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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven / by Sherman Alexie

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven - Sherman Alexie

It really isn't fair of me to rate or review this book, because it is very clearly not written for me.  It's like asking your 100 year old grandmother to review a Metallica concert.  Like asking your six year old to review sashimi.  Like asking your husband to rate the pain of childbirth.  Like asking a white woman to review the stories of a Native American man.


The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is a collection of short stories about the experiences of various Spokane Indians living on the Spokane Indian Reservation.  In many cases the stories don't appear to be very literal.  There is quite a poetic element that runs through them, and in my opinion you almost have to be Native American to be able to penetrate the meaning behind Alexie's words.  I can tell that the stories are saying something, and that they have resonance.  But the story running through stories isn't for my ears, not for my eyes.  I am an outsider to it, and I can't penetrate them to arrive at the deeper meaning or comment.


I can't even say for sure whether or not I enjoyed the book.  Certainly I enjoyed some of the characters.  Thomas Builds-the-Fire, Norma Many Horses, and Victor were all fascinating.  Certainly there was depression and passion in the stories.  But that's like saying, "I like the cover of that book," but never opening it and reading it, or opening it only to find out it's in a language you can't understand.