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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  235 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
After burning up the blacktop in New Mexico with The Fast Red Road and rewriting Indian history on the Great Plains with The Bird is Gone, Stephen Graham Jones now takes us to Montana. Set on a Blackfeet Indian reservation, the life of one Indian boy, Doby Saxon, is laid bare through the eyes of those who witness it: his near-death experience, his suicide attempts, his bri ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published August 10th 2008 by Fiction Collective 2
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Mar 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'm entirely floored by this book, which stands as one of the most upsetting, disorienting, moving, and beautiful texts I've read.
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My experience with “Native American literature” is paltry. I can't even safely say that I am all that familiar with Native American culture in general. I've been to a reservation, I know all of the words to a Foxwoods commercial that used to be played relentlessly during Celtics games on TV, and I refuse to watch “The Last of the Mohicans” to spite a friend who is obsessed with Daniel Day Lewis. Obviously, my reference points are standard, stereotypical, and lacking in depth. To make matters wor ...more
Colin McKay Miller
Stephen Graham Jones’ writing has definitely improved over time, and while the initial style of Ledfeather is enticing, it soon dissolves into that jigsaw puzzle type of novel I can’t be bothered to piece together.

When it comes to works that are difficult to understand, there are usually strong reactions involved. Some readers flagellate themselves for not having the chops to grasp the prose, intending to return again later in attempt to absorb more the next ride through; others go after the au
Richard Thomas
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Stephen Graham Jones has a voice that transcends time and play. This journey back and forth between two different Blackfoot Indian histories is both an archive and a comment on today. This story sucks you in from the beginning, sprinkled with letters that may or may not ever have been mailed, and ends with a revelation and bit of magic takes this novel to a whole other level. The mythology and lore in here is captivating, shocking, and touching in its scope. I always enjoy Stephen's work, and th ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was haunting. Uniquely told from bouncing back and forth between the viewpoints of modern native teenagers and an Indian agent from 100 years ago. Jones somehow pulls off a book half told by found letters from this Indian agent going mad and half told by bits of every perspective of one incident. It kept me reading, re-reading, and soaking it in. The twists and turns were so unexpected I’ve been thinking them over the past few days. It also draws a line fro federal intervention in nati ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I have thought this for some time now, - verily, whenever I inhale, skim or touch one of his works - but it must be written somewhere, anywhere, so why not here: existing now, alongside Jones, and reading his copious literary releases just as they're released, is to run alongside a literary master as he elbows the profligacy of independent authors and literary experimentalists away, galloping toward some wide, critically lauded level where he so rightly belongs. If it never happens, it is to be ...more
Nov 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: native-american
This was probably one of the toughest reads I have had to date. The story is very creative, intricate and complex and a book I would have to read a couple of times to understand everything that is happening. The last couple of chapters do bring the story together but there are so many twists and turns it's difficult to stay up with who is who and what is what. Then of course, it's an American Indian novel and that is the point. I think. Then of course the author might say otherwise. Some of the ...more
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I literally just finished this book a few minutes ago, and I am still reeling from its echoes. I feel haunted. Breathless. Still. Full. Broken by the beauty of it.

It isn't the easiest read. It jumps around to different character points of view a lot, and you have to kind of just go with it even if you aren't sure who's talking. Just flow with it. Be in the sensory experience of it. Pay attention but don't try to think to hard. It really does all tie together in the end, and you understand why t
It was very engaging, the storyline was stellar, if it was edited in a better way where it felt chucked together rather the story should have merged into one, it made me feel at the end haunted by peoples failures that lead into present day, that by one ignorant move it effects the future in far reaching manner that people go into cycles of self destruction until they learn from it
Travis Campbell
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Takes a couple reads, but is a great discussion starter.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
So most of this went over my head the first time round. Avoid reading spoilers if you want to get the full blow of the gradual reveal, but honestly, I think this book warrants at least three reads. Recommended if you have an interest in original narration styles, people with thematic echoes in their lives across centuries, and (I think?) a glimpse of Blackfoot culture and its relationship with past events.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stephen Graham Jones's Ledfeather was a book I had a hard time putting down because of how much I wanted to know what would happen next. This novel deals with some very real issues that Native Americans face and a history that the United States wishes to sweep under the rug.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I found the novel complex and not what I was looking for ie: summer reading. I would like to check out other work from this author.
Michelle Boyer
Stephen Graham Jones’ novel Ledfeather (2008) follows the story of Doby Saxon, a Blackfeet teenager growing up in Montana, and an Indian Agent to the Piegan named Francis Dalimpere. Separated by over a century, the lives of the two characters intersect throughout the novel. In Ledfeather, the environment is more than a setting. The environment exists as protagonist and antagonist, delivering hope in times of need and dispensing justice when necessary for Doby, Dalimpere, and the Piegan. Cultural ...more
Paul Eckert
Nov 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ledfeather is what good writing should be, the type of story that can only be done justice with the ambiguity and individual relevance of language.

