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The Bingo Palace by Louise Erdrich
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The Bingo Palace (1994)

by Louise Erdrich

Other authors: Martie Holmer (Lettering, family tree)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Love Medicine (3)

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8121216,206 (3.77)56

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» See also 56 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
"When you're driving the sweet empty roads between home and Fargo, endless and empty possibilities surround you. That's the view I like, all nothing particular. Sky, fields, and the signs of human attempts to alter same so small and unimportant and forgettable as you whiz by. I like blending into the distance. Passing shelter belts and fields that divide the world into squares, I always think of the chaos underneath. The signs and boundaries and markers on the surface are laid out strict, so recent that they make me remember how little time has passed since everything was high grass, taller than we stand, with no end. Beasts covered it. Birds by the million. Buffalo. If you sat still in one place they would parade past you for three days, head to head. Goose flocks blotted the sun, their cries like great storms. Bears. No ditches. Sloughs, rivers, and over all the winds, the vast winds blowing and careening with nothing in the way to stop them --- no buildings, fence lines to strum, no drive-in movie screens to bang against, not even trees."

I'm not sure this is the best paragraph to capture the essence of this novel but the image it generated for me was so irresistible. One of Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine novels, The Bingo Palace tells the story of young Lipsha Morrissey, lost in his agonizing love for Shawnee Ray Toose, and struggling to figure out the trajectory of his life. His deep friendship with his uncle Lyman (really, his cousin, but the relationships in this novel are complicated and best left to imprecise analysis), who is also in love with Shawnee Ray and has fathered a child with her, lends even greater angst to Lipsha's longing. This storyline of young love threads its way through a greater story, the story of the family and the community and the tragedies that have marked its history. Erdrich's lyrical prose blends dreams and myths and straightforward prose, all with an unflinchingly honest and compassionate lens focused on her characters. You can tell that Erdrich loves these characters, in all their humanity, the sublime and the base. But her love doesn't distract her from the story, nor from the inevitable strands from which life is woven, the tragic, tough, absurd, and glorious threads of the universal human experience. ( )
  EBT1002 | Oct 29, 2017 |
A continuation of the Chippewa family saga that began with "Love Medicine": Lipsha Morrissey has been summoned home to the Rez by his grandmother, Lulu Lamartine... Upon his return he falls in love for the first time, but with the woman of another man, Lyman Lamartine, twho is not only a relative, but also he man he works for.

Lipsha goes to seek help from his great grandmother Fleur Pillager...as he goes deeper into the woods to Fleur's house, which stands on ancient sacred ground, Lipsha realizes that this is where Lyman plans on building the Bingo Palace. Lipsha must then decide if he should stand with Lyman or be true to his ancestral roots & traditions.

This book was more difficult for me to follow than were the later works. Later works are focused on what seems to me fewer characters.... ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Erdrich's writing is so pleasant, her creativity so deep. The events just kept getting more and more amazing as the story progressed, and I felt deeply for the characters and their human imperfections, and most of all their love. ( )
  MaureenCean | May 17, 2015 |
Too much of a lovey-lovey story for my tastes. Still good, though. ( )
  allisonneke | Dec 17, 2013 |
Lipsha Morrissey comes back to the reservation and falls in love with Shawnee Ray. He vies for her love with Lyman Lamartine who is addicted to gambling. Lipsha is related to Lyman so he is conflicted. His father is in jail and his mother is dead, however, he sees her in visions.

Lyman is out to steal some land to build a casino. But part of the land belongs to Fluer Pillager who seems to live forever.

Lipsha's grandmothers both have interesting backgrounds and strong medicine. Zelda wants Shawnee and Lyman to be together and Lulu wants her son Gerry out of prison. When he does get out, it is a sorry day for Lipsha when he goes to find him.

The ending is unclear, but Shawnee is at college and will do well. Fluer is out in the snow as well as Lipsha. ( )
  avogl | Sep 1, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erdrich, Louiseprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holmer, MartieLettering, family treesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dingler, C. LindaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuentecilla, EricCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scholder, FritzCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To Michael,
U R lucky 4 me
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On most winter days, Lulu Lamartine did not stir until the sun cast a patch of warmth for her to bask in and purr.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061129755, Paperback)

At the crossroads of his life, Lipsha Morrissey is summoned by his grandmother to return to the reservation. There, he falls in love for the very first time—with the beautiful Shawnee Ray, who's already considering a marriage proposal from Lipsha's wealthy entrepreneurial boss, Lyman Lamartine. But when all efforts to win Shawnee's affections go hopelessly awry, Lipsha seeks out his great-grandmother for a magical solution to his romantic dilemma—on sacred ground where a federally sanctioned bingo palace is slated for construction.

Louise Erdrich's luminous novel The Bingo Palace is a tale of spiritual death and reawakening; of money, desperate love, and wild hope; and of the enduring power of cherished dreams.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:06 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"At the crossroads of his life, Lipsha Morrissey is summoned by his grandmother to return to the reservation. There, he falls in love for the very first time--with the beautiful Shawnee Ray, who's already considering a marriage proposal from Lipsha's wealthy entrepreneurial boss, Lyman Lamartine. But when all efforts to win Shawnee's affections go hopelessly awry, Lipsha seeks out his great-grandmother for a magical solution to his romantic dilemma--on sacred ground where a federally-sanctioned bingo palace is slated for construction."--Page 4 of cover.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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