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19 Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quiet Gem of a Novel
Eden Robinson has written a quietly engrossing novel about life on the coast of British Columbia, in the small Haisla town of Kitamaat. Lisa Marie (named after Elvis Presley's daughter) has a gift: she can see spirits, even if she does not understand them. Most troubling, she is visited by a little man with red hair who seems to appear at night in her bedroom just...
Published on Jan. 22 2001 by Debbie Lee Wesselmann

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3.0 out of 5 stars On Odd Book with Layers of Meaning
Although on the surface it seems like a simple coming-of-age story, Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson, has layers of meaning. Native lore and beliefs are tied into the modern day setting, such as the big-foot character called the B'gwus, who shows up during important moments. As well there is a theme of family including the good and bad aspects common to every family. The...
Published on March 25 2011 by Crayonmonster


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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read....., April 25 2005
By 
Claire Lemieux Hope "hopereader" (Montreal, Qc, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Paperback)
Excellent book. I read this book in a few nights and could not put it down. I finished reading it last night and could not go to sleep for about two hours. I was still thinking about the main characters and the reality of living on a Native Indian reserve. The BC coast and Native Indians are so well describe that I often forgot that this story was fiction and not a real event. Can't wait for this author's next book. I will definitely read this book again and again!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing and real, Dec 29 2005
By 
Maria (Queen Charlotte Islands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Paperback)
Being familiar with the region, I found this book really rung true in terms of the culture and mystique of the northwest coast. The story captures and engages you. I read it 3 years ago and I still think about it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jo P., April 4 2012
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Paperback)
Lisa, a tough chick, sets out to find her lost brother and there's nothing anyone (or anything) can do to stop her.
Jimmy, Lisa's brother, has set out on a fishing boat and has failed to return although Lisa just knows that she can find answers on Monkey Beach, a place where the supernatural lurks in the shadows. The plot is not linear, but rather goes back and forth through her past and present. Through the stories that she shares about her past, the relationships she had with her Ma-ma-oo and her Uncle Mick take center stage and serve to encourage her spirit and the connection she has with the spirit world. This connection helps her in searching for her brother, however Robinson does not spend as much time on the plot as she does on characterization. The main bulk of the book is spent on her memories which transport the readers to her childhood in Kitamaat, on the western shore of B.C. where she encounters domestic abuse and alcoholism to when she suffers it herself in Vancouver. This book illustrates many painful issues which obscures the main plot of her brother's whereabouts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read! A winner!, Jan. 2 2001
By 
Chris Mclaughlin "teamsheltie" (Hawley, Ma USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Hardcover)
Fabulous first novel. I can only hope she will write another novel soon as her writing is both poetic and beautiful. Don't miss this one!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stellar novel., Nov. 24 2004
By 
Kathryn B (Regina, Saskatchewan Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Paperback)
Please don't read this book to fulfill your quota of First Nations literature, or to try to broaden your horizons by learning what "they" live like. You will learn a lot from this book, true, but more than that, you will be reading a beautiful novel. Every now and then when I read reviews that mention stunning images and spectacular writing, I roll my eyes ... it's hard for a book to measure up so that individual sentences can make me stop and notice them. However, this book does that and more. The story is lovely; the "supernatural" elements are sometimes oddities and sometimes everyday occurrences in the main characters' lives; the family is like every family I've ever met, loving and promising, but not without their troubles.
Just read this beautiful, bewitching book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing Literary Tale of the Northwest, Oct. 1 2002
By 
pcarriesmith (Sandspit, British Columbia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Paperback)
I was riveted to these characters, and to the skillful interweaving of past and present, and spirit world with human world. As a resident of the Queen Charlotte Islands several months out of the year, I found the author's descriptions of life here totally right on and fascinating.
I was confused by the ending, and I don't honestly know what happened to the characters in the end. That was terribly disappointing, since at that point I really cared about what happened to them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read, April 13 2011
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Paperback)
I was first introduced to this book in University. I then read it at lesiure. This story has layers upon layers of meaning. It transported me to another dimension, yet was so great in that it is also part of our heritage. It is real and gutsy. I would highly recommend this read. It leaves you mesmerized. I also read that Eden Robinson faced persecution as a result of her writing about the spiritual beliefs of the First Nations people of the Pacific Coastal region. I think that this is a gift to be able to see a glimpse of tradition that is both mysterious and compelling.
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3.0 out of 5 stars On Odd Book with Layers of Meaning, March 25 2011
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Paperback)
Although on the surface it seems like a simple coming-of-age story, Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson, has layers of meaning. Native lore and beliefs are tied into the modern day setting, such as the big-foot character called the B'gwus, who shows up during important moments. As well there is a theme of family including the good and bad aspects common to every family. The past is an integral part of this book, flashing back to important events that have caused ripples in the lives of the characters and carried them to their current state. An interesting read, Monkey Beach also delves into the magic of the natural world in its character studies.

I enjoyed this book but found it to be a little bit crude in its writing and dull in its story development. I felt that some points were hammered home, while others remained elusive.

[...]
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little confusion settled, April 24 2006
By 
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Paperback)
This read was a great Haisla Nation tribute. But lets not forget that there are many First Nations across Canada and the U.S. who have different traditions and cultures. Just because we are all First Nations, does not mean we all use Oolichan oil or that the Memekwesiw visit us all. Please don't think that because you have read this book, you are an expert in First Nations culture.
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Monkey Beach
Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson (Paperback - Jan. 9 2001)
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