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81
4.8 out of 5 stars
Three Day Road
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Showing 11-20 of 68 reviews(5 star)show all reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2008
I'm so glad I read this novel for a local library book club pick. It is the story of three Aboriginals - Xavier, his aunt Niska, and his best friend Elijah who are impacted by World War I. The plot is skillfully woven, going back and forth between Xavier and Elijah's active combat duty as snipers, and Niska's isolated and fiercely independent existence near Moose Factory, Ontario. Xavier and Niska have clear, strong, and reticent narrative voices that describe the pain of war, racism, and addiction in a most stunningly haunting and memorable way. All three of the main characters are on a journey that is unfair and unjust, and not all of them can heal their guilt and suffering. I love that this novel is not just another war novel - it is distinctive in recognizing the important Aboriginal experience and contribution to battles at the Somme, Ypres, and Vimy Ridge that have been largely ignored by mainstream media. Along with Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb, Three Day Road is the best novel I have read this year. Highly recommended. [Amy MacDougall]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2007
This is Boyden's first book, but hopefully not his last. Boyden has a gift; a gift of placing the reader in a setting so horrific, it follows the "train wreck" pattern; it is disgusting and rich, so rich it is difficult to turn away. Boyden not only describes the sights of war, but the sounds, the smells, the tastes, so that we not only see this war, but experience it in its grotesque, vivid entirety. The war scenes in "Three Day Road" are so engaging, the book is difficult to put down, regardless of the fact that the killing, rotting bodies, fear, disgust and psychology add to the general awfulness of the atmosphere.

In addition to the war, Boyden gives the reader an honest portray of aboriginal life in early 20th century Canada. With dispicable details about the residential schools, and the effect of greed, money and alcohol on the aboriginal people. These issues are controversial and a dark spot on Canada's history, but Boyden exposes it for us, a new generation of reader and learner.

With likeable protagonists, great storytelling, strange and horrific images and brilliant tone, Boyden's "Three Day Road" is an amazing, accurate and ballsy novel that is sure to provoke any reader. This is probably one of the best books I've ever read, and I'm not a war buff, nor do I typically enjoy novels about historical events. Just fantastic on so many levels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2014
A powerful narrative, filled with the complexities of cultural identity and the meaning of home, the psychological consequences of war on the individual, and the boundaries of brotherhood. This is historical fiction at its very best, skillfully drawing on accounts of Great War history in the field to recount the experiences of two Cree friends who join the Canadian army as volunteers. What sets this book above others is the way the writer positions the wartime experiences in France alongside a very different set of experiences, narrated by a First Nations woman living in the bush near Moose Factory, Ontario. In the end, 'Three Day Road' is a beautiful story of human survival in the face of unimaginable change.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2011
The kind of book I want to read over and over and over. Classic, heart-wrenching Canadiana. I have a new favourite.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2011
historical fiction at its finest, told in a first nations traditional sense of storytelling. Well worth the read. I am not usually a fiction reader, but from the time i picked it up I had a hard time putting it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 7, 2011
This book is everything previous reviewers noted and more. There is no way to add to any review that has not already been said.
Having had this book in my collection since 2006, and only finally reading it now, I feel deprived that I had not read it sooner to experience Joseph's beautiful writing style.
A fascinating, educating and compelling read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2010
I'll avoid a synopsis (other reviewers have provided some good ones) and simply say that this is book is outstanding.

The portrait of WW1 from the trenches is haunting and heartbreaking; Boyden reminds us of the unimaginable sacrifices of the men who served in this terrible chapter of history. The interwoven stories of friendship, family and culture are gorgeous; I find myself thinking about the characters weeks after finishing the book.

Boyden's writing is gentle and honest; each word is to be savoured.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2012
A beautiful gut wrenching journey that just touches you on all levels. The lives of the native people as seen through these lenses is a pure and emotional experience, when the book ends you truly feel as if you not only know and love these people and have watched these lives unfold with them. The style feels as if you are sitting with wise story tellers as they give you these lives from a view never before seen. Just beautiful! This book should be required reading in schools, it demonstrates so many facets of Canada in the First World War in such a beautiful way that one can't help but be moved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2010
Having a cottage north of Algonquin Park - the scenes described in the canoe trip over the three day's travel, aptly describe the rivers, rocks, trees, and wildlife. My grandfather was a sniper in World War One and our family has a large Canadian penny with a bend in the centre where the penny in his shirt pocket had saved his life. I know he had lived in trenches, and crawled through fields...but not much was described to any of us. Written in short chapters, it is quite a tale of courage and will. Sandra
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2014
The descriptions of the madness of life in the trenches of WWI were hard but important to read. The story of the Aboriginal friends was engrossing: their experiences as youth in residential schools, as best friends learning to survive and hunt in the Canadian wilderness, and as snipers in the army. Native mysticism is skillfully and beautifully woven into the fabric of the story. I finished the book a month ago and its effect still lingers.
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