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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in…
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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 1993; vuoden 1994 painos)

– tekijä: Sherman Alexie (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,1821312,598 (3.96)136
In this darkly comic short story collection, Sherman Alexie, a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, brilliantly weaves memory, fantasy, and stark realism to paint a complex, grimly ironic portrait of life in and around the Spokane Indian Reservation. These twenty-two interlinked tales are narrated by characters raised on humiliation and government-issue cheese, and yet are filled with passion and affection, myth and dream. There is Victor, who as a nine-year-old crawled between his unconscious parents hoping that the alcohol seeping through their skins might help him sleep, Thomas Builds-the-Fire, who tells his stories long after people stop listening, and Jimmy Many Horses, dying of cancer, who writes letters on stationary that reads "From the Death Bed of Jimmy Many Horses III," even though he actually writes then on his kitchen table. Against a backdrop of alcohol, car accidents, laughter, and basketball, Alexie depicts the distances between Indians and whites, reservation Indians and urban Indians, men and women, and mostly poetically between modern Indians and the traditions of the past.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:BradScott
Teoksen nimi:The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
Kirjailijat:Sherman Alexie (Tekijä)
Info:Perennial (1994), Edition: Reprint, 240 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (tekijä: Sherman Alexie) (1993)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 13) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Sherman Alexi’s 1993 collection of short stories is one I will long remember. The only other work of Alexi’s I had read to this point was his serial killer novel Indian Killer, so I didn’t know at all what to expect from his short stories. But from its title, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (which disappointingly turned out to be the title of one of the stories I liked least in the whole book), all the way through its twenty-two stories, this collection is special.

One of the surprises I got from the collection is that it contains two or three stories that are probably as good as any short story I’ve ever read. Another surprise is that the collection contains a couple of stories that are definitely among the worst, and least comprehensible, short stories I’ve ever read. As I said…a memorable collection. The interrelated stories in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven are very dark, and many of them are filled with despair, but they are sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, too. The stories are structured and placed within the book in a way that shares snapshots into the lives of several recurring characters throughout their lifetimes. In style, they veer all the way from the brutal realism to fantasy and magical realism, a style that almost always requires a more patient reader than I will ever be.

The despair in the stories largely comes from watching the innocence and hopes of young Native American children turn into a passive lack of hope for the future by the time they are in their early teens. The humor springs from the clever coping mechanisms that so many of the mature characters use to make their daily lives tolerable. But lurking in the background, always, are the addictions to drugs and alcohol that eventually control the lives of so many of the characters the book’s readers first meet as children.

Here are a few examples of Alexi’s style and tone:

“It’s hard to be optimistic on the reservation. When a glass sits on a table here, people don’t wonder if it’s half filled or half empty. They just hope it’s good beer.” (From “The Only Traffic Signal on the Reservation Doesn’t Flash Red Anymore”)

“While Victor stood in line, he watched Thomas Builds-the-Fire standing near the magazine rack talking to himself. Like he always did. Thomas was a storyteller that nobody wanted to listen to. That’s like being a dentist in a town where everybody has false teeth.” (From “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”)

“Victor and Thomas made it back to the reservation just as the sun was rising. It was the beginning of a new day on earth, but the same old shit on the reservation.” (Also from “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”)

“Still, he drank his coffee straight today. In other yesterdays he poured vodka into his cup before the coffee was finished brewing. ‘Shit,’ he said aloud. ‘Nothing more hopeless than a sober Indian.’” (From “All I Wanted to Do Was Dance”)

Bottom Line: Stories like these, written by an author who observes the culture from the inside (Alexi is himself a member of the Spokane tribe and grew up on the reservation) are more revealing than anything ever likely to be produced by some sociologist or governmental bureaucrat. Books like The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven should be required reading for any outsider who believes he can solve the problems of such a unique culture by throwing money or platitudes at it. Sadly, I doubt that it was read by many/any of them. These stories, of course, were written almost thirty years ago, but there is still a lot to be learned from them and others like them. ( )
  SamSattler | Jun 28, 2021 |
Summary: A collection of short stories all relating to growing up on a Spokane Indian reservation.

Sherman Alexie was born in 1966 and grew up on a Spokane Indian reservation. This collection of short stories followed a critically acclaimed book of poetry, and so is one of Alexie's earliest works. In the introduction to the twentieth anniversary edition, Alexie describes these stories as "thinly disguised memoir." And to be truthful, it has that feel to it. He describes his style as "reservation realism" and in this collection one finds a mix of the starkly realistic and the fantastic.

