The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Sherman Alexie) 4*

cover artFirst off, I admit that I misted up a little bit on page 11 — page e-fucking-leven — when Arnold Spirit (known on the rez as “Junior”) concisely explains why hunger is not the worst thing about being poor.

On page 26, I laughed out loud at this:

Yep, I have to admit that isosceles triangles make me feel hormonal.

Most guys, no matter what age, get excited about curves and circles, but not me.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like girls and their curves.  And I really like women and their curvier curves.

I spend hours in the bathroom with a magazine that has one thousand pictures of naked movie stars: Yep, that’s right.  I admit that I masturbate.

I’m proud of it.

I’m good at it.

I’m ambidextrous.

Also, the artwork inside the book is charming and concise.  My favorite might be the doodle to illustrate Junior’s anxiety about not having the money to pay for his date’s meal at Denny’s: The pancakes of doom are piled up on the plate of fate.  Next to them are the butter of shame and the syrup of regret.

pancakes of doom

So why does this fictional semi-autobiography fall one star short of 5?  It just doesn’t quite end right.  We start with a poor, smart boy who both stutters and lisps and has abnormally large feet, and somehow we wind up with a freshman starter on the varsity basketball team.  What exactly…happened?  Did you take off his glasses and defrizz his hair, and suddenly he was a supermodel?

This book was like a long taxi ride with a really fun, charming driver who tells you all about himself, and the ride whizzes by in a flash and you feel like the world is a warmer place because you got to know this really cool person from another walk of life.  Then when you open the door you realize that, without warning or apology, he’s dropped you off 6 blocks away from the address you gave him, and you grudgingly leave an average tip because it was a really interesting conversation and you are basically in the vicinity of your destination even though you’re wearing heels today and the wind is kind of brisk.

Anyway, you should read this book because it’s banned, and then you could leave a comment or something because all my commenters have drifted off to distant lands.  Am I the only person who hates Coach?  I would totally stiff Coach on the tip and not feel bad about it.


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