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

by Louise Erdrich

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1,9041513,597 (3.98)314
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Title:The Round House
Authors:Louise Erdrich
Info:Harper (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, native Americans

Work details

The Round House by Louise Erdrich (2012)

  1. 30
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (JenMDB)
  2. 00
    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. 00
    Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich (JenMDB)
  4. 00
    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)
  5. 00
    Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (Iudita)
  6. 01
    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.
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» See also 314 mentions

English (147)  Spanish (4)  All languages (151)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
This is the story of a 13 year old boy and how he deals with his mother's rape and assault. I liked this book, the voice of the boy was so genuine and intelligent you could not help but sympathize and secretly hope he sets out to accomplish his plan to help his mother. Recommended. ( )
  janismack | Jun 8, 2015 |
Kindred's Reading Challenge: #8 A National Book Award Winner
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |


( )
  Alli.Broad | Jun 5, 2015 |
On an otherwise quiet everyday morning, Geraldine Coutts is viciously attacked, raped, and almost murdered. The Round House explores the aftermath of this event, all as seen through the eyes of her 13-year-old son Joe.

The Round House is a powerful book that deals with sexual assault, racism, injustice, PTSD, violence, and retribution. But it's also a book about a teenager finding his first job, having an unrequited and hopeless crush, hanging out with his friends, getting into petty trouble, and generally discovering who he is. Erdrich seamlessly juxtaposes these two stories, so that we can see Joe struggling with his mother's sudden depression after the trauma and then heading out to bike around town aimlessly with his closest friends within a split second.

Erdrich also interweaves in traditional stories and discussions of the struggles of Native Americans within the legal system. While the latter could be a teeniest bit didactic at times, it was an important framework to keep in mind with the story being told.

The characters in the book are interesting and well-rounded. Most everyone is complicated, often with conflicting feelings guiding them. For the most part, the characters are likable, but they still do things that are questionable or heartbreaking. In other words, they are like real-life people, who are rarely all good or all bad.

Erdrich throws in a few Easter eggs referencing characters in her earlier books, but this book stands alone quite well and you don't need to be a huge Erdrich fan to get into it. You do need to be someone who doesn't mind reading about some heavy topics and doesn't need a loose ends tied up, Hollywood happy ending closing out the book. If you want something that provides well-rounded, interesting characters and lots of food for thought (with a few dashes of humor here and there), then this is a good book for you.

The only real downside of this book for me was that the audio reader wasn't the greatest. His inflection bordered on monotone, and he didn't give the characters different voices. It gave an otherwise very gripping book a bit of a dull edge. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | May 25, 2015 |
A great coming-of-age novel. Poignant, wise, and some genuinely funny moments. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (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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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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