What is starkly realistic is his portrayal of life on the reservation. Of course there is a strong web of friendships, families, kinship and love relationships. There is the sense of a people attempting to keep the core of a cultural memory together when much of its substance has been gutted. It's also a portrayal of financial destitution, un- and under-employment, fighting, government issue cheese and housing, and alcohol and substance abuse. Alexie admits that his own father was an alcoholic and that in his extended family only a dozen are currently sober and only a few that never drank.

One of the most interesting characters in this whole mix is Thomas Builds-the-Fire, who in "This is What it Means to Say Phoenix" accompanies the narrator and covers most of the cost of flying from Spokane to Phoenix to re-cover his alcoholic father's remains. Thomas is a story-teller to whom no one listens. In a subsequent story more on the fantastic, Kafka-esque side, Thomas goes on trial for his storytelling, going to prison for murder as he tells the story in first person of another Indian who had killed two soldiers a century before.

From the absurd, Alexie moves to the sad in telling the story of the death of Samuel Builds-the-Fire, a hotel maid who uses his money to pay Indian prostitutes to take the day off, is laid off, gets drunk for the first time in his life, trips and falls on railroad tracks and does not get up as an oncoming train approaches.

There is the funny and sad. The title says it all in "The Only Traffic Signal on the Reservation Doesn't Flash Red Anymore." In another, the narrator talks about his father, who heard Jimi Hendrix play the "Star Spangled Banner" at Woodstock, and whose son would always turn it on for him when he arrived home from a night of drinking. In "Amusements" a young couple at a carnival spot an old drunk from the reservation and load him onto a coaster, on which he rides until he comes to and gets sick to his stomach.

So much of this seems like autobiography. "Jesus Christ's Half-Brother is Alive and Well on the Spokane Indian Reservation" begins in 1966, chronicles the growing up of a boy dropped on his head (Alexie was hydrocephalic) yet has a fairly normal boyhood while the narrator plays basketball, similar to Alexie's high school self. "Junior Polatkin's Wild West Show" describes a young man who went off to Gonzaga, felt out of place and left without graduating. Alexie also went to Gonzaga, leaving after two years, although he completed a degree at Washington State.

Alexie gives us twenty-four stories that explore the life of a people displaced, consigned to make some sense of life in a world they've not chosen, fighting addictions that may have been the worst depredation of them all upon their lives. You have accounts of people who want to live, love and make their way in the world while holding onto a cultural heritage, a way of living in the world out of step with the American culture in which they are embedded. It is admittedly one perspective but it does begin to help us understand "the American experience" of these First Peoples and the stark realities of reservation life. ( )
  BobonBooks | Aug 17, 2016 |
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven contains a collection of short stories that are interconnected, all taking place on the same reservation and with various characters reappearing in multiple stories; in fact, about the first half of the book all centers around the character of Victor, although these stories alternate between first and third person points of view.

