Ten Little Indians: Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Ten Little Indians: Stories

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  4,069 ratings  ·  365 reviews
Offers eleven stories about Native Americans who, like all Americans, find themselves at personal and cultural crossroads, faced with heartrending, tragic, sometimes wondrous moments of being that test their loyalties, their capacities, and their notions of who they are and whom they love.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 6th 2005 by Vintage Books USA (first published January 1st 2003)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ten Little Indians, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ten Little Indians

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieThe Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman AlexieLove Medicine by Louise ErdrichBeyond the World of Man by Sheryl SealReservation Blues by Sherman Alexie
Native American Fiction
29th out of 459 books — 419 voters
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieCatori's Worlds by Murielle CyrBeyond Bridalveil Fall by Sheryl SealDwellers of Ahwahnee by Sheryl SealLove Medicine by Louise Erdrich
Best Native American/First Nations Fiction
21st out of 271 books — 190 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Two hours ago, I said I was going to bed, and then I thought, "I'll just read a little to calm myself before bed," which is what I usually do, but which was a poor decision in this instance. Now I have finished with the book, and I have wept all over my pillow, and now I can never read this book again for the first time and there are no pillow stores open at this hour, so fuck everything.

I don't even know if I can talk about it. You read these stories and the tone is so unironic, so attached, so...more
Awesome book. Very funny, deadpan. Also eye-opening, in that I had no idea there was (apparently, insofar as the stories are realisms) so much anti-Native racism in the Northwest. His dialogue is fantastic, especially when people talk past each other. Most people seem to think the "9/11 story" or the last, longest story are the show-stoppers; it certainly has the longest stretches of hard-fought transformation, and features a man and his (dying) father, and actually, like many of Alexie's storie...more
I picked this book up because I really wanted to read Alexie's other short story collection - The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (fabulous title!) and couldn't find it at the time. I'm not a fan of short stories, and I didn't enjoy this collection. But I can say that in my opinion the stories are well-written and if "bold, uncensored, raucous, and sexy" is your thing, then you might really enjoy the book. The story I enjoyed the most was "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" - telling the sto...more
Hmmm....after absolutely loving The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, this one was a little disappointing. And it's funny, because there were some stories (like "What Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church?" and "The Search Engine") that revealed the same open-hearted, funny writer that I loved in Part-Time Indian. There were others that just didn't ring quite as deeply true and one ("Can I Get a Witness?") that I found actively distasteful. I still look forward to reading more Alexie --...more
Meghan Fidler
Titled after a fantastic dialog between two non-white men as they described their identities to one another, (in describing his Spokane Identity, the protagonist in "Flight patterns" describes himself not as a 'bejeweled' Indian from India, but the 'bows-and-arrows Indian to a cabbie. The cabby replies, "Oh, you mean ten little, nine little eight little Indians?"), this collection of short stories by Sherman Alexie showcases his talent at describing social relationships. I admire his ability to...more
Jim Cherry
Ten Little Indians is a book of nine short stories by Sherman Alexie each dealing with trying to come to terms with lives that are no longer traditional and they need to fit into American culture. Each story is linked not by characters or even setting (even though all the stories are set in Seattle), but by ideas and themes.

The most obvious example are the Indians (that’s what they call themselves) in the stories are searching for new ceremonies for the lives they lead outside of tribal systems,...more
This is book is a collection of short stories about identifying as a Native American. I found a lot of the stories related to "identifying as a Native American after 9/11"--or at least that was certainly a component to the story. When I checked how old the book was, it looked as though it had been written in 2003, so obviously this was a poignant subject for Mr. Alexie. Also, many of the stories mentioned George W. Bush, so this was obviously a real-life character that was having a strong impact...more
I love Alexie's storytelling and love his insights into life, but I felt that this collection - with the exception of the last two stories - was a repetition of former themes and a conglomeration of familiar characters. Although the last two stories, especially "What You Pawn, I Will Redeem," are excellent, they still have some retread feel to them. His collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven is absolutely transcendent as far as style and storytelling. I also deeply love many of...more
I'm still trying to figure out how to say this:

The thing I like best about short story collections (by a single author), if they're written well and compiled well, is the feeling I get, after reading each story, of comprehending an intimate secret the author needed me to understand. Poetry and novels both can (and do) knock me out, but there's something about the short story that can really get into my blood.

