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The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham…

The Only Good Indians (edition 2020)

by Stephen Graham Jones (Author)

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1,5278810,326 (3.91)144
"Peter Straub's Ghost Story meets Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies in this American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends"--… (more)
Title:The Only Good Indians
Authors:Stephen Graham Jones (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster Audio (2020)
Collections:Nativo Americana, Your library

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The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones


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» See also 144 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
Such a fun read. I'd highly recommend it. It's dark at times but in a twists and turns way. ( )
  vnfc | Jan 17, 2023 |
A truly scary story is one that doesn’t leave you, even after you’ve put down the book. You dwell on it, mull it over, everyday objects remind you of it, you find yourself losing track of your thoughts, only to find them thinking about the story and its haunting imagery. On multiple occasions, when I was reading, I was brutally startled to the present, screaming out loud as someone walked into my bedroom or said my name.

Spooky storyline aside, this book is rich with Native heritage, where past and present collide. Sweats with traditional drumming over a loudspeaker. Hunting and gathering in trucks with the spirits of the elders whispering the legends of the elk. Woven throughout the plot are traditions and storytelling, tales and rituals passed down for generations, explanations and ideas with cultural and paranormal origins.

For the best reading experience, I recommend inhaling parts two and three in one (or two consecutive) sittings, in the middle of the forest, next to a roaring bonfire. Don’t forget your cooler of ice cold beer.

I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  LiteraryGadd | Jan 16, 2023 |
I don’t know if I devoured this book or it devoured me. I couldn’t stop turning pages, despite the horror I felt at what was happening, and what was going to happen. I was crying as I read the final pages, and the tears kept coming after I was done.
I felt torn for a while, my brain instinctively trying to figure out who was in the right, who I should root for. But I don’t think it was really that kind of a story. It felt more like a long fable, especially toward the end.
I liked how the author switched POVs and tenses, sometimes in a structured way and sometimes as a complete surprise. As little as I care about basketball, I liked Denorah’s section the most. The game of 21 had a legendary feel to it even before the narration more overtly took on that tone.
This is the first time I’ve read this author, but I doubt it will be the last. It was upsetting and rough going—I was tempted to rate it lower for all the poor puppers getting stomped (I know, I know, they’re far from the only victims)— but so well done.
( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
DNF at 20%, not because it's bad, but because, like so many acclaimed novels, it failed to hold my interest. Good thing the author hardly needs my approval. :)

It takes a deft narrative hand to not lose me in the weeds of past events versus current events; I got lost, but it also it made my second-hand embarrassment for Lewis worse. I can only handle so much of that before needing to get out.

I really liked the imagery, and I liked the characters. I'm from Montana, it all felt familiar. I'm sad it didn't work for me. Maybe later. ( )
  terriaminute | Dec 4, 2022 |
Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way. ( )
  rachelprice14 | Nov 14, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
The Only Good Indians is a disturbing horror novel about revenge and sorrow that houses a narrative about identity and the price of breaking away from tradition at its core. And that identity, Native American, isn't monolithic here; the four friends are Blackfeet, and while that means being Indian, not all Indians are the same. Also, the horror is unlike anything you've read before. It goes from disturbing flashes of thing that may or may not be there to in-your-face explosions of gore and violence tinged with supernatural elements.... Besides the creeping horror and gory poetry, The Only Good Indians does a lot in terms of illuminating Native American life from the inside, offering insights into how old traditions and modern living collide in contemporary life.... the novel is also an outstanding narrative of creeping horror in which guilt is so present it's almost a character and grief, pain, and desperation combine to feed the monsters of the past and allow them to haunt the present. Jones is one of the best writers working today regardless of genre, and this gritty, heartbreaking novel might just be his best yet.
Jones writes in clear, sparkling prose. He’s simultaneously funny, irreverent and serious, particularly when he deploys stereotype as a literary device. Lewis gets “trophies for having avoided all the car crashes and jail time and alcoholism on his cultural dance card.” ... The three friends judge themselves harshly. They try to do right by the people who are in their lives, though not necessarily by those they’ve left behind.... But the best intentions may not matter when you’re complicit in murdering a pregnant elk. And basketball may not quite be basketball, either, but instead a metaphor for what’s really in competition here — fate vs. human will. If that seems heavy for a book billed “one of 2020’s buzziest horror novels,” it’s not. “The Only Good Indians” is splashed with the requisite amounts of blood and gore, but there’s much more to it than that.
Is Elk Head Woman’s destruction a ruthless warning against losing one’s way, against adopting the colonizer’s mind-set? Or is she simply evil incarnate, a manifestation of centuries of American carnage? ... The men’s banter, their affection for one another, their personal choices and troubled journeys frame their wrongdoings, big and small, as consequences of their complex lives on a reservation, not of their nature. And so the harrowing misfortunes that await them seem strangely undeserved.... “The Only Good Indians” strains to weave a horror story with robust character studies. In the end, there is enough in each strand to appeal to both the genre fan and the literary reader, even if neither is fully reconciled to the other.
Good horror novels often have you reading and turning the pages as fast as you can. With a great horror novel – one that so arouses a sense of dread, connects so profoundly with that which is just beyond the normal world, is written with such superb craft and charac­terization that it draws you into the souls of the fictional beings – you sometimes read slowly.... The Only Good Indians is a great horror novel. Jones, long a prolific and notable sui generis writer, has written a masterpiece. Because this is the story of four men and the spirit of a vengeful female they killed as youths, I’m sure apt comparisons will be made to Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. Here, however the men are contemporary Blackfeet rather than old, almost-dead white guys. The book will be seen as effective “social commentary,” but it is not “commentary”: it is simply the truth displayed and injustice portrayed clearly for all to read.
added by Lemeritus | editLocus, Paula Guran (May 3, 2020)
Aviolent tale of vengeance, justice, and generational trauma from a prolific horror tinkerer.... Horror’s genre conventions are more than satisfied, often in ways that surprise or subvert expectations; fans will grin when they come across clever nods and homages sprinkled throughout that never feel heavy-handed or too cute. While the minimalist prose propels the narrative, it also serves to establish an eerie tone of detachment that mirrors the characters’ own questions about what it means to live distinctly Native lives in today's world—a world that obscures the line between what is traditional and what is contemporary. Form and content strike a delicate balance in this work, allowing Jones to revel in his distinctive voice, which has always lingered, quiet and disturbing, in the stark backcountry of the Rez.... Jones hits his stride with a smart story of social commentary—it’s scary good.
added by Lemeritus | editKirkus Reviews (Mar 2, 2020)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Graham Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Taylor-Corbett, ShaunNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This scene of terror is repeated all too often in elk country every season. Over the years, the hunters' screams of anguish have rocked the timber.

-Don Laubach and Mark Henkel, Elk Talks
For Jim Kuhn.
He was a real horror fan.
First words
The headline for Richard Boss Ribs would be INDIAN MAN KILLED IN DISUTE OUTSIDE BAR. That's one way to say it.
Jerry says Lewis shouldn’t hold it against Harley. He didn’t know what he was doing. When the whole world hurts, you bite it, don’t you?
“We’re from where we’re from,” she says back. “Scars are part of the deal, aren’t they?”
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"Peter Straub's Ghost Story meets Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies in this American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends"--

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