Marci's Reviews > Black Hills

Black Hills by Dan Simmons
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's review
Feb 28, 2010

it was amazing
Read from February 28 to March 11, 2010

I think I was giving this book 4 stars, but the ending surprised me, so I bumped it up a notch. How do I describe this book? A young Lakota boy counts coup on Custer just as he dies and his ghost goes into the boy. The boy has other abilities as well - being able to touch people and see their past and future. He receives a remarkable vision regarding the Black Hills. The book is a story of this boy's life, but you don't learn about his life chronologically and it adds extra interest as you learn surprising bits and pieces from his life. The book is PG-13 if you skip the chapters that are the ramblings of Custer's ghost. If I had a low opinion of Custer before, it is even worse now. I completely skipped his chapters and I did not miss anything in the story. If you like historical fiction, this book also provides well researched material on the sculpting of Mt. Rushmore, The Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, The Dust Bowl, The building of the Brooklyn Bridge as well as the Lakota language and way of life. I am used to the glamorized versions of Indians, but this was not one of those books. I was glad that I had previously read Devil in the White City so that I was more familiar with the events taking place at the exhibition. Already familiar with much about the Lakotas - also helped with the reading of this book and I learned even more. The book is a wonderfully crafted story full of visions, history, literary references and other things to think about. While most of the book was fairly serious, towards the end there was a nice bit of humor that I wanted to quote, but I already returned the book to the library.

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