How to describe this book?

Well, there's Doby Saxon, an Indian boy living in contemporary times on a reservation in Montana, who seems determined to destroy himself with drugs, gambling, and suicide attempts. We see his story from several different perspectives, and with each story his troubled life becomes more clear, and in some ways, more muddled.
Jan 31, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This text was required reading for my Advanced Seminar in American Studies course at the University of Utah (where - coincidentally - the author is a guest professor for the semester).

This is perhaps the only book I've ever read, where I turned the last page....closed the book...and said..."I don't get it." It's fortunate that I read this text for a seminar, because I ended up enjoying/understanding it more after the class discussion.

This book could be about many things, but for me, it ended u
Bonnie Despain
Jan 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Hard for me to rate this book because I probably lacked the background depth to fully understand it. I got caught up in the feeling of the book-- the hopelessness of being helpless in dealing with the changes coming for all involved yet the residual pride of being Indian. I became very confused at many points, not knowing who was the subject of the narrative, what was hallucination and what was not. Even had some trouble following the connections between characters. Yet all that added to the imp ...more
Jul 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
I just read LedFeather by Stephen Graham Jones. It's the fictional account of a (fictional, I believe) terrible (without malice, and yet terrible) incident between a newly appointed Indian Agent and the Blackfeet in Browning in 1884.The book imagines the reach of our actions across time and space. The characters are deeply human, deeply flawed, and, I think, deeply loved by the author. The weight and reach of guilt, loneliness, love, grace and redemption are writ large under the big Montana sky.
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Spoiler alert. Don't read further. This was a very disturbing, thought-provoking read. I still don't know why Claire never wrote back. But it ended with hope. I googled the history of Blackfeet and Piegans and there really were 600 that starved to death. I recognized the name Cut Nose from The Dakota Uprising 1862. I am just so moved I don't know what to say.
Feb 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The minute I finished reading this novel, I wanted to go back to the beginning and read it again. Shimmering lyric intensity and a story that's just teasing enough that you mostly get it but want to get it some more. Dazzling!
May 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ficciones
A strange, brutal, and surreal trek through history in the form of a fictional tale of a blackfoot indian teenage boy. This book made me feel cold. A quick read, an interesting story structure and a native american author who isn't Sherman Alexie.
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
There was a loot I liked about this book, the prose, the historical connections, the reality of contemporary Native American life, but there was a lot that was surreal. It is a book that needs to be read more than once, I think.
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book--wanted to read it again as soon as I finished. I kept thinking of Erdrich when I was reading, and so was happy to see June Morrissey mentioned in the Author Note. :)
Caleb Ross
Though I started confused, this novel became my favorite (so far) from Stephen Graham Jones. Jones has said of this book that it's his best ending ever. I might have to agree with that.
Edward Rathke
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Review at The Lit Pub
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved the flow back and forth between times and styles, and this offered a new, genuine look on Browning, MT, one of the most difficult places, emotionally, historically, socially, I have ever been
Aug 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
I did not enjoy this book. I had to read it for school, so I went into it with a bad attitude.
Mar 09, 2013 added it
Didn't finish it, didn't like it. Too confusing; I never knew who was telling the story.
FSU Alumni
Sep 25, 2014 added it
Shelves: fsu-alumni
Stephen Graham Jones (Ph.D. '98)
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Stephen Graham Jones is the author of fifteen novels and six collections. He really likes werewolves and slashers. Favorite novels change daily, but Valis and Love Medicine and Lonesome Dove and It and The Things They Carried are all usually up there somewhere. Stephen lives in Boulder, Colorado. It's a big change from the West Texas he grew up in. He's married with a couple kids, and probably one ...more
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“He stood over her for as long as he could endure the cold, long enough for the boy tending the dead to pass twice on fingertips and toes. The boy's self-appointed mission was to keep all of their eyes closed, the dead. Otherwise he couldn't sleep, the boy. But he never did anyway, as far as the Agent could tell. Any hour, there he'd be, scuttling from body to body under his calf robe.

Many nights when the Agent locked his door, it wasn't to keep the Piegan from stealing his tins and blankets, but to keep the boy's hands from covering his own eyes.”
“In the old days, the boy's mom would have gotten a name for what she did: Shoots the Car Twice or Four Holes in the Glass or Doesn't Ever Learn or Can't Stop Fighting.” 1 likes
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