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The Round House by Louise Erdrich

The Round House (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Louise Erdrich

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1,9991553,361 (3.98)338
Title:The Round House
Authors:Louise Erdrich
Info:Harper (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Round House by Louise Erdrich (2012)

  1. 30
    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. 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.
  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. 00
    Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich (JenMDB)

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English (151)  Spanish (4)  All languages (155)
Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
After a horrible crime is inflicted upon his mother, Joe’s stable, happy family life is forever changed. Joe takes it upon himself to think through the crime, to solve it, and finally, to bring the perpetrator to justice. But still, Joe is only a thirteen-year-old boy. At times, he acts his age and yet at other times, he seems to possess the thinking and purpose of an adult man. This novel will captivate you as well as amuse and horrify you. Filled with Native American lore, it speaks of a culture and mores that are likely different from those you know. Perhaps a bit lengthy, it seems to lose focus of what story it is really telling, but perhaps that is what the author wished: to weave together several story threads to make a colorful tale. ( )
  Maydacat | Oct 7, 2015 |
This novel takes place on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. The story is told by a young tribe member, Joe Coutts, as he seeks justice and deals with the aftermath of an horrendous crime committed against his mother. In addition to a terribly sad story, there is much about the legal and social plight of the Native American in contemporary society. Most notably, it illustrates the complex and sometimes incomprehensible system of justice that exists on reservations. This novel would earn five stars for what I learned from reading it. It is not a fast read, but I thought it worthwhile. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
This book was sad, but I liked it. I don't think it will stick with me. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
3 1/2 stars.

This is a fairly good story that addresses several important topics including the emotional cost of rape, not only on the victim but on friends and family as well. It also addresses the unfair laws and legal decisions stemming from the creation of the Native American reservation system that exist to this day. Unfortunately, the story is disjointed in spots and the ending largely falls flat. ( )
  Unkletom | Jul 23, 2015 |
In the The Round House, we see the world through the eyes of Joseph Coutts over the course of one life-altering summer. As a 13-year-old living in a small town on a North Dakota Indian reservation, the only existence Joe has ever known is shattered after a brutal assault on his mother that very nearly kills her. The resulting trauma from this event causes both his parents to withdraw into themselves—albeit in very different ways—which leaves Joe largely on his own to deal with the emotional fallout from the attack. Despite the support he receives from his extended family and his three best friends, Joe struggles to balance the desire to return his life to the way it used to be with a deeply felt need to avenge his mother. How he investigates the crime and comes to grips with what he is willing to do in the name of justice forms the essential plot of the novel.

With this National Book Award-winning story, Louise Erdrich successfully juggles several different themes: a coming-of-age tale, a crime-and-revenge story, a legal thriller, and a treatise on gender and racial inequality. In fact, in the Afterword, the author makes her ostensible mission clear with some startling statistics about the incidence of sexual assault on the reservation and the myriad historical and legal obstacles that prevent the successful prosecution of those cases. To be sure, though, The Round House rises far above the level of a simple harangue about social injustice. Indeed, Erdrich’s flowing prose is at once poignant, earthy, and occasional humorous; with it, she paints a compelling and deeply moving portrait of a disenfranchised culture and one young man’s place in it. While some aspects of the book felt forced (e.g., the heavy-handed use of foreshadowing, the morally questionable resolution), this was nonetheless an engaging and satisfying story that was a pleasure to read. ( )
1 vote browner56 | Jul 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 151 (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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Small trees had attacked my parents' home at the foundation.
"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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