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Mean Spirit by Linda Hogan

Mean Spirit (original 1990; edition 1991)

by Linda Hogan

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223252,123 (3.92)8
Title:Mean Spirit
Authors:Linda Hogan
Info:Ivy Books (1991), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Native American, Oklahoma, Osage

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Mean Spirit by Linda Hogan (1990)



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Rating this book is a complicated thing and how a person rates it would be heavily impacted by the criteria they're using. I mean, I realize that's a super general thing to say that's applicable to any review but when reflecting on this book it really hit home. Am I rating whether or not it was an enjoyable read? Because it wasn't. It was depressing as hell. But so was The Grapes of Wrath and I have a freaking tattoo from that book. Am I rating whether or not the writing is good? Because it is but it's also hard. Not the word usage but the fact that for the first seventy-five or so pages there are so many god damn characters that I had to give up trying to keep them straight in the grander scheme and just concentrate on what the character in front of me was doing on the specific page I was reading. Once the background was set up and the author focused on the key characters it was much smoother sailing and inevitably worth it.

This book tells the story of Native Americans (the author uses the term Indians) living in Oklahoma in the 1920s. This particular tribe was deeded land by the U.S. that ended up being oil rich as all hell. Some folks fond themselves mighty wealthy and then a bunch of murdering started up. There's also a lot of horse training going on.

The story was depressing because, though this particular tale may be fictionalized, it was - and still is - a reality for way too many indigenous people. I was also sort of uncomfortable with this book being deemed magical realism. I get why but the only real "magic" stuff going on was actual native ceremonies and I think it's beyond rude to refer to them as "magic". Well, and that guy that died but then was sort-of alive and more human than ghost - enough to marry someone, I guess. So there's that. OK, I guess I'm comfortable with the term. Forgive me, fearless readers. ( )
  agnesmack | Apr 2, 2016 |
I love her stuff. She's a beautiful writer, her descriptions are amazingly vivid and I fall in love with at least one of her characters in every book.
  booksofcolor | Aug 1, 2009 |
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In memory of Carol Hunter,
Osage woman, scholar, and friend
First words
Oklahoma 1922

That summer a water diviner named Michael Horse forecast a two-week dry spell.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804108633, Mass Market Paperback)

"Extraordinary...If you take up no other novel this year, or next, this one will suffice to hold, to disturb, to enlighten and to inspire you."
Early in this century, rivers of oil were found beneath Oklahoma land belonging to Indian people, and beautiful Grace Banket became the richest person in the Territory. But she was murdered by the greed of white men, and the Graycloud family, who cared for her daughter, began dying mysteriously. Letters sent to Washington, D.C. begging for help went unanswered, until at last a Native American government official, Stace Red Hawk, traveled west to investigate. What he found has been documented by history: rampant fraud, intimidation, and murder. But he also found something truly extraordinary--his deepest self and abiding love for his people, and their brave past.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:38 -0400)

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The Grayclouds discover oil on their Oklahoma ranch in the 1920's and that sets off a continuous round of crime and suffering.

(summary from another edition)

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