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The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse: A Novel
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The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse: A Novel

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,239 Ratings  ·  833 Reviews
A New York Times Notable Book

For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved Native American tribe, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. To further complicate his quiet existence, a troubled
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ebook, 384 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published September 2000)
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Brandon
Oct 09, 2012 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with spiritual concerns, tribal people, neighbors of tribes, poets, musicians, Chopin lovers
While much has been made about configurations of gender in the novels of Louise Erdrich, Last Report of Miracles from Little No Horse (LRMLNH) transcends earlier accomplishments from The Beet Queen and The Antelope Wife. The unifying aspect of sex becomes the force early in this story that turns the plot back to Tracks, bringing an astonishing depth to a story we thought we already knew.

For those not familiar with the novels of Erdrich, many of the characters in LRMLNH were introduced in earlier

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switterbug (Betsey)
If you yoked Faulkner with Garcia-Marquez, and anointed them with the comic hijinx of John Irving, you would experience a sense of Louise Erdrich's poetic, visually imaginative power. She interweaves a traditional pagan mysticism with Catholic catechism, the animate with the anthropomorphic. The central figure, Father Damien Modeste, is a Catholic missionary priest who, since coming to the Little No Horse reservation in 1912, has fluidly blended the customs of the Ojibwe people with the Holy Tri ...more
Brad
Jun 12, 2009 Brad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I have to admit that I didn't finish this book. I vowed to myself, back when I slogged my way through the insufferable Anna Karenina, that I would never again finish a book just because I had started it -- and I continue to live by that standard. Still, I came very near the end, and my complaint about The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse could not have been repaired in the space left.

What it boils down to is this: for me, Erdrich didn't achieve a genuine internal life for all her
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David
Apr 24, 2009 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been a while since I read a book which made me genuinely laugh out loud as I read it and which brought me to tears at other times. This book was one of those types of reads for me.

I have read a few of Erdrich's previous novels and I have enjoyed all of them. In every one of her novels we are exposed to the inner thoughts and dialouge's of her multiple characters. Many of her works deal with the different extremes of love and how one experiences love in its different forms.

From the mount
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Allie Riley
Mar 13, 2013 Allie Riley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"What is the whole of our existence but the sound of an appalling love?" (p355).

Both poetic and magical, "The Last Report On The Miracles At Little No Horse", is a profoundly spiritual book. It consists of the recollections of "Father Damien Modeste" (in reality Agnes DeWitt, an ex-nun who narrowly escaped being murdered at the beginning of the story) of 'his' ministry to the Native Americans on the Ojibwe reservations. Throughout his time there he had written copious letters to the Vatican conc
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Mosca
Nov 09, 2013 Mosca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a beautiful ending for another complex story by Louise Erdrich!

This is a book that twisted my opinions around its premises more times than once. At times preposterous, and at times profound--this tale binds the reader up into its characters' choices. Choices that we don't always agree with, but seem frequently to find ourselves complicit in.

And although sometimes I felt that small plot twists were a bit pat, I found that their weave into the greater tapestry of Erdrich's telling were more
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Diane S ☔
Nov 13, 2011 Diane S ☔ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just loved this book. Such a wonderful portrayal of Father Damien (actually a woman who finds her life as a priest through very strange circumstances) and the Ojibwa Indians on a Dakota reservation. The prose was beautiful and while the story went back and forth from past to present, Erdrich does such a fantastic job acquainting the reader with all the main characters and their stories this was not confusing to me. I felt like I was intimately acquainted with all of them, and loved reading abo ...more
Jessica
Jan 09, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of mystical realism, American Indian culture, gender issues
This epic spans generations but centers around the life of the fascinating Father Damien. Every aspect of his story is compelling, as are the journeys into the lives of other characters on the reservation. Erdrich deftly balances depth and breadth to create a vast yet intricately detailed and rich web of personalities, relationships, and histories. The tension between Catholicism and traditional Ojibwe spirituality is explored poignantly without demonizing either side.

Erdrich writes with a powe
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Francine
Aug 24, 2010 Francine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my introduction to Louise Erlich, and I have since read most of her books. Her writing is exquisite. She brings forth the experience of the Native American with great accessiblity and little romance (in the sense of wanting people to be in a way that they actually are not). This story is based on a person that actually existed and fooled everyone in contact with her into believing she was not only a man, but a priest. This is a singularly remarkable book and written with such compassion ...more
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
Another beautiful, moving book from Ms. Erdrich. Probably her most ambitious.

There's some great, hilarious stuff with Nanapush in this book, scenes that I'm sure I'll always remember -- a moose chase gone awry, and a series of very funny resurrections. There are also many beautiful passages about faith, some of which caused me to close the book and think for a while before moving on. For me, that's a sign that a book is working on me at a deeper level than just story.

