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The Round House by Louise Erdrich
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The Round House (2012)

by Louise Erdrich

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,0902042,986 (4)1 / 466
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.
Recently added byLauraEmmaAmanda, lauralkeet, rena40, SaltaireLibrary, sw1341, yulischeidt, private library
Legacy LibrariesCian O hAnnrachainn
  1. 60
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (JenMDB)
  2. 50
    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. 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.
  4. 30
    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)
  5. 10
    Waylaid by Ed Lin (Othemts)
  6. 10
    Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (Iudita)
  7. 00
    We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates (ainsleytewce)
  8. 00
    Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich (JenMDB)
  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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English (199)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (1)  All languages (204)
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
Read 2016. ( )
  sasameyuki | May 7, 2020 |
Part powerful coming of age story, part portrait of life on the Rez in the 80s, part illumination of the struggles between the forces of native, state, and federal law enforcement and the particular issue of violence against native women, this is a lovely novel. Once again I strongly disagree with the reviewers who hate on the book for its structure, it's interweaving of Native American history, cultural identities, familial relationships and the plot that gives the book it's through-line. This is no grocery store who-done-it and you do yourself and the author a disservice approaching it as if it is. ( )
  Nikchick | Mar 21, 2020 |
Part powerful coming of age story, part portrait of life on the Rez in the 80s, part illumination of the struggles between the forces of native, state, and federal law enforcement and the particular issue of violence against native women, this is a lovely novel. Once again I strongly disagree with the reviewers who hate on the book for its structure, it's interweaving of Native American history, cultural identities, familial relationships and the plot that gives the book it's through-line. This is no grocery store who-done-it and you do yourself and the author a disservice approaching it as if it is. ( )
  Nikchick | Mar 21, 2020 |
Thoroughly enjoyed it. In some (pleasant) ways it reminded me of The Little Friend. ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
I wish I could read this again immediately. Partly because even though the audiobook is excellent, I wish I could train my attention on certain passages, and partly because the way the plot unfolds is so intricately folded into the portrait of reservation life and culture in the 1980s, and I wish I could more fully appreciate it. I loved it. Erdrich explores the horrifying gap between what one character calls 'ideal justice' and the limits of federal and state law to redress a terrible crime committed on (or perhaps only near) a reservation. The ending is deeply unsettling, but in the best way, because it refuses to flinch. ( )
  jalbacutler | Dec 4, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 199 (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.
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"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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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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