"Stunning" short stories by the National Book Award-winning author of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). In this bestselling volume of stories, National Book Award winner Sherman Alexie challenges readers to see Native American Indians as the complex, modern, real people they are. The tender and tenacious tales of The Toughest Indian in the World introduce us to the one-hundred-eighteen-year-old Etta Joseph, former co-star and lover of John Wayne, and to the unnamed narrator of the title story, a young Indian journalist searching for togetherness one hitchhiker at a time. Countless other brilliant creations leap from Alexie's mind in these nine stories. Upwardly mobile Indians yearn for a more authentic life, married Indian couples push apart while still cleaving together, and ordinary, everyday Indians hunt for meaning in their lives. The Toughest Indian in the World combines anger, humor, and beauty into radiant fictions, fiercely imagined, from one of America's greatest writers. This ebook features an illustrated biography including rare photos from the author's personal collection.
In this collection, Alexie’s stories tend more than ever to the standard-issue “lit-fic” genre: Relatively successful people, sometimes with relatively unsuccessful relatives, living disaffected lives and/or searching for the thing that will give meaning to their worlds beyond the good job and beautiful wife.
Alexie offers up adultery, homosexuality, and some strained ethnic/racial divisions to spice up the literary mag approach, but somehow it doesn’t all come together. These stories lack the verve of Alexie’s other work. They lack the rhythm of his poetry and the political undercurrent of his film adaptations. They are just not quite up to expectations.
Again, this collection is not bad enough to put me off Alexie for good, but it’s not one of his best.
Imagine my excitement in finding a new publication written by him, and then the sheer disappointment in reading his attempt at short story writing.
Previous works such as The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven are stellar and four star worthy.
While there are some stories that hold true to Alexie's style and superiority, overall, I ended feeling that this medium simply didn't work for the author.
There appeared to be too much unnecessary sexual content, leaving me to wonder if Alexie thinks that writing for an adult audience equates to the need for vulgarity.
What a shame...What an utter shame!
“world. Put down your fucking guns and pick up your kids.”
“I'm not exactly racist. I like white people as a theory; I'm just not crazy about them in practice.”
“Son, if your going to marry a white woman, then marry a rich one, because those white-trash women are just indians with bad haircuts.”
I am going to let these quotes serve as a review, because I think they capture Alexie's voice better than my inarticulate ramblings. This is another strong story collection, from one of America's singular voices. Tales about working class indians and the down-trodden and disillusioned. Funny, thoughtful and heart-breaking. You want a snap-shot of the modern American Indian? Seek this one out, along with The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and you will be enlightened.