Thursday, June 4, 2009
Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King
From the Publishers:
Through a combination of magical humour, revisionist history and muted nostalgia, this book transports readers to the fictional town of Blossom. As the story unfolds, Thomas King familiarizes readers with the lives of five Blackfoot Indians. The plot centres around Alberta, a university professor involved with two men who pull her into opposing orbits. There is also Charlie, a flashy ambitious lawyer; Lionel, the local TV salesman; Latisha, the manager of the Dead Dog Cafe; and Eli, a lost soul searching for the white man’s grail in Toronto. Although the characters live seemingly separate lives, they discover their existences are connected in ways at once coincidental, comical and cosmic in Green Grass, Running Water.
I had a hard time getting through this book. At certain parts I was really intrigued by the characters and their lives. At other parts I had a hard time following what was going on. The dynamic seemed to be either life on the reserve or the rest of the world. I don't have a lot of knowledge on native culture but the novel presents a tension between staying on the reserve and living off the reserve but still retaining their culture. I was frustrated with all the magic realism but at the same time I found it interesting that most of the stories were based in native creation stories but fused with "modern" and Christian culture. Overall I give this book a 3 out of 5