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

by Louise Erdrich

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,7011853,154 (3.99)1 / 428
  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
    Indian Horse : a novel by Richard Wagamese (Iudita)
  6. 10
    Waylaid by Ed Lin (Othemts)
  7. 00
    Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich (JenMDB)
  8. 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 (181)  Spanish (4)  All languages (185)
Showing 1-5 of 181 (next | show all)
Excellent read and great teaching. ( )
  ibkennedy | Jul 16, 2018 |
You can't argue with Erdrich's expertise in spinning a story. Here she tells the story of Joe, who is looking back on his 13th year, when his mother was brutally raped by a white man. A tale of injustice, revenge, family, community, it reminded me a little of [To Kill a Mockingbird], if it were set on a Native American reservation (though there's not a courtroom scene). Certainly the father is as noble as Atticus. Joe is 13, though, and this is also a coming of age story, with a 13-year-old's perspective on sex and its complications. He hangs out with 3 best friends, and those relationships are expertly delineated. Native American traditions and stories are relayed through a rambunctious but frail elder, and it's interesting to contemplate how those stories relate to the events of the novel. ( )
  deckla | Jul 5, 2018 |
This book is a haunting tale of a brutal rape on an American Indian reservation and the quest for elusive justice. Set in 1988, it's told from the point of view of the victim's 13-year-old son, who's just beginning to truly notice the world he inhabits. It won the National Book Award for fiction in 2012...deservedly so, in my opinion. I also enjoyed all of the Star Trek: The Next Generation references. ( )
  poppycock77 | May 26, 2018 |
There are so many wonderful Native American writers. This story was different as at least some of the people were solidly middle class, not just getting by. The story was well told and pulled me along even if the miscreant was telegraphed. Read this for a book club. Might not have picked it up otherwise. ( )
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
I have discovered a new author that I enjoy very much. Louise Erdrich's novel won the National Book Award, and sometimes that can be a big hit or miss with how much I enjoy it. This one was a hit for me as I loved her writing style, character development, and the fact that she did not necessarily shoot for the happy ending throughout the book. The look into Native American culture of the upper Mid-West was also very well done and I felt immersed in the setting. I look forward to reading more of this author in the future. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 181 (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.
 
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To Pallas
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Small trees had attacked my parents' home at the foundation.
Quotations
"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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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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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.… (more)

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