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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

Alexie, Sherman

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
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In his darkly comic short story collection, the author brilliantly weaves memory, fantasy, and stark realism to paint a complex, grimly ironic portrait of life in and around the Spokane Indian Reservation. These twenty-four interlinked tales are narrated by characters raised on humiliation and government-issue cheese, and yet are filled with passion and affection, myth and dream. There is Victor, who as a nine-year-old crawled between his unconscious parents hoping that the alcohol seeping through their skins might help him sleep, Thomas Builds-the-Fire, who tells his stories long after people stop listening, and Jimmy Many Horses, dying of cancer, who writes letters on stationary that reads "From the Death Bed of Jimmy Many Horses III," even though he actually writes then on his kitchen table. Against a backdrop of alcohol, car accidents, laughter, and basketball, Alexie depicts the distances between Indians and whites, reservation Indians and urban Indians, men and women, and mostly poetically between modern Indians and the traditions of the past.

Series that include this title

Publisher: New York :, Grove Press,, [2013]
Edition: 20th anniversary edition
ISBN: 9780802121998
0802121993
Branch Call Number: FICTION ALEXIE 2013
Characteristics: xxviii, 242 pages ;,21 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

24 interlinked stories set in and around the Spokane Indian Reservation. By turns funny, outrageous, sweet, and sad.

If I had to pick one Alexie book to showcase, it would be this short story collection. Humor, sadness, and relationships all converge in connected stories unified by his always reliable prose, humanity, and sense of humor.


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Oct 07, 2014
  • BTVS rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I don't care for short stories so part of my critique is biased against this format. The stories are underpinned by black humour, prejudice and hopelessness in a society which will not allow the native American to get ahead. The reservation is unsupportive of its own talented youth and takes no risks to break out of the mould designed by the white oppressors. A depressing reality check. I have read most of Alexie's work and recommend him to anyone interested in aboriginal issues

Aug 07, 2013
  • DanceFiddler rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Alexie’s first short-story collection. Most (not all) of the stories center around Victor and Thomas from Reservation Blues and Smoke Signals (which was based on this collection). Typical Alexie: gritty, inspiring in surprising ways. I didn’t enjoy it as much as some of his other works—I feel like the stories are of lower caliber. But definitely a must for any Alexie fan.

Jun 29, 2012
  • cynthiaw54 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Alexie manages to be so hilariously funny and so incredibly sad at the same time. I laughed, I cried, so true.

This book is a compilation of short stories that seemingly relate to each other in some more obvious ways, and some ways that require interpretation to fully understand. The ‘main’ character would be Victor, but ‘main’ is used pretty loosely as there are more characters in different stories, such as Thomas Builds-the-Fire. This book does not have a specific story and plot line since it jumps into different time periods and different events. This book is mainly about Indians going through life filled with stereotypes. The author also shows the daily life of Indians and how distant people are in the reservation. Victor and Thomas both go through many difficulties that ultimately lead the reader to pick up themes that are prevalent in this book. Themes such as alcoholism and hope are very common in this book. I actually enjoyed this book a lot. The short stories were usually not too difficult to read, but understanding them is a different thing. Sherman Alexie has this unique way of changing his style of writing and his language involving his style based on a different character, who we as readers must infer since there are not always names. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read about Indian life, challenges that main characters face, and just about teenage life, as this is a fiction book based on the author’s experience.

Jul 16, 2011
  • RichardPaul rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven ---- Sherman Alexie c - 1994 ---- Funny, Funny, Funny ---- Enjoy! ---- RichardPaul

Mar 07, 2011
  • gemmamaria rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Full of real feeling, heartache and joy. I have to admit I enjoy Alexie's more recent work; and my favorite part of this book is the Introduction. Written 10 years after the book is originally published, Alexie describes himself as "a poet who whines in meter." That's why we love him!

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