I am in love with this book. I couldn't get enough of it while I was reading it. It acco...more
Mar 08, 2008 Christina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in a some good, bittersweet stories
Shelves: read-it-loved-it
This is a book that asks you to look deep inside and ask, "Who are you?". A series of short stories of Indians living off the Rez, struggling with their cultural identities. Each story is about relationships, whether good or bad and how they impact your life and color your identity. There ared definitely some mis-steps, as I found "The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above" and "Do You Know Where I Am" to be over-long and vague.

You will find so much to laugh and cry over, whether its a young, b...more
These short stories were packed. There were some marvelous insights about gender and identity. I don't usually read short stories, but I have been a fan of Mr. Alexie for a long time, and I was reminded of him when he was interviewed by Stephen Colbert recently. The next day I found a copy of this hard cover remaindered and decided to read it. I bought his young adult novel for my son as a present, and I might read that next.http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colb...
Sucia Dhillon
One of my favorite collections of short stories. I loved how Alexie reeled me in and had me share in his human experience. My favorite was the old basketball player one (forgot the official title). A close runner up was the first one, about the girl who tracks down the guy who wrote the Indian poems. I loved how this revealed that sensation we all get when we think we've got the answer, and then realize that it was a farce, or just a smoke screen, and then all we have left is ourselves.
I grabbed it without really knowing it was a collection of short stories, not sure I would have done that had I been paying more attention.

With that said, I wanted to read it because of the first story "Search Engine" and wasn't disappointed in that story. I only wish it had gone on to be the entire book like I erroneously thought it was. The rest of the stories were ok, but nothing truly remarkable or "life changing." Good, but not great.
Oct 11, 2007 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone over 14
Just read it. This is my favorite work by Sherman Alexie. He is a master of short story, and he writes about the topic he knows best: Northwest Indians living in poverty. Basketball finds its way into many stories; Alexie is obviously an avid enthusiast. He writes from the heart. What a joy to read.
This must have been an EXCELLENT book. I am not a fan of short stories, but I read and enjoyed them all. I think my favorite was the one with Corliss and the poetry. This was one of the "everybody reads" selections for 2013 for the Multnomah County Library. https://multcolib.org/everybody-reads
Jamie Rolleston
I am not a fan of short stories, generally speaking. However, I couldn't put this book down. As a Māori woman (indigenous to New Zealand) this book resonated with me in a huge way. I admire the way the author has challenged the stereotypes that indigenous people face daily, whether those stereo types come from within or without.
The ease with which he was able to write as a male or a female character amazed and the characters were quick to grasp you and hang on to the reader until the end of each...more
Originally posted at http://olduvaireads.wordpress.com/201...

Sometimes you chance upon books by fate, others by the placement of library shelves.

My most often frequented shelves in the library, other than the children’s section, are the Hold shelves. I do a lot of book holds, which can be tricky as the library only allows TEN HOLDS! And it’s an Argh ARGH situation as I request books for myself and the more popular picture books for the kids.

But because the Holds shelves are located perpendicular...more
Jonathan Hiskes
My to-read shelf has plenty of books by writers new to me, but I just felt like reading more Sherman. If you'r new to him, start with any of his five most recent books.
enjoyed every story...
Andy Miller
A great collection of short stories. All focused on Native American characters but there is great diversity in the lives of the characters and the themes of stories--from a smart, poor college student with her whole future ahead of her, to economically successful Native Americans some with a full life to match and others with inner demons that haunt that success to finally, the alcoholic, down on their luck Native Americans that Alexie brings to life.

My favorites:

"The Search Engine" about a you...more
Jamilla Rice
Now, just to let you know, Sherman Alexie is like meth with me. I get a hit and I have to keep going, sometimes losing sleep, until I have run through my stash. Then I start getting itchy all over wanting more. I was addicted from the first time I saw Smoke Signals, but I became absolutely enraptured from the moment I read the first line in "Every Little Hurricane", the first short story in his collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven which includes the title story that was the b...more
I picked this up at a favorite small indy bookstore to a) support them and b) to keep reading Alexie.

The timing was interesting because as an older work (2003) there is one story in particular that references 9//11 ("Flight Patterns"). Good reading while having a lot of 10-year anniversary media filling the air. Noticeable was the fact that the protagonist had to run to a pay phone in an airport. It startled, because so many people had cell phones in 01. But not everyone, even "sophisticates" we...more
Rhonda Browning White
My first impression was puzzlement when I realized Sherman Alexie’s Ten Little Indians: Stories was a collection of nine short stories, and I felt somehow cheated, until I realized Alexie himself is the tenth Indian. The feeling of being cheated returned when I finished reading the anthology. The collection wasn’t as good as I had expected from a writer so lauded. There were good stories—none was terrible—however, I especially liked “Do You Know Where I Am?” and “What Ever Happened To Frank Snak...more
Anne Monfort
Alexie, Sherman. Ten Little Indians: Stories. New York: Grove, 2003. Print.

