I read and ordered Now Word for time, thinking it might be a scientific Anthropological study. Perhaps this pre-conception colored my judgement, because what I read seemed to be a philosophy book with which borders on New Age spiritualism.
The author describes his experiences study Algonquin traditions and makes several general statements on how the "Elders" act and feel. Many of these statements are so absolute, It makes me wonder... Do all the 'elder's' act/feel this way? What is the origin and purpose of these traditions? Is there a difference between the philosophy of the elders based on Gender? What about Gender rolls in Algonquin society? How do the non-elders feel? I was left curious about this.
Second, while I enjoyed some of the stories, I felt the author may leap to some conclusions based on experiences with a small group of people. Saying: "All Algonquin's behave a certain way-," is like saying: all Anglos eat fried rice on Tuesday..." it just seemed to generalized for me.
Third, I didn't really care for the first-person narrative: the author writes throughout the book "I have seen-" or "I-went" Or, "I did this." It just didn't seem to have the same impact as a third-person narrative.
Fourth: there was a distinct absence of footnotes, in the text. Chapters were slurred together with no particular order or purpose. Chapters starting off at the end of the paragraph of a previous chapter. I found this distracting.
Fifth: Finally, there is a certain 'pseudo-science' which I think can be misleading in this book. The author starts speculating that early native peoples were Neanderthal-like in appearance is incorrect. No neanderthals migrated to the American continent at all, and there is no scientific evidence to suggest that Native American's appeared any different in their physical aspects than other Early native peoples.
Overall, I recommend this book for fans of the metaphysical, who don't mind a 'stream of consciousness' style narration, and a certain lack of scientific perspective.
In conclusion, while I enjoyed aspects of "No Word For Time" I would use this book as a reference with caution.