The heartsong of Charging Elk : a novel

by James Welch

Hardcover, 2000





New York : Doubleday, 2000.


Charging Elk, an Oglala Sioux, is recruited by Buffalo Bill Cody to join his Wild West show, which creates a sensation in Europe, until he is left behind--because of illness and a bureaucratic mix-up--in the unfamiliar world of Marseilles.

Media reviews

Despite some contrived plot twists, Welch's study of a man forced to adapt to a world utterly unlike his own—and a richly imagined world it is—is well sustained. An amply rewarding read.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member Rosareads
An amazing book: the characterization of Charging Elk is drawn with a fine, elegant pen. This is a story about a hero: an unusual hero, left on his own in France without benefit of any language but his native tongue.
LibraryThing member stunik
adult situations (sex); needs parent permission
Native American joins the Wild West show, travels to Paris with them, and is abandoned. Knowing no English or French, and being dark-skinned, Charging Elk has a difficult time in his new surroundings.
LibraryThing member TheBooknerd
Honestly, I thought this was a lukewarm and boring book. Granted, it's an interesting idea for a story, and some parts were intriguing. Also, Welch is a skilled writer capable of creating thoughtful passages. Overall, though, this one just didn't touch me. I felt little to no urgency while reading, and Charging Elk just didn't spark for me as a compelling character. I would recommend this to readers interested in Westerns and the Wild West -- which I am not. Perhaps they will get more from it than I did.… (more)



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