The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

AlexieThe Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

Description from Goodreads

The twentieth anniversary edition of Sherman Alexie’s iconic short story collection—featuring a new prologue from the author

The twenty-four linked tales in Alexie’s debut collection—an instant classic—paint an unforgettable portrait of life on and around the Spokane Indian Reservation, a place where “Survival = Anger x Imagination,” where HUD houses and generations of privation intertwine with history, passion, and myth. We follow Thomas Builds-the-Fire, the longwinded storyteller no one really listens to; his half-hearted nemesis, Victor, the basketball star turned recovering alcoholic; and a wide cast of other vividly drawn characters on a haunting journey filled with humor and sorrow, resilience and resignation, dreams and reality. Alexie’s unadulterated honesty and boundless compassion come together in a poetic vision of a world in which the gaps between past and present are not really gaps after all.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
received a Special Citation for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Fiction, and was the basis for the acclaimed 1998 feature film Smoke Signals.

I gave this book four stars out of five

My thoughts:

Before I start my review proper, I just have to say what a great title this is for a book.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a riveting collection of short stories that were a brilliant insight in to how life on the reservation was for native American Indians, told in an informative and delightful manner. It was an easy and pleasurable read and the format of the book, the linked short stories, was conducive to this, the short stories weaving a more complete picture.

The book was imbued with humour and I found myself laughing out loud on numerous occasions. Despite the humour though, these stories also dealt with some serious issues, such as the prevalence of alcoholism amongst the native American Indians living on the reservation, or ‘rez’, and the way in which they were stereotyped by the white man.

The author had a very relaxed style of writing. I imagine that this was following in the grand tradition of native American Indian storytelling. I sometimes felt as if I was sat around a campfire listening to stories about nature and spirits with close friends and family. Mostly though, these are stories of a tough, hard way of life.

There were many beautifully descriptive passages, although there was a degree of angst and cynicism that came through also. I found it easy to identify with the many colourful characters, and their varied and interesting viewpoints were incredibly revealing.

I would recommend this book as a great insight into the life of native American Indians and life on a reservation. Since it is a collection of short stories, it can easily be dipped into as and when you like, and read in small chunks, without sacrificing any continuity of plot.

This review is based on a digital review copy provided by Netgalley and the publisher.

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Sherman Alexie

So I have been reading a book that has just been released as an ebook by Open Road Media, by Sherman Wilkie. I just love the title, ‘The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven’. It is a collection of short stories about life on and around the Spokane Indian Reservation, and is a great read. I will be posting a review soon, but for now here is some information regarding the release, and the author, to whet your appetites. Well really, it is to get you frothing at the mouth in anticipation of the review, since I know how eager you all are to read my reviews.

First a little information about the author Sherman Alexie.

Sherman J. Alexie, Jr., was born in October 1966. A Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian, he grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA, about 50 miles northwest of Spokane, WA. Alexie has published 18 books to date.

Alexie is an award-winning and prolific author and occasional comedian. Much of his writing draws on his experiences as a modern Native American. Sherman’s best known works include The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Smoke Signals, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

An interesting video of the author

Now a few details about this ebook, which was released on Tuesday, October 15, 2013.

ebook, 242 pages
Published: October 15th 2013 by Open Road Media Iconic Ebooks (first published September 1st 1993)
Original title: The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
ISBN: 1480457248 (ISBN13: 9781480457249)
Literary awards: PEN/Hemingway Award: Best First Book of Fiction Citation Winner (1993)

Don’t forget to come back and check out the review, when it is posted. As if you would.