Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Review & Giveaway: War Dances by Sherman Alexie

As a follow up to my previous author highlight post, I wanted to review Sherman Alexie's newest release War Dances. This particular book is filled with short stories and poetry, and to be quite honest, helped pull me through a few of those last hours of the 24-hour Readathon last month. As I started to get drowsy, I flipped through a few pages of War Dances until my eyes fell on a couple of poems, and soon found myself chortling a few times over the irony and humor Alexie portrayed in these short pieces.

While I usually give a synopsis, followed by a review, I really must blend the two in this particular review. Put quite simply, Alexie's newest publication is filled with a mixture of short stories, prose, and poems. His topics often feel autobiographical in nature, although I realized that they were not necessarily about Alexie, but might have come from experiences he has had. His pieces ranged from a short story about an encounter with an intruder who had broken into a writer/editor's home, to a father dying in a hospital and needing a blanket to cover him with. His poems were often what had me laughing the most often, and are staggered next to longer stories and prose. Some of the poems talked about young love, and talked about the agony of keeping track of someone by roadside payphone to making a mixed tape. In these cases, part of the humor and irony was embedded in the fact that things have been made so much easier for us today. Alexie seems to pose the idea that things are too easy, and don't show one's true dedication to another person.

I really can't say how delightful this reading experience was for me. Already a huge fan of Sherman Alexie, this varied collection only solidified my respect for the depth, irony, and humor he used in looking at our crazy world. Much of his work highlighted the Native American experience, but also felt like such universal stories about life, that anyone could relate to his pieces.

Giveaway: As part of my attendance at Sherman Alexie's reading, I purchased an extra, hardback copy of his newest release and would like to pass it along as a giveaway. In order to participate...
  • Post a comment telling me if you've read something by Alexie before, and why you're interested in his newest piece. Please make sure to include your email address.
  • Earn an extra point by being a follower of the blog. Post another comment, letting me know this.
  • Earn another point by letting others know through Twitter or by posting an announcement on your own blog. Post another comment, letting me know and giving me the link.
Good luck, and let me know if you have also read this book. I'd love to hear other reader's experience with the novel. This giveaway will end at midnight, MST on Monday, 11/30.

For more information about the novel, see: War Dances.

This review is also part of the "Book Review Party Wednesday" over at Cym Lowell's blog. You can stop by there to see many other book reviews posted.

34 comments:

  1. Hi :)
    I haven't read Sherman Alexie before but your review for the varied stories and prose contained in War Dances made me want to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi :)
    I am a Follower of your Blog.
    I also Follow you on Twitter.
    :)
    Almost forgot:
    Email's in Blogger Profile
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi :)
    Posted about your review & giveaway on my blog for Wed Nov 18th 8am EST.

    http://rkcharron.blogspot.com

    :)
    Thank you for the opportunity to win.
    All the best,
    RKCharron
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have not read Alexie before, but am always on the lookout for new poetry and short stories to read. I'd like to be included in the giveaway.

    Also, I just discovered your blog and became a follower because it looks like you have some great content here.

    savvyverseandwit AT gmail DOT com

    Thanks for including me. I'll tweet (@SavvyVerseWit) about the give now and post it in my sidebar.

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  5. I have never read anthing from this author. Please count me in


    melissa@gingerhigh.com

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  6. I am a follower


    melissa@gingerhigh.com

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  7. I have not read a book by Alexie before but your review has gained my interest. I usually do not lean towards short stories and poems but you have me very curious about this author's writing. Your review has made me think that I would enjoy this read.
    Please enter me in the giveaway.
    Thanks.

    ibeeeg(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I follow your blog

    ibeeeg(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I tweated about this giveaway.
    http://twitter.com/ibeeeg/status/5826595292

    ibeeeg(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I haven't read any of his books (yet) but I added The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian to my wishlist after you highlighted him the other day. I teach American History, and have always found the American Indian experience (especially in more recent history) to be interesting. Thanks for hosting this giveaway! :)

    srfbluemama at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am a follower of your blog and I'm following you on Twitter too.

    srfbluemama at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I read Reservation Blues during the read-a-thon and loved it. So that's why I want to be in the drawing. :D

    I follow you in Google Reader-is that what you mean? (Don't want to post another comment until I'm sure, lol)

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  13. I just tweeted the giveaway at http://twitter.com/afewmorepages/statuses/5830634235

    srfbluemama at gmail dot com

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  14. I've never read anything by Sherman Alexie before and that's exactly why I'd love to win this book. I love to read "new to me" authors!
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. I just became a follower of your blog.
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  16. I've never read anything by Sherman Alexie.

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  17. I haven't read anything by him before, but you review makes me want to. :)

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  18. Thanks for posting this review & giveaway during the link-up! I have not read this author but would love the chance. Please include me in your contest.

    cymlowell@gmail.com

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  19. It is extremely interesting for me to read the blog. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything connected to them. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

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  20. I haven't read this author before.

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I follow.

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I follow on Twitter @mysticconn

    simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

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  23. I read The Diary of a Part-time Indian and it was great. I love the humor. I need to read more by him!

    jenstusue AT yahoo

    ReplyDelete
  24. I haven't read Alexie before but I'd love to start...
    Please enter me to win.
    etea08(at)gmail.com

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  25. I've read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and I loved it. What a funny book and I really enjoyed the author's voice as I read it.
    I'm looking forward to this! Thanks for the giveaway.

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

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  26. I read "Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian" by Alexie and absolutely loved it. Hilarious and touching at the same time. I tried some of his adult work, but really couldn't get into it the same way, so I'd love to try War Dances!

    christina.baulch AT gmail DOT com

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  27. # I haven't read anything by Alexie before, but I'd love read War Dances.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. # I'm a follower.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  29. # I linked on my blog:

    http://aik-friendsnfamily.blogspot.com/2009/08/list-of-worldwide-giveaways.html

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  30. i saw the movie "smoke signals" which he put so much into and have read alot of native american lit that i love and have heard good things about this new one

    love to read it


    wheresmyrain at yahoo dot com

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  31. i follow you


    wheresmyrain(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  32. I have always wanted to read Sherman Alexie, but have never done so!! He was huge when I used to live out West, but I never did end up picking up one of his books. I've really got to do this!! Even better, I will just win this one!!

    tiftalksbooks at gmail dot com

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  33. I also subscribe to your blog!!

    tiftalksbooks at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete