Author: Sherman Alexie
Genre: Fiction (YA and Adult)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Challenges: Book Group
FTC Disclosure: I bought this book
Summary (from the back of the book): One day legendary bluesman Robert Johnson appears on the Spokane Indian reservation, in flight from the devil and presumed long dead. When he passes his enchanted instrument to Thomas-Build-the-Fire--storyteller, misfit, and musician--a magical odyssey begins that will take them from reservation bar to small-town taverns, from the cement trails of Seattle to the concrete canyons of Manhattan. This is a fresh, luxuriantly comic tale of power, tragedy, and redemption among contemporary Native Americans.
Review: I was excited to read this book for my book group because I loved Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. However, I didn't enjoy this book as much as True Diary. I actually ending up skimming the last third of the book so that I could finish it last night (I know, bad confession).
Here's what I liked about this book: it's well written, the storyline is interesting, and the characters are fun and entertaining. I really like the way Alexie has quirky characters who are entertaining, but also seem to carry a message about life and human nature. The plot of Reservation Blues is an interesting one; tying in music, life on the reservation, and human relationships. It made me so sad that Thomas put up with the abuse at the hand of Victor. I realize that Victor was a bully and he had a hard life, but I just couldn't stand the pain he inflicted upon Thomas (though I thought it was really well written).
My problem with this book isn't really a reflection on Sherman Alexie or the book itself, but more on me and what I like or don't like in books. I am just not a mystical person (enchanted guitars, Big Mom up on the hill who seems to have lived forever, etc) and have a difficult time reading books that are that way. It's the reason I am not finding a book set in South America for the Global Reading Challenge. So, really, the part about this book that made me unhappy is my own issue. I think Alexie did a great job with this book, mystical story lines just aren't my favorite type of writing.
What do you think of mystical writing and stories?