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.
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.