The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

Book - 1993
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Baker & Taylor
Offers a fictional portrait of the characters, themes, and language of the Spokane Indian Reservation

Blackwell North Amer
Alexie, a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, brilliantly weaves characters, themes, and language as he evokes the complex density of life in and around the Spokane Indian Reservation, an existence filled with pain, anger, and bitterness but also, more importantly, with forgiveness and resilient hope. While Alexie writes with brutal honesty, his voice also resonates with humor and irony.
What is explored here is the distance between people: between Indians and whites, reservation Indians and urban Indians, men and women, and, most poetically, between modern Indians and the traditional figures from their past. Alexie chronicles life on his own Spokane Indian Reservation: the alcohol, car accidents, basketball games, and romances. But at the heart of it all, Alexie writes with affection, grace, and, most of all, passion. He is a modern mythmaker, with a razor-sharp eye for the ironies of modern Indian life, recording the estrangement between Indians and the rest of the world, while affirming the continuing power of his tribe's cultural history and language.

& Taylor

The acclaimed native American poet captures a fictional portrait of the characters, themes, and language of the Spokane Indian Reservation. By the author of I Would Steal Horses. 25,000 first printing. National ad/promo. Tour.

Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, [1993]
Copyright Date: ©1993
ISBN: 9780871135483
Branch Call Number: FIC Alexie, S 1993
Characteristics: x, 223 pages ; 24 cm
Audience: Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.4 8.0 57120


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Apr 18, 2018

Found it beautifully written. His work is very thought provoking and yet, gives great insight to life on the reservation from a unique perspective.

Jan 15, 2018

A wake-up call for those who know nothing about life on the reservation in modern times. Very inspiring, and heart-rending.

Jan 30, 2016

Alexie writes delightful prose. It reminds me of some of Ray Brabury's short stories.
I lived with the Navajos for a year and saw similar situations Alexie writes about. Some of his stories are hard to read.

Aug 01, 2015

Sherman Alexie's collection of short stories discusses the lives of Native Americans living on the Spokane Indian Reservation. While there are a lot of depressing themes in this book, there is also a lot of humor throughout. Each story stands on its own, but recurring characters such as Thomas Builds-the-Fire and Victor weave in and out of the stories illustrating a theme of timelessness and community. This is a lyrical and fascinating book.

Apr 21, 2015

I had intended to read Sherman Alexie for some time now, and this book has been my introduction into his works, ensuring that I will most definitely be doing my best to find more. Sometimes humour is the only way to deal with a dark situation, but sometimes it can be more of a deflection than a coping mechanism; Alexie keeps a knife-edged balance, writing with humour, yet never obscuring the harsh reality underneath it. Despair, weakness, and loss, are heavy throughout the text, there is also strength, humour, and a tentative hope. Here, Alexie's writing reminds me strongly of the late and lamented Jim Carroll, (particularly, The Basketball Diaries,) an inspiration Alexie himself acknowledges in one of the stories. It's an interesting tie in, and a mark of the strength of Alexie's own writing that he can draw from such a powerful source but stand so distinctly on his own.

I don't care for short stories so part of my critique is biased against this format. The stories are underpinned by black humour, prejudice and hopelessness in a society which will not allow the native American to get ahead. The reservation is unsupportive of its own talented youth and takes no risks to break out of the mould designed by the white oppressors. A depressing reality check. I have read most of Alexie's work and recommend him to anyone interested in aboriginal issues

Aug 07, 2013

Alexie’s first short-story collection. Most (not all) of the stories center around Victor and Thomas from Reservation Blues and Smoke Signals (which was based on this collection). Typical Alexie: gritty, inspiring in surprising ways. I didn’t enjoy it as much as some of his other works—I feel like the stories are of lower caliber. But definitely a must for any Alexie fan.

Jun 29, 2012

Alexie manages to be so hilariously funny and so incredibly sad at the same time. I laughed, I cried, so true.

Dec 29, 2011

This book is a compilation of short stories that seemingly relate to each other in some more obvious ways, and some ways that require interpretation to fully understand. The ‘main’ character would be Victor, but ‘main’ is used pretty loosely as there are more characters in different stories, such as Thomas Builds-the-Fire. This book does not have a specific story and plot line since it jumps into different time periods and different events. This book is mainly about Indians going through life filled with stereotypes. The author also shows the daily life of Indians and how distant people are in the reservation. Victor and Thomas both go through many difficulties that ultimately lead the reader to pick up themes that are prevalent in this book. Themes such as alcoholism and hope are very common in this book. I actually enjoyed this book a lot. The short stories were usually not too difficult to read, but understanding them is a different thing. Sherman Alexie has this unique way of changing his style of writing and his language involving his style based on a different character, who we as readers must infer since there are not always names. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read about Indian life, challenges that main characters face, and just about teenage life, as this is a fiction book based on the author’s experience.

Mar 07, 2011

Full of real feeling, heartache and joy. I have to admit I enjoy Alexie's more recent work; and my favorite part of this book is the Introduction. Written 10 years after the book is originally published, Alexie describes himself as "a poet who whines in meter." That's why we love him!

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