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War dances by Sherman Alexie

War dances (2009)

by Sherman Alexie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
An eclectic mix of short story and poetry. Some is endearing, some engaging, some is somewhat dark, most of it is interspersed with Alexie's wry humour. For me, not all of it worked, but it's worth it for when the story and/or the humour works, because then it's really good. ( )
  devilish2 | Jan 17, 2014 |
Great collection of short stories and poems. The central story "War Dances" is awesome. But there are other really good ones as well. ( )
  stuart10er | Nov 5, 2013 |
I listened to the author read his work and I was completely mesmerized. His reading was flawless and the poetic nature of these memoir-like pieces surfaced in all of the writing. Achingly honest, I would really recommended listening to the audio version. I could not turn it off! ( )
  St.CroixSue | Oct 8, 2013 |
Having recently seen Alexie during his book tour, I tried but could not evoke his voice while reading this. It's still good, of course, but better with his own narration.

I'm far down on the list at the library for new books by Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, Audrey Niffenegger, and Richard Russo. I'm a little sad that demand for Alexie should be so much less than theirs that I got it so quickly. But happy to have got it so quickly.
  ljhliesl | May 21, 2013 |
War Dances by Sherman Alexie (Grove Press, 2009)

Sherman Alexie’s award winning, War Dances, is a book of short stories, poems, and question and answer sections, which surprisingly work quite well together. This book includes 23 pieces of literature which cover a wide array of topics, ranging from homosexuality, to corruption in politics, to struggles with alcoholism, to marriage, and even struggles faced by Native Americans. The way I see it, the book’s title, War Dances, could very well be a reference to the struggles, or wars, everyday people fight throughout their lives.

When talking about Native Americans and their traditions in this book’s title story, War Dances, Alexie holds nothing back. “You should see my dad right now. He’s pretending to go into this, like, fucking trance and is dancing around my sister’s bed.” He offers valuable, yet often grotesque insight into the life of a modern Native American.

Alexie seamlessly blends together a serious yet comedic tone as he describes various tragedies and unfortunate coincidences. Part auto-biography, this book goes to great length to reveal much about what could very well be Sherman Alexie’s life. In his short story, Orphans, Sherman Alexie writes through the eyes of a family man diagnosed with a tumor. “I was worried that I had a brain tumor. Or that my hydrocephalus had returned. I was scared that I was going to die and orphan my sons.” While Alexie is quick to touch on dark themes such as that mentioned in Orphans, he often balances these stories with sarcasm and humor.

The somewhat quirky and questionable format of Sherman Alexie’s stories attests to his unconventional writing style, and leaves readers desiring more from this Native-American man. His short stories can be as short as a page or as long as seven, however, all have value and serve a purpose. As the book weaves through various stories, it reveals multiple underlying themes including, holding oneself accountable for one’s actions, and how success can cause corruption. Overall, this 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award winner adds to Alexie’s collection of worthwhile reads, which includes various other award winning and nominated books.

--Michael Lurigio ( )
  Mike_L | May 14, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Alexie’s appealing collection of short stories, poems and self-interrogations opens with an attempted murder and closes with an epitaph. Mortality is much on the mind of this puckish writer, who continues to sift common truths through the sieve of his Indian identity, albeit with the alacrity of a man barreling away from his youth.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sherman Alexieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, ChaseAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woods, Charles RueCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Back in college when I was first learning how to edit film--how to construct a scene--my professor, Mr. Baron, said to me, "You don't have to show people using a door to walk into a room.
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A collection of short stories includes the title story, in which a famous writer, who just learned he may have a brain tumor, must decide how to care for his distant, American Indian father who is slowly dying.

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An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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