Linda's Reviews > Green Grass, Running Water

Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King
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Sep 08, 08

bookshelves: bookies, canada, myth, native-americans, humor

The plot revolves around the escape from a mental hospital of four very old Indians called Ishmael, Hawkeye, Robinson Crusoe and the Lone Ranger. These, however, are no ordinary natives. They may be the last survivors of the Indians interned at Fort Marion in Florida in the 19th century. Or perhaps they are the first human beings, as described in tribal creation myths. Their repeated breakouts--37 to date--have coincided with disasters: the 1929 stock market crash, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, etc. On the fateful day when disaffected Lionel Red Dog and his aunt stop to pick up four ancient Indian hitchhikers things begin to change for Lionel and a number of his Blackfoot neighbors. The action moves from Canada to Wounded Knee to Hollywood. As all paths converge on the reservation in time for Sun Dance, Lionel is brought back to his tribal roots by family and the powers-that-be, becoming a protector of the sacred ceremony, while Uncle Eli finally wins his one-man stand against the corporation that built a massive dam just upriver from his mother's log cabin- -with a little help from trickster Coyote, whose dancing summons an earthquake.

This is a unique combination of storytelling, myth and magic, but I didn't like it that well, personally.


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