The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse
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The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  5,503 ratings  ·  683 reviews
For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved people, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Compelled to his task by a direct mystical experience, Father Damien has made enormous sacrifices, and experienced the joys of commitment as well as deep suffering. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 3rd 2001 by Harper (first published September 2000)
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Brad
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...more
Brandon
Oct 09, 2012 Brandon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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

...more
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
David
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...more
Allie Whiteley
"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...more
Jessica
Jan 09, 2008 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Mosca
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...more
Francine
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
Kristen
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...more
Matt Fox
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...more
Diane S.
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
Maureen
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
Rusty
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...more
Lindsay
Sep 01, 2009 Lindsay rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lindsay by: Meghan
Shelves: favorites, fiction
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...more
Carl Brush
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
Carla
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....more
Irene
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
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
Lynneharper
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
Kimberley
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
Suzanne
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Juliet Wilson
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...more
Doug Bradshaw
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...more
Janet Leszl
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
Sherry
one of my favorite authors- found this info on the author-

novelist Louise Erdrich (books by this author), born in Little Falls, Minnesota (1954). She grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota, where her parents taught at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Her mother was French-Ojibwe, and her father was German; she and her six brothers and sisters were raised in a close, loving family. Instead of watching TV—they didn't own one—the children were encouraged to write and to memorize poems.

She went off to Dartm...more
Sarah Payok
Louise Erdrich's books usually involve generous quantities of mysticism, spirituality, all-consuming love, and mystery-style plots that would be riveting without the dreamlike atmosphere created by all the mysticism, spirituality, and all-consuming love. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse does not break from this pattern and the result is a novel that is equally engaging and cringe inducing.

The book centers around last 75 years or so of the life of Father Damien Modeste, a Cathol...more
Leanne Fournier
This is a spectacular book. The author writes beautifully, knowledgably and passionately. I have not read many books lately that call to me all day when I'm away from them but this one definitely had that affect on me. The complexity of Agnes DeWitt/Father Damien Modeste lends a richness to the texture of this book as do the underlying stories of a host of colourful and memorable characters. Occasionally I became a little loss in the storyline of the proposed saint Sister Leopolda but that didn'...more
Angela
I found this randomly at the thrift store and it looked intriguing. I fell in love with this book from the get go! It was engaging from Chapter one till the end. Many interesting Characters, lyrical, musical, sensual, ethereal, debauched, funny, compassionate and redemptive.
The Story of a Woman, whom through life altering and tragic circumstances takes the place of a dead Priest in a small Ojibwe village, hiding her female attributes, learning from and falling in love with the Ojibwe people and...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
More about Louise Erdrich...
The Round House The Master Butchers Singing Club Love Medicine The Beet Queen Tracks

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“To love another another human in all of her splendor and imperfect perfection , it is a magnificent task...tremendous and foolish and human.” 95 likes
“The only time I see the truth is when I cross my eyes.” 31 likes
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