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Lone Ranger And Tonto Fistfight In Heaven Paperback – 11 Sep 1997

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (11 Sept. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074938669X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749386696
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 283,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"So wide-ranging, dexterous and consistently capable of raising your neck hair that it enters at once into our ideas of who we are and who we might be" (New York Times Book Review)

"I laughed and laughed and couldn't stop reading... Sherman Alexie is simply one of the best new writers we have" (Leslie Marmon Silko)

"Poetic and unremittingly honest . . . The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is for the American Indian what Richard Wright’s Native Son was for the black American in 1940." (The Chicago Tribune)

Book Description

Twenty-two powerful stories which balance unbearable honesty about the difficulties of life in an American Indian reservation with irrepressible passion, warmth and wit.

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
These stories pack a punch. All set on the Spokane Indian reservation and involving the same characters- Victor, Thomas Builds-A-Fire, Junior Polatkin- the tales are of basketball, of drunkeness, of fry bread, despair and hope. Thomas Builds-A-Fire tells stories, often to himself when no one else wants to listen. Victor travels to Arizona to dispose of his father's remains, remembering how he was abandoned as a youth. Victor remembers sleeping between his parents, passed out from alcohol, which was comforting to him as a child. Victor and Junior reminisce about the great reservation basketball players, some having gained eternal fame from a single, well-placed shot across the court. These stories sometimes go by in a haze of drunkenness, in the anger of a modern Native American- but all will surely touch you to the core. Each story made me stop and think for hours afterwards, and they clutched my heart. They are beautiful and devastating, some of the most poignant and powerful stories I have read in a long time.
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Format: Paperback
with this collection of short stories, sherman alexie has put together a classic book. this is very witty, funny and sad at the same time. this is truly a great insight into modern american indian life (sherman alexie refuses to be called native american). many of these tales are autobiographical and alexie impresses the reader more and more with each story. this is a great book, definately 5 stars.
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Format: Paperback
Sherman Alexie is one of the more peculiar authors I've ever read. He has a very personal way to tell a story and to choose the words to tell it. He has an incredible eye for the setting. In just few well chosen words he can `make you be there', seeing, smelling, touching the reservation, or whatever other setting he chooses (but it's seldom very far from the rez). He has a way to bring characters to you that you would think you can nearly speak to these people. They're there, you can touch them, you can hear their words, both spoken or only thought. You can touch their emotions.
It's a very pregnant style. When you read it, you're invested with the places and the people and feeling. They're all around you.
And yet, he leaves a lot of space to the reader. There are a lot of things as a reader you have to sort out by yourself. Alexie gives you the row stuff, a very rich, textured, flavoured row stuff, but then you as a reader have to work it out and turn it into a refined idea or sensation.
So, my experience with this book, which is the first I read by Alexie, was this strange dual occurrence: he gave me a lot of what it's his, but he left space to me to put my experience in and feel in the gaps. So that our experience mix, and they have a meaning because they mix. Because in the moment I put forward my own ideas and thoughts and feelings to make sense of the story, I let his ideas and thoughts and feelings come freely to me.
I think this is the reason why, even if Alexie always tells about Indians, in a very strongly Indian way and language, from an achingly Indian outlook on the world, seen thought places which are Indian and experiences which are undoubtedly Indian, when his message comes to me it is, most of the time, a universal message.
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Format: Paperback
I was offered this as an ARC by Open Road Media, and accepted with alacrity. The reason for my eagerness was discovering, from the blurb, that Sherman Alexie's first published writing (poetry) twenty and more years ago garnered a review from the New York Times claiming him as "one of the major lyric voices of our time"

Unfortunately then, I started Alexie's book of linked stories around recurring characters, with certain expectations around language : beauty, sinewy muscularity, precision, multifaceted meaning or allusion in the choice of words. Some sort of sense that each word and phrase would have weight, and would fit closely and unerringly in place.

And although the matter of the stories is interesting, and though Alexie writes with warmth, passion and much heart about what it feels like, and why, to be a Native American and to grow up and live on a reservation, to deal with all the losses, to respond with resilience, anguish, pain and humour, I was waiting to find that major lyric voice.

Alexie writes with huge warmth and authenticity, does not disguise the way in which Native Americans have their expectations set low, or what it means to live in a country where your birthright was sold, or you let it go, for a mess of pottage. I appreciate the humanity within - but I just feel let down through the expectation of exceptional writing,

The undoubted warmth and heart, sadly, are not enough, and I remain a little puzzled by the accolades accorded to the writing itself, to the style. However important and worthy the content, I just wanted style as well as substance.
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