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19 Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Monkey Beach is really good. Especially the quality it came in was incredible. I really connected to the novel even though I am not native or know the native religion. I believe that anyone can fall for the novel if they keep reading none stop, sometimes it is confusing, but it's easy to understand the literature if you have a low vocabulary spend (like me). Anyone could...
Published 19 months ago by Jazzy

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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 Read it one afternoon..., May 1 2001
By 
Zentao (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Hardcover)
Robinson's book is a great "modern" fairy tale that deftly weaves the sad truth about Native Americans such as reserve life, alcohol, poverty and residential schools with an interesting twist of old mythology. There are liberal doses of hard reality such as broken lives due to substance abuse and hard living mixed in with flights of fancy about the "sasquatch" said to be living in the coastal area in the Queen Charlotte islands.
The book captures the crisis moment for a native family when they are told their son's (who is portrayed as somewhat of a golden child) boat has disappeared off of the coast. The family's story, along with most of the village, is told in a series of intertwined flashbacks that really demonstrate Robinson's excellent narrative skills.
I won't spoil anything else in the fine tale but would highly recommend the story. Anyone who has read Silko, or even De Lindt, will likely enjoy this tale. Those who have recently taken "authentic Indian names" and are looking to exploit more "Indian culture" will likely be disappointed by the fact that Robinson's book really fits in with more "mainstream" works such as Pynchon and Nicholas Christopher. Perhaps we need a new "cubbyhole" called "Native American Dark Urban Fantasy"?
Buy a copy and support real talent!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exposing the core with aplomb..., April 16 2001
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Hardcover)
Eden Robinson is a rising star of the literary-letter set here in Canada and this book showcases that talent with aplomb. The book is a wonderful delving into the core of its protagonist, Lisa-Marie, as she looks back over her life and the Haisla heritage that surrounds her.
Lisa-Marie is a typical young woman in so many ways; yet, she is a fully spiritual native woman who's not entirely at ease with her heritage. As she explores her past (and the relationships she has held to over the years), Lisa-Marie sets off on an odyssey of the soul, in search for the root meaning and purpose of her life.
This is an excellent arrangement; the prose is beautifully styled and very absorbing. Ms. Robinson is an author who has found her own unique (and genuine) voice and I expect she will turn out more masterful stories in the years ahead. I look forward to her next work.
This book's worth your buck - buy yourself a copy and enjoy... this is a tale you'll be glad you've taken the time to enter into.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Monkey Beach - Informative and Insightful, Feb. 20 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Hardcover)
A very descriptive book of the B.C. North Coast, also very descriptive of the Native American (Canadian) spiritual beliefs. Woven into an easy to read novel it provides a glimpse into the life of young people today growing in a society where they are learning to adjust the ways of today and integrate the beliefs of their ancestors into their daily life. This is a book from which todays parents and educators may learn a great deal to assist them in bringing forth the best from their children and students.
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling story of Pacific Northwest aboriginal life, Dec 28 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Hardcover)
I grew up 20 miles from where this story is set. It brought back many wonderful memories of youthful summers and listening to stories at my Mamaoo's knee. Robinson's description of Kitamaat and village life is dead on! Her vibrant, discriptive narrative allowed me to travel back in time, when my Grandparents would come to visit on their seiner and would tie up at Kitamaat. If you are interested in contemporary First Nations life, Robinson is the woman to write it. I look forward to her next novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and engrossing, Dec 4 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Monkey Beach (Hardcover)
I saw this author give a talk at Powell's sometime in the fall, so I was very excited to see the book available. In person she was fabulous- very funny and interesting, talking about how she wrote the book. Then I read the book, and I was not disappointed! It is kind of dark and yet funny at the same time, set along the coast of, I think, BC. The main character looks back over her life and eccentric family (including crazy cousin Mick, an Elvis fanatic) as they search for her brother, missing off of a commercial fishing boat. There are visits from Big Foot and other "ghosts," and, all in all, I loved it. It was one of those reads where I hate the book to end, and I miss the characters! Really excellent.
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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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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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