Literary Award Winners Fiction Book Club discussion

Laughing Boy: A Navajo Love Story
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Past Reads > Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge, pages 99 to end

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George (georgejazz) | 506 comments Mod
Please comment here on Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge, pages 99 to the end.

Irene | 562 comments I read this a month early because I thought it was our August book. I forgot about our Naipaul title. Anyway, I found this an easy book to follow. It seems like the books that won this award earlier in the century were less experimental than more contemporary books. I enjoyed the depictions of Navajo life and customes, which apparently came from the author's first-hand observations. I think the author had a positive regard for his Navajo subjects, but I felt a patronizing tone coming through.

message 3: by George (last edited Sep 03, 2018 06:52AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

George (georgejazz) | 506 comments Mod
An interesting, engaging story about a young Navajo couple, set in Arizona in the early 1900s. This novel is a quick read giving a good insight into Navajo customs. The writing seemed a little awkward in parts. Nevertheless a worthwhile read.

I found the first 20 pages hard going. The writing style didn't seem to flow. However the story itself is very interesting. A plot driven book. The minor characters were not fully developed. For example, Red Man! His reasoning for his decision on page 176 seems a little too contrived. We are not given much insight into who Red Man is and yet he has such an impact on the plot.

Irene | 562 comments I agree with you. In ways, this felt more like a short story than a novel. I wonder why it was considered the best of the best novel for that year.

Mary (maryingilbert) | 71 comments An interesting, but not a profound novel (as one would expect from a Pulitzer Prize winner). And George your comment about Red Man is spot-on! Perhaps he was intended to be a symbol of a Navajo and their jealousy and contempt for one of their own who had been 'Americanized'.

I'm a long-time resident of Arizona and for that reason found the novel an interesting, worthwhile read.

Julia Jones | 11 comments I have to say; I didn't love it. But, it was a quick read, and it was interesting, so I was able to get through it. I agree, Red Man's action felt too abrupt. Like the author just wanted to finish it. But, it felt like a tragedy, so I expected it to end similarly to how it did.

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