Black Hills?? [BLACK HILLS] [Paperback] Unknown Binding – 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
There's a huge amount of research woven into the story, and the scenes of Paha Sapa's young life will be fascinating for those lacking knowledge of familiarity with the Lakota (I'm not an American so I'm fairly ignorant of the history of the Native Americans of the plains) and I liked the fact that he showed a warts-and-all depictions of the life of the Lakota, and didn't lapse into sentimental cliché.
However the story starts to drag after a while. There are long periods of the story in which nothing very much happens, with little suspense generated. One of the main plot arcs is built around a historical event, so as a reader you already know what's going to happen. Hence the story suffers from a lack of dramatic tension.
Meanwhile, Paha Sapa's infection with the ghost of Custer is largely ignored and has no real role in the plot. For 95% of the novel, the ghost's only role is to write long, smutty letters to his wife, which adds nothing to the story in my view (except to make this reader feel awkward at times at the bad sex). I'm guessing these missives are supposed to provoke an initial sense of profound loss (to tie in with the spiritual loss theme as the Native Americans are slaughtered and forced off their land), leading towards the main theme of the novel (everything changes). But it just didn't work for me. I got bored, rather than moved.
Meanwhile the ending section, with two rather unbelievable plot twists in quick succession, seems like a fairly clumsy attempt to make the “everything changes” theme blindingly obvious for those who missed it the first time around.Read more ›
Sixty years after this historic moment, Paha Sapa is again part of American legend when he is working for Gutzon Borglum as a dynamiter on Mount Rushmore. Now diagnosed with cancer, Paha Sapa intends to blow up the monument the day President Roosevelt is due to arrive for a dedication ceremony. In so doing Paha Sapa hopes to avoid the fulfilment of a revelation given to him long ago, whilst seeking a vision for his tribe in the days following the Battle of The Little Bighorn.
The level of research Simmons has put into this novel is astounding. As I followed the life of Paha Sapa through the different time zones of the story, I was awed by the great swathe of history I was witnessing. The story flits between several different times in the life of its protagonist (something which at first is a little confusing,) revealing a broad vision of the changing landscape of America. As well as The Battle of The Little Bighorn, and the sculpting of Mount Rushmore, other iconic events are entwined in the story: Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, The World's Columbian Expedition in 1893 with its landmark original Ferris Wheel, the messianic Ghost Dance prophecy, and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Totally immersing story from there native american perspective. Couldn't put it down. Makes you laugh, masked yuou cry. A really good readPublished on 22 May 2014 by Sue
I loved The Terror. It is in my top 10 books of all time. I also really liked Drood, although I seem to be in a minority in this regard. Read morePublished on 26 Oct. 2013 by Honest Chap's Reviews
Fascinating tale based on events throughout American history seen through the eyes of a Native American Indian who worked on the Mount Rushmore presidents heads.Published on 16 Jun. 2013 by K. Stroud
I am sorry to have to give this only two stars but that is really what i thought.
I am a big fan of Dan Simmons and if you check out my reviews you will find him one of the... Read more
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Dan Simmons could write long, compelling science fiction, fantasy and horror novels that would keep readers up so late, propping up huge... Read morePublished on 29 Jun. 2011 by BookLover59