I just like … really liked this book. Maybe because it was short and good and I’d been slogging through so many that were long and bad. Probably because it was good. Like really good. It’ll take me a bit, but let me try to put into words why.
I didn’t know what to title this review, so I just threw up my favorite quote. Even though the quote has so little to do with the book. Tommy Orange has done a novel of the Urban Indian, so it applies there, I guess. I just liked the quote, because it’s right.
The book is about Oakland. And about the legions of Native Americans living there and the different lives they lead and different experiences they have and different perspectives they bring. It’s also about the unifying moments of a culture even when everything goes horribly wrong. For a short book, it’s about a lot.
There There is multiple, loosely interlocking stories that all culminate in the same place. And those stories are rich and fragmented and whole and beautifully told. Orange places the reader directly beside each of his protagonists, able to hear their innermost thoughts but observe them from the outside. It is an incredible novel about the myriad of ways in which a diverse group of people can all be Indian and experience being Indian and come together and fall apart. There’s just a lot here. And it’s really good. And I highly recommend it.
Bingo Square: Cover Art