I'd call this a must-read, t
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Matt Fox
Aug 29, 2009 Matt Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My experience with this book was one of the most unique I ever had when reading, particularly with one chapter toward the end in which i found myself both laughing and crying, almost simultaneously. I have taught Erdrich's short stories to college survey courses and she was a favorite of my students. The narrative saga of her Objiwe characters continues, specifically in Kapshaw, Nanapush, and Fleur, but you don't need to have had read her previous works to enjoy this one.

The story is definitely
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Maureen
Jun 09, 2011 Maureen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Incredible! This book is easily one of the best books I have read in the last five years. Erdrich's prose reads like poetry and her use of language is so elegantly accomplished I often found myself either moved to tears or simply breathless from the impact of her words. Erdrich skillfully prepared each and every word, phrase and sentence before it was placed on the page much like a chef prepares a fine meal- to delight the reader's palate and imagination. I dreaded the end of this book only beca ...more
Nathan
Something I've noticed going through the reviews of Erdrich's books on here is that she gets compared a lot to William Faulkner. This makes some sense. Like Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha, Erdrich has created her own community filled with well fleshed out characters at Little No Horse. There's a vast and impressive history she's made up filled with multiple viewpoints all along the way. But the author who Erdrich reminds me the most of was Woolf. She's got the same ability to occupy her characters' ps ...more
Lindsay
Apr 26, 2016 Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lindsay by: Meghan
Oh, my hodge-podge of immediate feeling! At first I thought it best to sleep on it, write something tomorrow, as sleep tends to ameliorate just about anything, but what the hell.

Is this 4 stars? 5 stars? First, to get my few quabbles out of the way, which may just be my own and no real flaw of the book. This being the fifth-and-a-half Erdrich book I've read, I have been steeped enough in the mythology and history of her Little No Horse/Argus/North Dakota nether regions to know a lot of the skinn
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Rusty
Aug 27, 2012 Rusty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found myself chuckling and enjoying this read so very much. The character of Father Damien Modeste is well developed. Found the transition from a nun named Sister Cecelia to Agnes, the live-in common law wife, to Father Damien Modeste fascinating. As she develops her persona as a priest one can't help but smile or chuckle out loud. While she operates as a priest she doesn't fool many of the tribal people who get to know her/him well.

Father Damien takes his role as priest at the reservation ser
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Carl R.
May 06, 2012 Carl R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Louise Erdrich’s work is no secret. She’s been one of those rarities among artists--both popular and respected--at least since Love Medicine won the National Book Award around 1993. In ensuing years, she’s built a universe of and constellation of characters comparable to Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha county. Her marriage to novelist Michael Dorris (Yellow Raft on Blue Water is his best known; their collaboration The Crown of Columbus is a unique piece of historical fiction.) Their good work among Ind ...more
Lynneharper
Sep 09, 2010 Lynneharper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this one up at a garage sale because I'd read "Tracks" years ago and liked it. Excellent story set on a reservation around the turn of the last century. Louise Erdrich is a Native American who writes with great humor and eloquence. It was interesting to read this after reading "A People's History of the United States"-- Andrew Jackson's war against the natives not only decimated tribes physically, but found a way, using competition for individual land ownership, to pit one native against ...more
Donna
Oct 10, 2015 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to love this or at least like it as much as another book by this same author that I've read, but I didn't. It was overly flowery for me. I noticed that the most. I did the audio and the narrator had a nice voice, but she couldn't do different voices so it felt like grade school getting a story read out loud.

I liked the story though. It was very creative and well thought out. It was fun to see where it was going, because I never felt like I knew that.
Carla
Apr 06, 2010 Carla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read book, truly original characters!!!! Erdrich is a gifted storyteller who has a seemingly endless well of native / indian characters to draw from. None of her characters ever feel like that...characters in a book drawn to instruct you, instead you fall in love with them, warts and all, and know that they live on even after you finish the last chapter, they just ARE real people. I love all her books, but this one especially captured my imagination.
Elizabeth (Alaska)
There are four layers above the earth and four layers below. Sometimes in our dreams and creations we pass through the layers, which are also space and time. In saying the word nindinawemaganidok, or my relatives, we speak of everything that has existed in time, the known and the unknown, the unseen, the obvious, all that lived before or is living now in the worlds above and below.
-Nanapush


