HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Medicine River (1989)

by Thomas King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
328580,875 (3.77)9
Fiction. Literature. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:When Will returns to Medicine River, he thinks he is simply attending his motherís funeral. He doesnít count on Harlen Bigbear and his unique brand of community planning. Harlen tries to sell Will on the idea of returning to Medicine River to open shop as the townís only Native photographer. Somehow, thatís exactly what happens.

Through Willís gentle and humorous narrative, we come to know Medicine River, a small Albertan town bordering a Blackfoot reserve. And we meet its people: the basketball team; Louise Heavyman and her daughter, South Wing; Martha Oldcrow, the marriage doctor; Joe Bigbear, Harlenís world-travelling, storytelling brother; Bertha Morley, who has a short fling with a Calgary dating service; and David Plume, who went to Wounded Knee. At the centre of it all is Harlen, advising and pestering, annoying and entertaining, gossiping and benevolently interfering in the lives of his friends and neighbours.

.
… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 9 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
Historical Fiction
  BooksInMirror | Feb 19, 2024 |
A deceptively quiet novel perfectly structured to create a seamless tapestry of life and thought. ( )
  AngelaLam | Feb 8, 2022 |
I listened to this audiobook read by Wesley French who did a respectable job. This book is set in the same general area as the first Thomas King novel that I read, Green Grass, Running Water. That area is southwestern Alberta where the prairie meets the mountains. It's an area I have visited quite a lot and since I won't be able to go there this year it was nice to hear the descriptions of the land.

Will was raised in this area by his mother who was from the nearby Blackfoot reservation. She had lost her Indian status by marrying a white man, Will's father, and so she couldn't return to live on the reserve when her marriage fell apart. Will moved to Toronto to become a photographer and had little to do with his indigenous heritage for many years. However, when his mother died he returned for the funeral and he spends time with Harlan, a friend from his youth. Harlan encourages Will to return to Medicine River and after a romantic relationship in Toronto fails he does. Harlan helps him set up a photography studio and encourages him to join the basketball team that he coaches. Will is treated as an outsider for a while but with Harlan's assistance he is soon partaking in community events. He also meets a woman, Louise, who is pregnant and planning to raise the child on her own. Will ends up drving her to the hospital when Louise is due to deliver her baby and the hospital staff assume he is the father. Will doesn't correct them and as time passes he does take on a paternal role. The child is named Wilma but Will always calls her South Wing because that is the area of the hospital where she was born. Will seems to have a better life in Medicine River than he did in Toronto and perhaps that is the message of the book: a person needs to feel connected to the land around him/her and the people in that land.

I wouldn't call this my favourite Thomas King book. It didn't seem to have as much meat to it as some of King's other books. It was chosen by one of the people in my pandemic reading group so it will be interesting to see what others think of it. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jun 30, 2020 |
Difficult narrative to lose oneself in the story. The pace was often tedious with confusing flashbacks providing backstory. Random events currently happening in the present would then feel dislocated. The 3 star score relates to the subtle way the reader learns how difficult it is for the families when natives (especially the women) marry outside of their ethnic group. The author is adroit at demonstrating family dynamics, absentee fathers and the injustice for native mothers and kids losing their right to belong to a tribe (band?) and live on the reserve. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Jun 1, 2018 |
wryly funny pathos: Set in Alberta, Canada, it's a loving, wryly funny portrait of the fictional inhabitants of Medicine River. With the gentlest of pens that belies the pathos beneath, the lives of native americans are opened. I will read more by him.
  iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
For Helen, Christian and Benjamin. Just in case.
First words
Dear Rose, I'll bet you never thought you'd hear from me again.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Fiction. Literature. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:When Will returns to Medicine River, he thinks he is simply attending his motherís funeral. He doesnít count on Harlen Bigbear and his unique brand of community planning. Harlen tries to sell Will on the idea of returning to Medicine River to open shop as the townís only Native photographer. Somehow, thatís exactly what happens.

Through Willís gentle and humorous narrative, we come to know Medicine River, a small Albertan town bordering a Blackfoot reserve. And we meet its people: the basketball team; Louise Heavyman and her daughter, South Wing; Martha Oldcrow, the marriage doctor; Joe Bigbear, Harlenís world-travelling, storytelling brother; Bertha Morley, who has a short fling with a Calgary dating service; and David Plume, who went to Wounded Knee. At the centre of it all is Harlen, advising and pestering, annoying and entertaining, gossiping and benevolently interfering in the lives of his friends and neighbours.

.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.77)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 2
2.5 3
3 8
3.5 7
4 17
4.5 1
5 11

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 208,441,589 books! | Top bar: Always visible