Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

3 Stars
First things first, yes I am going to use gifs even whilst reviewing a real modern day classic. Don’t like it? Suck it.

Okay. Now that that is out of the way let me ask you all a question: Are you a lunatic like me and sometimes actively seek out something in hopes that it will make you feel bad? If not, let me ‘splain things. I was born with a bit of a deficiency . . .

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It takes a lot to make me have any emotion aside from happiness or anger. The combo of a new position at work, Spring springing which equals a busier kid schedule and also snotty-faced allergy head for me, the time change effing with me for several days, and then OH NO MY PERIOD! other stuff that made me all . . .

I wanted an excuse (in the form of paper) to mope around about. The only problem was the combo of all of the above made it take forever for me to get through this book. There’s a real good chance this could have been 4 Stars (or on the flip side 2) if I would have been able to power right through it. But since I could not, a 3 is what it shall receive.

The Round House started off great for me. There was the storyline I knew about that had drawn me to the book originally – that of a Native American mother who was brutally raped. (Since I’m me that was the extent of my knowledge about this story before beginning.) I appreciated that there wasn’t much mystery surrounding the identity of the bad guy and I really appreciated the mother’s realistic reaction to the life-altering attack . . .

Can’t you get up? Can’t you . . . come back to life?

No, she said immediately, as if she’d thought about this too. I can’t do it. I don’t know why. I just cannot do it.

(That’s probably the part where normal people cry, but alas I am a robot and had zero feelings.)

I also loooooooooooove a good coming of age story and Joe’s narration most definitely brought that to the table. I didn’t even mind the lack of punctuation (since I suck at punctuation it makes me feel better about myself when authors eliminate it altogether). But then the story went from simply adding in some additional plot points or twists and ended up getting a bit too far off the rails for me. Obviously the whodunit it had to be explained, along with the why – but I really didn’t need to get sidetracked with Native American folklore or a million and one ancillary characters and their personal histories. I wanted Joe and his friends' story. Period. Once I started hearing about Linda and the priest and Mooshum and on and on I was like . . .

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I’m sure I read it wrong. After all it won the National Book Award and errrrryone knows awards are never handed out to anything other than books which should be 5 Starred by the entire universe. I'll stick to Sherman Alexie stories from now on if I'm looking for Native America coming of age.

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