. But that isn't why I gave this five stars. It's the people and their stories that set this book apart. From the Marine veteran turned priest to the one hundred plus year old elder sleep talking the oral history of his tribe, this book is a treasure of poignantly rendered human beings, all living both in conflict and in harmony with each other. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Set on a fictional Indian reservation in North Dakota, this is the story of the teenager Joe who at the beginning of the novel learns that his mother has been brutally raped. What follows is a story of legal complications surrounding the crime, Joe and his friends rather naive attempts to play detective in finding his mother's attacker, and a coming of age story in which Joe learns some uncomfortable truths. It's a well-written but emotionally-challenging story about family, guilt, and place. ( )
2 vote Othemts | Apr 25, 2016 |
Coming-of-age story as marked by welcome-to-the-real-world-it-sucks experiences of 13 yr old boy and wise and noble parents (lawyer/judge), racial tensions, interracial rape, law vs justice, childhood vs adulthood.

Comparisons with [b:To Kill a Mockingbird|2657|To Kill a Mockingbird|Harper Lee|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1361975680s/2657.jpg|3275794] are inevitable. Also brings to mind the miserable hardscrabble worlds of [a:David Adams Richards|87458|David Adams Richards|http://www.goodreads.com/assets/nophoto/nophoto-M-50x66-e07624dc012f2cce49c7d9aa6500c6c0.jpg] books of the Miramichi in New Brunswick. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
With “The Round House,” her 14th novel, Louise Erdrich takes us back to the North Dakota Ojibwe reservation that she has conjured and mapped in so many earlier books, and made as indelibly real as Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County or Joyce’s Dublin. This time she focuses on one nuclear family — the 13-year-old Joe Coutts; his mother, Geraldine; and his father, Judge Antone Coutts — that is shattered and remade after a terrible event.

Although its plot suffers from a schematic quality that inhibits Ms. Erdrich’s talent for elliptical storytelling, the novel showcases her extraordinary ability to delineate the ties of love, resentment, need, duty and sympathy that bind families together. “The Round House” — a National Book Award finalist in the fiction category — opens out to become a detective story and a coming-of-age story, a story about how Joe is initiated into the sadnesses and disillusionments of grown-up life and the somber realities of his people’s history.
 
“The Round House” represents something of a departure for Erdrich, whose past novels of Indian life have usually relied on a rotating cast of narrators, a kind of storytelling chorus. Here, though, Joe is the only narrator, and the urgency of his account gives the action the momentum and tight focus of a crime novel, which, in a sense, it is. But for Erdrich, “The Round House” is also a return to form.
added by zhejw | editNew York Times, Maria Russo (Oct 12, 2012)
 
Each new Erdrich novel adds new layers of pathos and comedy, earthiness and spiritual questing, to her priceless multigenerational drama. “The Round House’’ is one of her best — concentrated, suspenseful, and morally profound.
 
Our reviewer, Alan Cheuse, is always in pursuit of great new books. And today, Louise Erdrich's latest "The Round House." I interviewed her earlier this week about the novel. Now, here's Alan's take and he says it's her best yet.
 
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Dedication
To Pallas
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Small trees had attacked my parents' home at the foundation.
Quotations
"Women don't realize how much store men set on the regularity of their habits," Joe says. "Our pulse is set to theirs, and as always on a weekend afternoon we were waiting for my mother to start us ticking away on the evening."
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Book description
One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning. Written with undeniable urgency, and illuminating the harsh realities of contemporary life in a community where Ojibwe and white live uneasily together, The Round House is a brilliant and entertaining novel, a masterpiece of literary fiction. Louise Erdrich embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too-human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today. Amazon description.
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When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, 14-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family.… (more)

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