Ten Indians, Nine Stories, and Two Thumbs Way Up

Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie consists of nine different short stories. While each story exists independently of the others, all of them have main characters that are members of the Spokane Indian tribe. The stories deal with very heavy subjects from homelessness to suicide bombers to the events of September eleventh. There is one particularly controversial story that...more
Dalya Bordman
Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie, Grove Press, New York 2003

Sherman Alexie triumphs as a writer in this collection of short stories, Ten Little Indians. In this collection, Alexie largely deals with the different struggles and different circumstances Native Americans face living in the United States. In his nine stories, Alexie shows points of views from various different Native Americans, mostly living in Seattle Washington. He illustrates how a female college student struggles with her in...more
Picked it up at the library while trying to find Sherman's new book, which wasn't there. As with 95% of Sherman Alexie's books I thought it was a strong read and a great set of stories. Things that most Native people can connect to pretty easy.
My favorite stories are definitely the story about the boy and his mom who are involved with an cohort of white women in a self-help group and the movement of identity from them to this group where there's an attempt of cultural appropriation and the son...more
Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie is not your typical pow-wow Indian imagery, it contains some of the most attractive nine short stories that I have ever read. Alexie uses humor to attack the social issues that Native Americans have to deal with everyday living in the United States. He also uses some of the most unique characteristics in his short stores, here Native Americans vary from homeless Native Americans to the most successful traveling business man with a perfect family. Sherman Alex...more
Vince Darcangelo

This review originally appeared in the BOULDER WEEKLY

The business of being human
Sherman Alexie emphasizes the real and universal in the human experience

by Vince Darcangelo
- - - - - - - - - - - -

Sherman Alexie is a human being. He writes stories about human beings and their trials and triumphs. And he is good at what he does–so good, in fact, that he has transcended the label of being a Native American author. Quite simply, he is an author.

"Because of my r...more
This is the third Sherman Alexie book that I've read and I really like his style - it's clear and very rich in description. His characters feel like people I know or want to know more about.

The nine stories were so fascinating and painted such a diverse picture of Indians in America or shall I say, in Seattle. My favorite stories were "Lawyer's League" and "What You Pawn I Will Redeem." "Lawyer's League" which is about a young, bright and ambitious half Black half Indian man and his political as...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Truth and Bright Water
  • Genocide of the Mind: New Native American Writing
  • Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto
  • The Heartsong of Charging Elk
  • The Grass Dancer
  • Reinventing the Enemy's Language: Contemporary Native Women's Writings of North America
  • Almanac of the Dead
  • Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories
  • Occupied America: A History of Chicanos
  • Perma Red
  • By the Lake of Sleeping Children
  • Zoot Suit and Other Plays
  • Tracks
  • The Way to Rainy Mountain
  • Sweet Land Stories
  • The Saskiad
  • Mean Spirit
  • My Beautiful Launderette
Sherman J. Alexie, Jr., was born in October 1966. A Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian, he grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA, about 50 miles northwest of Spokane, WA. Alexie has published 18 books to date.
Alexie is an award-winning and prolific author and occasional comedian. Much of his writing draws on his experiences as a modern Native American. Sherman's best known works in...more
More about Sherman Alexie...
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven Flight Reservation Blues The Toughest Indian in the World

Share This Book

“She wanted to be buried in a coffin filled with used paperbacks. ” 87 likes
“Corliss wondered what happens to a book that sits unread on a library shelf for thirty years. Can a book rightfully be called a book if it never gets read?...

'How many books never get checked out," Corliss asked the librarian.

'Most of them,' she said.

Corliss never once considered the fate of library books. She loved books. How could she not worry about the unread? She felt like a disorganized scholar, an abusive mother, and a cowardly soldier.

'Are you serious?' Corliss asked. 'What are we talking about here? If you were guessing, what is the percentage of books in this library that never get checked out?'

'We're talking sixty percent of them. Seriously. Maybe seventy percent. And I'm being optimistic. It's probably more like eighty or ninety percent. This isn't a library, it's an orphanage.'

The librarian talked in a reverential whisper. Corliss knew she'd misjudged this passionate woman. Maybe she dressed poorly, but she was probably great in bed, certainly believed in God and goodness, and kept an illicit collection of overdue library books on her shelves.”
More quotes…