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Louise Erdrich's mesmerizing new novel, her first in almost three years, centers on a compelling mystery. The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subsequent distortions of truth transform the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation and shape the passion...more
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It really doesn't matter why he killed them. In fact, the novel would be just as complete if it never specifically said…more This question is a spoiler! :(
It really doesn't matter why he killed them. In fact, the novel would be just as complete if it never specifically said that he killed them. It's really not about the killer or about finding out the "answer" to the mystery. It's about everything that happened surrounding the murder. It was a catalyst that served to intertwine the lives of essentially everyone in the community.
To answer your question: He was mentally disturbed. Sick. Psycho. Just like in "real life," killers don't always have a reason. Why do crazy people go into schools and shoot children and teachers? There's never a "good" or "satisfactory" answer. Sometimes murders have a clear motive, but in this case, we're seeing a very true to life picture of the absolutely senseless violence that just happens because there's evil in the world, and in this case, the equally senseless violence that results from it. It also serves an ironic purpose. Although the Native Americans were stereotyped as "savage" they're really the most "civilized" in this book. The savage, senseless murder was enacted by a white man.(less) (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
Multiple narrators, multiple generations, much overlap between Native Americans and European ...more
this novel goes back and forth in time and space, focusing on a host of characters of mixed indian-white ethn ...more
We never really can escape our own histories. And our histories are darker than we realize.
These two truths frequently inform the complex plots and genealogies of Louise Erdrich’s fiction.
In many of her earlier writings she has taken whole series of books to puzzle these interlocking plots and genealogies. She reveals hidden identities. And follows bloodlines of power through families. And she shocks and haunts us with secreted knowledge that becomes, at least, partiall ...more
This is one of the rare occasions where I enjoyed the journey without much concern over where the novel was heading. The characters, dialogue, and ambiance, along with skilled writing, made reading more of a pleasant book cuddle which I looked forward to each evening. That said, the surprise final wrap up which drew together all the strings was a cherry on the Sunday. This review sounds like literary comfort food, and perhaps it is. Multiple narrators voice their experiences within an Indian res ...more
We shift. To the childhood of Evelina Harp, a mixed blood growing up in the early 60’s and trying to navigate her tangled family and community history. To Bazil Antoine Coutts, a tribal judge straddling the line between law and tradit ...more
[This book was a Pulitzer Prize finalist (Fiction, 2009)]
[I read this book in Jan/Feb 2009. I added shelves on 4/1/11.]
For my comments about this book, please see the following discussion thread:
Below is the my first post at the link above:
Last night, our town library book group discussed _The Plague of Doves A Novel_ by Louise Erdrich.
Both the book and the ...more
“Louise Erdrich's … novel … centers on a compelling mystery. The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subseque...more
If I'm to be honest about the work of Louise Erdrich, I must admit that I don't much care for her characters, her locales, her plots, or the meandering manner in which she chooses to negotiate her narrative. However, should you attempt to wrest one of these novels from my grasp be forewarned, you will have a bit of a fight on your hands.
Because what Ms. Erdrich excels at, what she brings so adeptly to the page, where her skills align like so many tumblers to the sophisticated lock of storytellin ...more
That said, Erdrich is brilliant in the small moment, the tiny detai ...more
Also the jacket blurb leads the reader into thinking there is a mystery to be solved. There is but it seems like a minor part of the plot, but a big part ...more
A cast of thousands, all related by birth, marriage or trouble. Native Americans. Murders, births, tragedies, comedies, imprisonments, escapes, loves, hates--pieces of local history related from multiple points of view until they form a branched river that wanders off and circles ever back again to join in a muddy whole. Magic. Mystery. Numbing reality. Sex. Drugs. and of course, violins.
And the answer to "who done it?", at last. You sho ...more
It was only available on disc at the library, so I checked it out. "Reading" a book on disc takes a long time, however--and you have to be near a CD player and doing something where you can focus all your attention. In other words, driving. I ended up reading/hearing the two books simultan ...more
This has to be one of the more disjointed books Erdrich ha ...more
The writing is beautiful. I really dig the interlocking stories--being from a small to ...more
This is a story of family...of tribe....o ...more
It is much more raw and far flung than Round House, so I understand if it got less attention (and less reward), but it is very powerful nonetheless. Like life, the threads are not all neatly tied at the end, by any means, although one feels privileged to have learned as many inter ...more