Which is why we all enjoyed Sherman Alexie's novel Reservation Blues, which contains the required amount of beauty and poignancy in a rollicking read. Much of the story happens in the Spokane Reservation starting when Thomas Builds-the-Fire stops at the Crossroads to pick up blues musician Robert Johnson. Looking to reclaim his soul and scarred fingers, Johnson leaves his guitar in Thomas' truck. The guitar, not content taking a back seat, strums its siren song forcing Thomas to form a band with Victor and Junior who are both friends and foes. These guys rock and the talented guitar even lands them a recording session in New York where, confronted by their demons, they self-destruct.
Multiple award winner Alexie tackles the challenges and situations of reservation life with magic and vigor, weaving historic fact with fantasy. His observations on our cultural differences and the messages reservation children are fed, along with their government-issued peanut butter, are laugh out loud funny and tragic.
Reservation Blues is based on characters from Alexie's short collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven as is the movie Smoke Signals.
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