Evanston Public Library's Reviews > Reservation Blues

Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie
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Jun 30, 2011

bookshelves: fiction

In Sherman Alexie’s RESERVATION BLUES, dreams, nightmares, and the blues intertwine as we witness the rise and fall of Coyote Springs, an all-Indian rock band from the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington State. Zany comedy is scattered throughout—even in the darkest of times. Alexie paints a vivid picture of Indian life on the res with a taste of commodity applesauce and powdered milk, run-ins with Tribal cops, transactions at the Trading Post, a fling with the Catholic priest, and the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Elvis. The band starts and ends with its lead singer Thomas-Builds-the-Fire who holds his bandmates together through drunk performances, controversies involving sexual relations with white women, and even a crazy audition in New York City for Cavalry Records. Ultimately, Thomas is unable to save them all from what is haunting them, but is able to move forward toward the future hanging “tightly to the manes of those shadow horses running alongside” them. (Elvira, C-D)
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