So often an author quotes something in literature that gives the reader an insight as to what is to come.
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Irene
Feb 06, 2013 Irene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a difficult story to summarize. Fr. Jude is sent to investigate the life of a zealously, ascetical nun who has been submitted for the canonization process. Fr. Damien, the ancient pastor of the parish serving the Ojibwa people for the better part of the 20th century becomes the primary narrator of the story of this community and his life becomes the pole around which the larger story unfolds. Identity (people are often not what they seem), sanctity (zealous piety vs. sympathetic toleranc ...more
Lian Tanner
Apr 20, 2013 Lian Tanner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
This is one of those books that makes me want to go through all my previous reads and downgrade the five-star ones - because they don't match up to this one. A few of them do, of course. 'The Last Report' reminded me a little of 'The Tenderness of Wolves' by Stef Penney - I think because of the depth and the beauty of the writing. It's an exquisite story, often painful, occasionally veering into magical realism, frequently funny, but always intensely human and compassionate. And the ending, with ...more
Kimberley
Jul 05, 2010 Kimberley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this amazing book and I know it will take me awhile to churn it over in my brain. It's 'one of those..', the kind of book that won't let go of you long after you've finished the last page, the kind that creeps into your thoughts even when you are in the middle of the next book on your never ending reading list. This is the second book by Erdrich that I've read. The first was The Master Butcher's Singing Club- also powerful. Erdrich speaks to my soul on so many different levels- e ...more
Jalilah
This powerful novel is one of Louise Erdrich "Argus" series. At the time I started I was not aware of it being part of a series and honestly I did not feel I was missing out on any important information. I think it is more the case of the books all being set in the same universe with many of the same characters appearing in the different novels.
This book has been called a masterwork and this is no exaggeration! I look forward to reading every novel Erdrich has written!
Suzanne
Mar 06, 2008 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is just a stunning book although it can be a bit overdone at times. A priest who gives his life to Native Americans on the reservation, turns out to not be what he appears. His breasts are bound. He is she. This is discovered at the end of his life. What was the meaning of his/her life? As a Catholic, he has lived a lie. So is there forgiveness and redemption? Like many of Erdrich's works this informs the reader about Native American life and the hopelessness of the reservation.
Beverly
Jul 30, 2008 Beverly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Beverly by: Jonis Agee
Erdrich has written a complex, exciting novel. The cast of characters is pretty large, but she remains in control of them; they are individual and important to the story. The protagonist, Agnes/Modeste, has reinvented herself several times, and the juxtaposition of her complicated life with the present action kept me reading. This was a book that I slowed my reading for; I didn't want it to end.

Great for studying integration of character details into setting.
Joan M. Bundy
Nov 17, 2014 Joan M. Bundy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My good friend Jill Gilbert recommended this book to me and I have to say it was one of the best I have ever read, of any genre. Maybe it's because I've worked in Indian Country for various tribes that I felt I could relate to it so well, but regardless she is just such an amazing storyteller you get roped in from page one and can hardly put the thing down until you're done! This one has everything I like: fiction but with a believable story line, compelling characters, amazing landscapes and mu ...more
Juliet Wilson
Jun 13, 2009 Juliet Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I don't know whether to be delighted or annoyed to have found this further installment in the Love Medicine, Beet Queen etc never ending saga of North Dakota native American life. What swung it for me in deciding whether to buy this, though was the fact that it has a family tree in the front, which I have sorely missed in the earlier books in the series.....

I have been annoyed by the way these books are interelated but not a proper series, how they all go back and forward in time, criss-crossing
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Doug Bradshaw
Sep 16, 2011 Doug Bradshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loise Erdrich's writing is absolutely beautiful. She has the ability to describe emotions and human experience from a deep and visceral level. This story of a female Catholic priest working with native americans from the early 1900s through the late 1900s is wise, deep and sometimes an amazing eye opener. There is a scene involving the slaughter of many buffalos that brought me to tears is was so powerful.

Father Damien's relationship with the people of her world is wise and touching. Only one o
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Janet Leszl
Feb 25, 2011 Janet Leszl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse hooked me early on. Most authors may hint at a big revel and string you along. This novel starts out with a giant revelation that keeps you reading, wondering how this came to be and why. I loved getting to know the complexities of Agnes life before becoming the priest. Mostly I enjoyed delving into the psyche of Father Damien/Agnes. Her/his rich life was filled with both the extraordinary and the common day to day existence of a person trying t ...more
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Karen Louise Erdrich is a American author of novels, poetry, and children's books. Her father is German American and mother is half Ojibwe and half French American. She is an enrolled member of the Anishinaabe nation (also known as Chippewa). She is widely acclaimed as one of the most significant Native writers of the second wave of what critic Kenneth Lincoln has called the Native American Renais ...more
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“To love another human in all of her splendor and imperfect perfection , it is a magnificent task...tremendous and foolish and human.” 145 likes
“The only time I see the truth is when I cross my eyes.” 36 likes
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