“The calving starts in January and as each new life wobbles into the slatted house your wealth grows a little bit” (7). * “Wobbles.” Perfect. “...in he“The calving starts in January and as each new life wobbles into the slatted house your wealth grows a little bit” (7). * “Wobbles.” Perfect. “...in her clothes that only barely covered what needed covering and, sometimes, clear blue water lapping up around her bum in lucky little waves” (10). “The hoppy one had a nose that no man’s face should have to support” (31). “You could be riddled with bullets if you were in a Western. An old chair could be riddled with woodworm. And you could be riddled with cancer. If you were riddled, you could put your head between your legs and kiss your arse goodbye” (38). “How big is a feeling?” (44). “Father Cotter says He has a plan for us all. Thanks, God, for the great plan” (48). “ Bonesy had always frightened children, not on purpose, but just by being humped and crooked and having arms that were longer than was natural and hands that had thick hair on the backs of them and a kind of a mad smile that made his kindness seem more like a desire to eat you without salt” (73). “They were as excited as wasps around an open bottle of Fanta about this big news…” (89). “He’d wear you out, so he would. If this was the alternative to loneliness, he’d sooner be lonesome forever. People could be quare hard work. He’d never known that before” (93). “It’s easy to be happy in July” (109). “That was as small as Paddy’s talk to” (116). “The days he didn’t call stretched out their legs and took their own sweet, maddening time in passing” (132). “People are better inside your head. When you’re longing for them, they’re perfect” (187). ...more
“...dining by the pound from the hot buffet” (1). "The panes of the window before him are groved in fern frost" (52). “Bob wishes he had the will to lif“...dining by the pound from the hot buffet” (1). "The panes of the window before him are groved in fern frost" (52). “Bob wishes he had the will to lift a hand and make a fist and punch this face. Not the will. He probably has that. The strength” (69) “...and it is a man clad in shadow…” (73). “Her eyes are full of tears and she steps to Robert and now the two of them hug with no bend at the waist, with quiet hands upon each other’s back, with no artifice or mulled memories or sense of family failures. They hold each other quietly, mother and son…” (89). “His political opinion does not change because of her reasoning, for he did not reason himself into the opinion…” (102). “Their passion was for the dead. And being dead, those men could never disappoint” (104). “A toddler son was easy to sling around. Easy to give a damn about when you could overpower him absolutely” (247). ...more
*3.75 stars. I love Sherman Alexie, but found this collection rather uneven. Some quotations I enjoyed: “I was conceived during one of those drunken ni*3.75 stars. I love Sherman Alexie, but found this collection rather uneven. Some quotations I enjoyed: “I was conceived during one of those drunken nights, half of me formed by my father’s whiskey sperm, the other half formed by my mother’s vodka egg. I was born a goofy reservations mixed drink…” (27) “My father smiled, turned the volume up, and we rode down the highway while Jimi [Hendrix] led the way like a snowplow” (28). “‘They can all go to hell, and you two can drive the buses that get them there’” (80). “...and Rosemary MorningDove named him ------------- which is unpronounceable in Indian and English but it means: He Who Crawls Silently Through the Grass with a Small Bow and One Bad Arrow Hunting for Enough Deer to Feed the Whole Tribe. “We just call him James” (110-111) “...he found himself walking to the Midway Tavern, where all the Indians drank in eight-hour shifts” (133). “Samuel felt like the horse must have felt when Henry Ford came along” (135). “Be still, be still, she would say between her teeth, but Arnold loved his body too much to remain still” (142). “In the long silence after Victor finished his piece, after the beautiful dissonance and implied survival, the Spokane Indians wept, stunned by this strange and familiar music. “‘Well,’ Lester FallsApart said, ‘It ain’t Hank Williams but I know what it means.’ “Then Nadine said, ‘You can tell so much about a family by whether their piano is in or out of tune’” (146). “He came with scissors to cut hair and a locked box to hide all the amputated braids” (194). “I lost more of my blood to glucose tests than I ever did to childhood accidents” (221).
*4.5 stars. “...and while he made coffee he heard the whisper of two newspapers sliding halfway under the door…” (28). “...time wasted in a hard and hos*4.5 stars. “...and while he made coffee he heard the whisper of two newspapers sliding halfway under the door…” (28). “...time wasted in a hard and hostile plastic chair…” (34). “...her intentions were as laudable as her ignorance was vast…” (40). “...the microscope, which suddenly looked like a fly’s compound eye” (44). “‘In these forty years, it occurs to me now, there are at least two things that haven’t changed: first, what worries us; second, what makes us laugh’” (44). “...the way we keep feeling, after stepping barefoot on a stone, the shape of the stone in the arch of our foot” (51). “...and a white blouse as smooth as a Malevich canvas, its only adornment the change of tone where her bra began” (54). “...stirring up the sand with the drumroll of his hoofs” (123). “The mountain rose up on their left, always menacing, always on the verge of collapsing on top of people, that mountain that seemed to pass underneath the gray ribbon of road, fall away to the right in a rough, steep slope, and crash, in the distance, miraculously converted into the blurry design of the scattered city” (133). “...the newspaper--that vulgar flatterer of the present moment--and its announcements of parties and acts and speeches and more speeches and skies covered in balloons, big colored balloons…” (138-139). “I take this decision after long and intense consultations with my pillow and other authorities…” (186).
