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Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie

Reservation Blues (original 1995; edition 2005)

by Sherman Alexie

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1,572234,648 (3.91)47
Title:Reservation Blues
Authors:Sherman Alexie
Info:Grove Press (2005), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie (1995)

  1. 30
    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Contemporary fiction about searching for identity
  2. 30
    The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Both deal with ethnic conflict and searching for identity.

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Reservation Blues was the first novel I've read by Sherman Alexie. I'd heard so many good things about him - and I don't think a single negative word - that I went into this book assuming I'd love it. I didn't.

The story follows a series of reservation folks who want to start a band. There's a lot of Magical Realism stuff going on, and a whole bunch of dream sequences (many of which I skimmed or skipped because I have zero patience for ten-page long dream sequences). There were plenty of parables shoved in there too, with obvious morals like "be careful what you wish for," and "don't be a drunk."

I was fine with the story, though the pace was slow enough and the path was obvious enough that it didn't really get me excited. The writing was fine. Not particularly tight but not overly flowery either. I guess that's about how I'd sum up the book as a whole: Fine. ( )
  agnesmack | Aug 6, 2016 |
I feel that this book had more to offer than what I could get out of it. There were things I definitely did not grasp fully. A definite reread. ( )
  KimKimpton | Jul 14, 2016 |
Was told what a great writer he is. I finished it, but apparently do not appreciate his style. Came away with the many negative emotions, but not the gist. ( )
  busterrll | Feb 25, 2015 |
Reservation Blues is a wonderfully intriguing novel by Sherman Alexie. It is set on the reservation of the Spokane Indian tribe and essentially tells the story of a Native American band, Coyote Springs. The band forms accidentally, has an impromptu rise and a spectacular fall. But it really isn’t that simple. Alexie has woven a wonderful tale of characters and story elements that are both predictable and completely unexpected. I enjoyed this book from start to finish. ( )
  BradKautz | Sep 13, 2014 |
My book club really had a good discussion on this book. I had a hard time reading it--I've had too much of authors who make bad jokes. I get it, that making a joke of your pain is often the only way you can deal with it, but it just didn't make for a great book. Big Mom was initially presented as a wise woman, but her role got watered down to just focusing on music instruction. OK, there wasn't room in the story for her to really help people deal with their larger problems. ( )
  juniperSun | Mar 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sherman Alexieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexie, ShermanLyrics, Coyote Springs songssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyd, JimLyrics, Coyote Springs songssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, RobertWords and musicsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McClain, RachelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minor, WendellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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God's old lady, she sure is a big chick.
-- Charles Mingus
I went to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
-- Robert Johnson
for Diane

for Etta Adams
First words
In the one hundred and eleven years since the creation of the Spokane Indian Reservation in 1881, not one person, Indian or otherwise, had ever arrived there by accident.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802141900, Paperback)

Sherman Alexie has been hailed as “one of the best writers we have” (The Nation). Reservation Blues is his “irresistibly stunning debut novel” (San Francisco Chronicle). One day legendary bluesman Robert Johnson appears on the Spokane Indian reservation, in flight from the devil and presumed long dead. When he passes his enchanted instrument to Thomas-Builds-the-Fire—storyteller, misfit, and musician—a magical odyssey begins that will take them from reservation bars to small-town taverns, from the cement trails of Seattle to the concrete canyons of Manhattan. This is a fresh, luxuriantly comic tale of power, tragedy, and redemption among contemporary Native Americans.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Legendary bluesman, Robert Johnson, arrives at a Spokane Indian reservation and passes his guitar to a young boy leading them around the country sounding chords of celebration and survival.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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