The book is sharply funny at times, but this humor is offset by the largely bleak world portrayed and peopled with pessimistic outlooks. While I found Alexie's writing beautiful, the subject matter was so depressing and almost unremittingly without hope that I'd find it difficult to wholeheartedly recommend this book. To say I "enjoyed" it would be the wrong word choice, but I am glad that I read this book. Again, Alexie's writing style is noteworthy, so that made for an overall good reading experience. But the stories touched upon so many tragedies and problems that the few hints of hope dropped on rare occasions were not enough to bolster any optimism. This is definitely not a good read if you are looking for something light and fuzzy, but the beautiful writing may win you over if you're willing to dive into some deeper themes about isolation, poverty and its negative effects, tradition versus the future, racism, and so forth. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Nov 7, 2015 |
Many of the stories are beautiful and a few hauntingly so. Unfortunately, as with all short story collections, some of the stories aren't all that good. Still, the number of good ones is larger than those that aren't, and there are a few that are more than just good. Recommended. ( )
  JWarren42 | Oct 10, 2013 |
How do you survive in a place where everyone you know, and have ever known are alcoholics and drug abusers, and you are expected to turn out no different? The book is a series of short stories following the lives of Native Americans living on the Spokane Reservation. It is especially focused on young residents struggling with their identities as Native Americans and with the addictions and alcoholism common in Spokane. Though the stories follow different characters with and have different plotlines, there are common threads through the stories that string them together in and almost continuous description of the lives of the Spokane natives. In most stories the ideas of following culture and tradition are present, along with struggles with substance abuse and most commonly, their identity as Native Americans. Another important part of the book is the idea that the past is just as much a part of who you are as where and how you are raised is. In the short story “A Drug Called Tradition” Victor states that "Your past is a skeleton walking one step behind you, and your future is a skeleton walking one step in front of you."
Because the stories are told from the points of view of different people, at varying times, the author creates a vivid description of life in the reservation for everyone. The author, Sherman Alexie, admits that while the events in the book are exaggerated, the stories are autobiographical and follow events from his own childhood. This adds a depth to the story that isn’t as common in fictional works. The story is a magnificent piece of literary works, the past and present weaving in and out of each other in a way that creates a detailed understanding of Native American culture and how it was changed by the coming of the Europeans. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is a book worth reading if there ever was one, its depth and humor creating a wonderful harmony of literary magic. -M.C.
1 ääni StonehamHS_Library | May 3, 2011 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 13) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Kanoninen teoksen nimi
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
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Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
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There's a little bit of magic in everything and then some loss to even things out. - Lou Reed
I listen to the gunfire we cannot hear, and begin this journey with the light of knowing the root of my own furious love. - Joy Harjo
Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
For Bob, Dick, Mark, and Ron
For Adrian, Joy, Leslie, Simon,
and all those Native writerswhose words an music
have made mine possible
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Although it was winter, the nearest ocean was four hundred miles away, and the Tribal Weatherman asleep because of boredom, a hurricane dropped from the sky in 1976 and fell so hard on the Spokane Indian Reservation that it knocked Victor from bed and his latest nightmare.
Sitaatit
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Still, Indians have a way of surviving. But it's almost like Indians can easily survive the big stuff. Mass murder, loss of language and land rights. It's the small things that hurt the most. The white waitresses who wouldn't take an order, Tonto, and the Washington ******** . ("The Only Traffic Signal on the Reservation Doesn't Flash Red Any More")
...James says he knows more. He says the earth is our grandmother and that technology has become our mother and that they both hate each other. (Jesus Christ's Half Brother is Alive and Well on the Spokane Indian reservation")
Viimeiset sanat
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(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
Erotteluhuomautus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
NOTE: The 20th Anniversary edition (2005 & later) is a DIFFERENT BOOK, with two additional stories.

Contents: Every little hurricane -- A drug called tradition -- Because my father always said he was the only Indian who saw Jimi Hendrix play "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Woodstock -- Crazy Horse dreams -- The Only traffic signal on the reservation doesn't flash red anymore -- Amusements -- This is what it means to say Phoenix, Arizona -- The fun house -- All I wanted to do was dance -- The trial of Thomas Builds-the-Fire -- Distances -- Jesus Christ's half-brother is alive and well on the Spokane Indian Reservation -- A train is an order of occurrence designed to lead to some result -- A good story -- The first annual all-Indian horseshoe pitch and barbecue -- Imagining the reservation -- The approximate size of my favorite tumor -- Indian education -- The Lone Ranger and Tonto fistfight in Heaven -- Family portrait -- Somebody kept saying powwow -- Witnesses, secret and not
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
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Kanoninen DDC/MDS
Kanoninen LCC

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

In this darkly comic short story collection, Sherman Alexie, a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, brilliantly weaves memory, fantasy, and stark realism to paint a complex, grimly ironic portrait of life in and around the Spokane Indian Reservation. These twenty-two interlinked tales are narrated by characters raised on humiliation and government-issue cheese, and yet are filled with passion and affection, myth and dream. There is Victor, who as a nine-year-old crawled between his unconscious parents hoping that the alcohol seeping through their skins might help him sleep, Thomas Builds-the-Fire, who tells his stories long after people stop listening, and Jimmy Many Horses, dying of cancer, who writes letters on stationary that reads "From the Death Bed of Jimmy Many Horses III," even though he actually writes then on his kitchen table. Against a backdrop of alcohol, car accidents, laughter, and basketball, Alexie depicts the distances between Indians and whites, reservation Indians and urban Indians, men and women, and mostly poetically between modern Indians and the traditions of the past.

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