*2.75 stars. Far inferior to the other Rebus novels. I won’t quit the series, hopeful that they’ll return to the excellence to which I’m accustomed. *So*2.75 stars. Far inferior to the other Rebus novels. I won’t quit the series, hopeful that they’ll return to the excellence to which I’m accustomed. *Some quotations I appreciated: “‘Rumours, Bill. Like the Fleetwood Mac album, best left unplayed’” (25). “New chairs had appeared from the darkened corner of the budget” (25). “Then he took his glasses off and started polishing them again, as if the world could never reveal itself too vividly for him” (131). *And here’s one that bothers me: “...but stood in front of his monument while she attacked her carton of juice” (326). I doubt the accuracy of this verb. Attacked? Really?
*4.25 stars. “Which poet or poem has been quoted most often in the effort to get laid? Most important, which poet or poem has been quoted most successf*4.25 stars. “Which poet or poem has been quoted most often in the effort to get laid? Most important, which poet or poem has been quoted most successfully in order to get laid?” (3). “George Armstrong Custer is alive and well in the twenty-first century, Corliss thought, though he kills Indians by dumping huge piles of paperwork on their skulls” (10). “But maybe Odysseus wasn’t all that heroic, either, Corliss thought. He was a drug addict and thief who abused the disabled” (28). “Unlike landed white men, she didn’t need to climb mountains to experience mystic panic” (29). “She’d teach him nineteen different ways to spell matriarchy” (36). “I wanted to scream at them for being as shallow and dirty as a dog dish” (99). “Ah, he was the bemused and slightly embarrassed owner of a twenty-first century American mind. His intellect was a big comfy couch stuffed with sacred and profane trivia” (102). “...Marie’s hair was always unkempt, wild, and renegade. William’s hair hung around the fort, but Marie’s rode on the warpath!” (104). “He was ambiguously ethnic, living somewhere in the darker section of the Great American Crayola Box…” (114). “‘Because people think I’m black, they don’t see me as a terrorist, only as a crackhead addict on welfare. So I am a victim of only one misguided idea about who I am’” (117). “‘The two funniest tribes I’ve ever been around are Indians and Jews, so I guess that says something about the inherent humor of genocide’” (187). “‘Don’t ask me rhetorical questions. They scare me’” (192). “...and his cholesterol level was a dangerous 344, exactly the same as Ted Williams’s career batting average” (195). “‘...whenever any teacher tells you that Columbus discovered America, I want you to run up to him or her, jump on his or her back, and scream, ‘I discovered you!’’” (219). *And today is Columbus Day--not that it should be considered a holiday in my estimation.
*3.5 stars. “Life in America had made her into someone who was always thinking and planning the next step” (54). “Jende could tell the man was merely st*3.5 stars. “Life in America had made her into someone who was always thinking and planning the next step” (54). “Jende could tell the man was merely sterilizing a spot on his heart so he could inject painful words” (56). “It happened in the middle of September, around the time when the night air begins to ruthlessly wipe out memories of summer and once-happy chimes of ice cream trucks begin to sound like elegies” (167). “‘People sit on their couches and watch garbage interrupted by messages to buy garbage which will create a desire for more garbage. They go to their computers and order from incredibly horrible corporations that are enslaving their fellow humans and pretty much destroying any chance of children growing up in a world where they can be truly free’” (342). ...more
*3.75 stars. This was an interesting novel and I've never read a book told entirely from the perspective of things. I will say that towards the end, m*3.75 stars. This was an interesting novel and I've never read a book told entirely from the perspective of things. I will say that towards the end, my interest flagged at times. Perhaps a few chapters could have been edited out. *Quotations I appreciated: “Soon the faded scars of habitation lined the sand below” (39). “He knew they wouldn’t shoot: he was unarmed. He smiled at their rules. The soldiers were constrained as long as they weren’t threatened, but they could also bring death suddenly in the night. It was so hypocritical” (118). “Rains came and the garden cycled through the seasons outside” (156). “He was unnatural, created by violence and saved by soldiers and medics...” (191-192). ...more
“It felt like scooping water with a rake” (25). “...their breath tufted in the winter air” (87) “Fighter jets rented the vast gray horizon, cracking the“It felt like scooping water with a rake” (25). “...their breath tufted in the winter air” (87) “Fighter jets rented the vast gray horizon, cracking the sound barrier, shredding the calls to prayer” (101). “Their bellies distended, their hip bones propping hide” (102). “Uniformed were everywhere; drunk, loud, immortal. They were immune, still, to the bill cycles and family reunions, parent-teacher meetings, gas prices and cuckoldry that would quickly re-latch and debilitate” (109). “‘Y’all still got all that crazy in you,’ he said to Colleen. ‘Still don’t know how to be home’” (120). “The stench was a crucifixion of the sinuses” (174). “There, her twenty-year-old body was losing to the free potato skins” (189). “We yelled and unloaded our rifles, ejaculating brass casings all over the desert” (198).