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Three Day Road

Three Day Road [Kindle Edition]

Joseph Boyden
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Description


an absorbing read, with chilling, exhaustive detail. (Adam Piette SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)

¿It takes an exceptionally intense and clear vision for a writer to persuade us that there is anything new to be said about the Great War. Yet every now and then a book comes along that rescues from the mire and carnage a genuinely new perspective on the awful events of 1914-1918. Focusing on the rarely-told stories of indigenous people enlisted into the Canadian army, Joseph Boyden¿s first novel, is one such book.' (Laurence Wareing THE GLASGOW HERALD)

There are also lyrical moments which posses an eerie power - especially where Boyden writes about the northern landscape and the human relationship to it. He has illuminated a forgotten corner of the Great War and that, in itself is a prodigious achievement. (Julie Wheelwright THE INDEPENDENT)

Perhaps the most startling success of this book is the way it combines a tale of racial and cultural displacement with a mystic saga¿. He guides us through immensely complex stories with subtlety and grace.¿ (Murrough O'Brien THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

There have been so many fine novels inspired by the First World War that to read one that is not just harrowing, but fresh, comes as a pleasant surprise¿. (it¿s) a fully rounded work of fiction which, after a quiet opening, develops into a real page-turner¿¿. His portrait of an indigenous people who are, in their way, hunted to near-extinction is poignant and convincing.¿ (David Robson THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

a first rate read. (Jerry Todd-Jenkins CANADA POST)

Jerry Todd-Jenkins, CANADA POST

'a first rate read.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 564 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (9 Sep 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043M67G2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,713 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Close and personal 6 Aug 2006
Linking Cree hunting stories with World War I frontline accounts would seem an odd undertaking, to say the least. The wild Canadian North with its harsh yet beautiful landscape and tough living conditions for those surviving off the land is a far cry - physically and spiritually - from the trenches and the killing fields of Ypres and the Somme. Yet, Boyden has successfully merged these seemingly disparate themes through his telling of the life stories of the three protagonists: Xavier, Elijah and Niska. The two young friends, looking for adventure, joined the war effort while Niska carries on her life as the last Oji-Cree medicine woman. The story is told from different perspectives, moving backwards and forwards in time. The outcome is an engrossing narrative that interweaves the disturbing description of WWI horrors in the trenches with the rich and multifaceted recollections of the protagonists' lives and their emotions and experiences of the past.

"Taking the Three Day Road", the traditional Cree reference to dying, takes on new meaning here, both literally and spiritually. The journey home in Niska's canoe through the lush forests and on the winding river provides the backdrop to her efforts to bring one of the friends home, physically and mentally deeply wounded. Her personal recollections and stories of their past lives are set against the nightmarish dreaming of the returning soldier. Will Niska be able to soothe the mind, will the medicine be strong enough to heal him from the agony of war?

The two young Cree started out with eagerness to fight in the war, having honed their tracking and shooting skills in the bush killing animals for food and ceremony. Their very different characters emerge clearly as they leave the familiar territory.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My book of the year so far 29 Jun 2010
I loved this book and can't believe some of the critical reviews. This is a refreshing and original take on two difficult subjects and I think the author handles his subjects and characters well. I am a sophisticated reader and don't have a problem with the shifts from one story to the next and jumps in time, in fact I think it adds to the book by breaking up the story set in the trenches with some lighter relief, but if this is not your cup of tea then don't waste your time. For anyone else I can thoroughly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STRANGELY MESMERISING 17 Feb 2014
By Clive
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read 'The Orenda' and 'Through Black Spruce', I felt compelled to follow up with 'Three Day Road'. I'm glad that I did. These three books were written by Joseph Boyden at different times and not in the same chronological order as the story line. 'The Orenda' is set furthest back in history, with 'Bird' as the Cree Indian at the centre of the story. Then, 'Three Day Road' is set during the First World War and has a descendent of 'Bird', 'Xavier Bird' as a main character. And then 'Through Black Spruce' is set a few decades later and not only has a 'Bird' as a main character but has an appearance by Xavier Bird.

The strangely engaging technique of having two or three main characters and then rotating each chapter to tell the story through the eyes of each, in turn, was used to forceful effect in 'The Orenda' and 'Through Black Spruce' but is used less obviously in 'Three Day Road'. That is to say that the device is still evident, but not quite so obviously.

As with the other books, when looking back, it seems as though the story should have been a bit boring, as it is certainly quite slowly paced, but it isn't boring. Not at all! The characters are so engaging and well rounded that you really want to read on and find out what happens to them next. Then again, setting the two main characters in the front line trenches of the First World War creates a backdrop to the plot line second to none. Those reviewers who have praised the power of this tale of trench warfare have not mislead you; it really is that good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a word wasted 18 Aug 2005
By A Customer
An intense tale of World War One seen through the eyes of two Cree Indians from Moose Factory, Canada, Three Day Road is a unique take on trench warfare intertwined with Canadian Indian beliefs. This is a stunning and haunting novel, told in succinct and careful prose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read 2 Dec 2008
By Big Dud
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was attracted to this book by the connection made to Pegahmagabow, a first world war indigenous Canadian who was highly effective sniper.The contrast between the humanist attitude of the Cree Indian and the machanistic murder of the first world war makes for an exciting counter point. Read this book, you will be enthralled by its lyrical qualities
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reading. 7 Aug 2010
Deeply symbolic and evocative account of two friends who abandon their beautiful and spiritual surroundings to fight in the First World War. The friends react differently to the horrors of war. I fell into this book and was surprised to find it had received so few reviews. A must read kind of book ...
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4.0 out of 5 stars well worth reading. 8 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Canadian Cree Indians on the WW1 battlefields ? Yes it sounds a little far-fetched... yet it works. A wonderful harrowing story. I loved it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars book
The book which was a gift was delivered as advertised with no problems. This was a gift hope the person likes it.
Published 7 months ago by Linda Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Joseph Boyden. Three Day Road
Joseph Boyden, Three Day Road
This is an outstanding novel concerning the First World War. What gives it its originality is the fact that the main characters are two young... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Roger Ioan Stephens Jones
2.0 out of 5 stars 3day/3hour road
I found this book very depressing. Prob recommend it for male readers; as for me it was unreadable.
I bought it for a book group but failed to finish it. Read more
Published on 8 May 2011 by housemartin33
3.0 out of 5 stars Obessive
I found that the constant toing and frowing of time and places of the narrative destroyed the continuity of reading and I lost sympathy with the book. Read more
Published on 6 Dec 2009 by B. L. Ridpath
4.0 out of 5 stars Three Day Road
A good haunting read. These most horrendous experiences that humans suffered in the name of war.
The beautiful prose and sympathetic understanding from Joseph Boyden does... Read more
Published on 30 Oct 2009 by Okokok
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting
Three Day Road provides a haunting new insight into the horrors of the trenches, and the contrast between the underground hell of WW1 is contrasted with the clean open spaces of... Read more
Published on 14 Nov 2008 by James A. Hicken
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book
I bought this book as a holiday read in the USA. It is intense and disturbing and a great read.
One of my favourite books ever!
Published on 21 Aug 2008 by F. Haywood
2.0 out of 5 stars Bloodless, despite the gore
Joseph Boyden has done his research. Lots of it. Research into the battles of the first world war, slang-terms, battle-tactics, et cetera... Read more
Published on 18 Jan 2008 by Twig
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