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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in…
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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

by Sherman Alexie

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1,669404,298 (4.02)17
  1. 10
    The Poor Man's Guide to an Affordable, Painless Suicide: Stories by Schuler Benson (literary.jess)
    literary.jess: Both are comprised of short stories that are unapologetically gritty, featuring characters whose voices aren't often heard in popular literature.
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A story collection of interconnected tales focusing of many of Alexie’s memorable characters from his novels, this sometimes charming, sometimes depressing book gives insight into the desolate conditions of Native American life on the Spokane Indian reservation. Clever and insightful, the stories focus on the challenges of living when so many of his characters are limited by outside influences such as racism, government policies, and alcohol. Alexie’s sarcasm and wit shines through his characters as the hurt each other as much as they try to help each other. Readers will willingly delve into the history and familial relationships of the characters as Alexie describes journeys of recovery, disappointment, extreme poverty, love, and death. Surprisingly uplifting- though there are as many stories to cry about as there are to revel in, Alexie’s book should be on every conscientious high school student’s reading list. ( )
  MzzColby | Aug 7, 2015 |
I loved everything about this book. I loved every story. I loved the language, and I loved the tales told in the language. I liked that Alexie makes his magic, his transformations, work on a sentence-by-sentence level, and yet the whole story can be transformational, too. My favorite character is Thomas Builds-the-Fire, hero of the stories "A Drug Called Tradition," "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," and "The Trial of Thomas Builds-the-Fire." He knows when to keep silent and when to speak, and when asked, "You don't really believe that shit?" he says, "Don't need to believe anything. It just is." Amen Thomas, Amen. And there's a very powerful story about Thomas's father in there, too, "A Train Is an Order of Occurrence Designed to Lead to Some Result." But there were other special stories, too: "Imagining the Reservation," which was poetry more than story, or the story of James in "Jesus Christ's Half-Brother Is Alive and Well on the Spokane Indian Reservation," about a guy bringing up a baby, and then child, who fell from a great height in infancy and hit his head and doesn't talk--not at first, anyway. And then there's "A Good Story," where the story and the telling of it weave in themselves--it's a story told because the narrator's mother says, "You know, those stories you tell, they're kind of sad, enit?"--so he tells one that's happy, not sad.

So much love in these stories. Sorrow and anger, but most of all love. Great stuff. ( )
  FrancescaForrest | May 12, 2014 |
I loved everything about this book. I loved every story. I loved the language, and I loved the tales told in the language. I liked that Alexie makes his magic, his transformations, work on a sentence-by-sentence level, and yet the whole story can be transformational, too. My favorite character is Thomas Builds-the-Fire, hero of the stories "A Drug Called Tradition," "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," and "The Trial of Thomas Builds-the-Fire." He knows when to keep silent and when to speak, and when asked, "You don't really believe that shit?" he says, "Don't need to believe anything. It just is." Amen Thomas, Amen. And there's a very powerful story about Thomas's father in there, too, "A Train Is an Order of Occurrence Designed to Lead to Some Result." But there were other special stories, too: "Imagining the Reservation," which was poetry more than story, or the story of James in "Jesus Christ's Half-Brother Is Alive and Well on the Spokane Indian Reservation," about a guy bringing up a baby, and then child, who fell from a great height in infancy and hit his head and doesn't talk--not at first, anyway. And then there's "A Good Story," where the story and the telling of it weave in themselves--it's a story told because the narrator's mother says, "You know, those stories you tell, they're kind of sad, enit?"--so he tells one that's happy, not sad.

So much love in these stories. Sorrow and anger, but most of all love. Great stuff. ( )
  FrancescaForrest | May 12, 2014 |
It was nice reading this after seeing him speak. Reading it sounded like him telling me all the stories. I ended up watching Smoke Signals again to take a closer look at how he wove the stories into the screenplay. It can't be easy to adapt a collection of short stories into a movie. At least many of these stories are connected so that probably helped. ( )
  S.D. | Apr 4, 2014 |
  jll1976 | Mar 24, 2014 |
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NOT THE SAME AS THE 1993 WORK. This is the 20th anniversary edition (2005+) with two additional stories: "Flight" and "Junior Polatkin's Wild West Show."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802141676, Paperback)

In this darkly comic short story collection, Sherman Alexie, a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, brilliantly weaves memory, fantasy, and stark realizxsm to paint a complex, grimly ironic portrait of life in and around the Spoke Indian Reservation. These 22 interlinked tales are narrated by characters raised on humiliation and government-issue cheese, and yet are filled with passion and affection, myth and dream. There is Victor, who as a nine-year-old crawled between his uncoscious parents hoping that the alcohol seeping through their skins might help him sleep. Thomas Builds-the-Fire, who tells his stories long after people stop listening, and Jimmy Many Horses, dying of cancer, who writes letters on stationary that reads "From the Death Bed of James Many Horses III," even though he actually writes them on his kitchen table. Against a backdrop of alcohol, car accidents, laughter, and basketball, Alexie depicts the distances between Indians and whites, reservation Indians and urban Indians, men and women,a dn most poetically, between modern Indians and the traditions of the past.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:59 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Offers a fictional portrait of the characters, language, traditions, and daily life of those living on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

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