Brady's Reviews > Ceremony

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
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U 50x66
's review
Jan 09, 2012

did not like it

Leslie Marmon Silko was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She like the main character is of a mixed race and she knowledgable presents views about this in the novel. She grew up on a reservation that happens to also be the setting of what is heralded as one of her best novels. Although I feel it leaves something to be desired.

Tayo, the main character of the book, is a veteran of World War II. The plot of the story is about Tayo's journey when he returns from the war and how he copes with his experiences in the war and after. Ceremony utilizes frequent flashbacks to help develop Tayo's character. His story is also told using both poems and prose, a technique that I have never personally seen in a book. I was never able to connect with Tayo. I found the idea his story interesting but my lack of connection made the book overall uninteresting and slow. The flashbacks in the book are also presented in a way that can very well confuse the reader because the story is constantly bounced from past to future without any clear indication,

While reading the book I was reminded of a character in the Clint Eastwood movie Flags of Our Fathers. Ira "Chief" Hayes is also a Native American, World War II Veteran. He has to struggle returning back home after the war with loss the loss of and the guilt of being portrayed as a hero, even though he believes he isn't. As a Native American, Ira Hayes was very similar to Tayo when he was trying to fit back into their culture. Ceremony can also be related to many soldiers coming home from the war today, Tayo has a form of post traumatic stress disorder and many veterans today are also faced with this. Post traumatic stress disorder can consume many soldiers after they return from war. It can leave them depressed, angry, emotionally empty and even suicidal. Throughout the book I was able to see the emotional issues that Tayo faced and how they could possibly be similar to what soldiers returning from war are also facing.

I wouldn't recommend this book to someone although it did feel it had interesting literary elements. Overall, Ceremony wasn't a horrible book, but I personally didn't like it, which is why I gave it one star.

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