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The Round House (2012)

by Louise Erdrich

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Justice Trilogy (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,7902193,134 (4)1 / 562
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.
  1. 60
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (JenMDB)
  2. 51
    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)
  3. 40
    Midwives by Chris Bohjalian (sweetiegherkin)
    sweetiegherkin: Both books deal with a huge family crisis (the rape of the mother in The Round House, the trial of the mother in Midwives) and are told from the point of view of the family's 12- to 14-year-old only child, interspersing the tragic with the everyday life of a preteen/teen; both books also have unexpected endings.… (more)
  4. 30
    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.
  5. 10
    Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (Iudita)
  6. 10
    Waylaid by Ed Lin (Othemts)
  7. 00
    Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich (JenMDB)
  8. 00
    We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates (ainsleytewce)
  9. 00
    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt (ainsleytewce)
  10. 12
    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 562 mentions

English (213)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (1)  All languages (219)
Showing 1-5 of 213 (next | show all)
Riveting, but utterly bleak. Could not bring myself to give it 5 stars. ( )
  Octavia78 | Jul 26, 2023 |
The Round House is a warm, big-hearted story relating the struggles of thirteen year-old Joe Coutts as he deals with a tragic horror visited upon his mother, Geraldine. With the help of his father, Bazil, Joe learns that there are all kinds of justice. As he looks back from his manhood, he relates how he arrived at his justice for the man that took something precious from his close-knit family.
With colorful characters throughout, Erdrich infuses her story of reservation life with humor, drama, spiritualism, and a poignant depiction of the humanity of the Native American people. There is much to appreciate in the Round House. ( )
  MugsyNoir | Jul 19, 2023 |
An entertaining coming of age on the reservation story. ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
A coming of age story, a tale of indigenous Americans and a son’s search for his mother’s rapist. Erdrich again handles multiple themes seamlessly within her overall story, with great and thoughtful storytelling.
About the first half of the book sets the scene, and the initial impact of, and enquiries into, the rape.
We then learn who the rapist is, and how due to the complexity of Indigenous, US State and Federal laws, the perpetrator stays free.
Finally, we gain a resolution, with some form of justice, although nothing can be the same. ( )
  CarltonC | Jun 30, 2023 |
I can’t read Erdrich’s books without wishing I could read them all simultaneously; to keep each life fresh in my head, to trace out stories as they cross into each other. I love this book as a continuation of those stories, and appreciate on its own the work she is doing, setting out a story that’s happening right now, right around us. ( )
  Kiramke | Jun 27, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 213 (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.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erdrich, Louiseprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mantovani, VincenzoAuthorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Small trees had attacked my parents' home at the foundation.
[Afterword] This book is set in 1998, but the tangle of laws that hinder prosecution of rape cases on many reservations still exists.
"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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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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