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Indian Horse Paperback – Jan 27 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre; Canadian First edition (Jan. 27 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553654021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553654025
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 1.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"Richard Wagamese is a born storyteller." (Louise Erdrich, author of Shadow Tag 2011-11-30)

"Wagamese writes with brutal clarity... [and] finds alleviating balance through magical legend." (Globe & Mail 2011-11-30)

"Wagamese is capable of true grace on the page." (Winnipeg Free Press 2011-11-30)

"Richard Wagamese is a national treasure." (Joseph Boyden, author of Through Black Spruce 2011-11-30)

"Richard Wagamese's writing is sweet medicine for the soul." (Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed 2011-11-30)

"Indian Horse is a force for healing in our beautiful, broken world." (Kathleen Winter, author of "Annabel" 2011-12-08)

"Wagamese captures the beauty of hockey as few sportswriters could hope to match." (Rob Kirbyson Winnipeg Free Press 2012-02-11)

"Wagamese pulls off a fine balancing act: exposing the horrors of the country's residential schools while also celebrating Canada's national game." (James Grainger Quill & Quire 2012-01-15)

"Indian Horse distills much of what Wagamese has been writing about for his whole career into a clearer and sharper liquor, both more bitter and more moving than he has managed in the past. He is such a master of empathy -- of delineating the experience of time passing, of lessons being learned, of tragedies being endured -- that what Saul discovers becomes something the reader learns, as well, shocking and alien, valuable and true. " (Jane Smiley Globe & Mail 2012-02-17)

"Richard Wagamese's writing is exceptional not only for its sensitivity but for a warmth that extends beyond the page. With a finely calibrated hand, he explores heritage, identity, nature, salvation, and gratitude in works that quietly celebrate storytellingís vitality and power to transcend." (David Chau Georgia Straight 2012-02-22)

"...raw and authentic." (Vancouver Weekly 2012-02-29)

"Richard Wagamese is a master storyteller, who blends the throb of life with spiritual links to the land, hard work, and culture to find success, his words take you into the soul of Indian Horse, to experience his pain, his growing resentments, his depression, and his fear which has to be faced if he is to regain the joy of life. This book is meant for youth, adults, and elders, to be shared, to be lived, and to be treasured for the clear message of hope and the need to go the distance." (Wawatey News 2012-03-01)

"...Wagamese alternates between horror and Hockey Night in Canada, like he's an all-star centre flawlessly firing backhand shots." (Telegraph Journal 2012-02-25)

"Indian Horse finds the granite solidity of Wagamese's prose polished to a lustrous sheen; brisk, brief, sharp chapters propel the reader forward. He seamlessly braids together his two traditions: English literary and aboriginal oral. So audible is Saul's voice, that I heard him stop speaking whenever I closed the book...Wagamese crafts an unforgettable work of art." (Donna Bailey Nurse National Post 2012-03-09)

"Saul Indian Horse is a tough Ojibway boy whose life seems doomed until he discovers hockey and becomes a brilliant skater with a killer wrist shot. But the star of the northern Ontario Indian tournament circuit -- even scouted by the Toronto Maple Leafs -- is goaded by racism into violence and booze and has to come to terms with the painful facts of his childhood. Indian Horse is a taut, closely observed character study with fabulous writing about our beloved sport. " (Marian Botsford Fraser More Magazine 2012-03-22)

"Wagamese has written one of the rarest sorts of books: a novel which is both important and a heart-in-throat pleasure." (Robert Wiersema Edmonton Journal 2012-04-21)

"...The hockey chapters are compelling; they evoke Sherman Alexie's fiction that examines contemporary life on American Indian reservations through the lens of basketball. But it is as a story of reconciliation that this novel reveals Wagamese's masterful subtly...In a single image, Wagamese complicates in blinding ways the entire narrative; in a single page, Indian Horse deepens from an enjoyable read to a gripping critique of Canada." (Kyle Carsten Wyatt The Walrus 2012-06-01)

"This book is so many things; it is a mystical tale; it is an ode to the good old hockey game and its power to lift players above their situations; it is a story of a system that fails and fails its children in horrifying ways; it is a story of healing...This is ultimately a hopeful and beautiful book and I recommend it heartily." (Susan Fish Guelph Mercury 2012-06-01)

"Wagamese's compelling novel harnesses two quintessentially Canadian themes, hockey and colonialism, to create an exhilarating and heart-breaking story. Indian Horse reads like 'powerful medicine, allowing vital teachings to be shared.'" (Yutaka Dirks Briar Patch Magazine 2012-08-15)

Evaluated and Approved (BC ERAC 2012-11-27)

"...to watch Richard Wagamese come home in this novel is to watch a phoenix climb. This man and this book are a part of the landscape." (Joseph Boyden Globe and Mail 2013-06-29)

About the Author

Richard Wagamese is Ojibway from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in Ontario. A member of the Sturgeon Clan, he is one of Canadaís foremost authors and journalists. He is the author of six novels, one collection of poetry and three memoirs. His most recent novels, Indian Horse (2012) and Medicine Walk (2014) were national bestsellers and published to brilliant reviews. Indian Horse was the People's Choice finalist in the 2013 Canada Reads competition. Richard has also been honored with the 2012 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media & Communications and the Molson Prize for the Arts in 2013. He lives in Kamloops, BC.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a child of northern Canada, the residential school legacy has been a constant theme in my formative and adult years. It is truly one of the blackest hours in Canadian history; one so shameful, we cannot bear to teach it in our public schools. The complete social upheaval of first nations communities has led to the destruction and near-destruction of so many lives and homes in the north, we despair of it ever being healed.

But healing is coming; in the telling of the stories, in the solidarity of shared experience and in the reclamation of language, culture and spirit. "Indian Horse" is a powerful story; it's voice echoed in the Truth and Reconciliation hearings being held across the country, as everyone who has suffered at the hands of residential schools has the opportunity to tell their own story.

The language of Richard Wagamese is spare and concise, removing any sense of sentimentality; the bits and pieces of the story either too beautiful or horrid to benefit from any embellishment. It is rich and evocative without an extra syllable to be found.

There are several themes running through the book - the wonderful spiritual connection to Saul's ancestors, the land and his own healing, the various communities that surround him at different times, the redemption and salvation found at the hockey rink and the gut-wrenching years at the school; the stories of the small, lost souls of St. Jerome's so powerful, I found myself waking in the night, thinking of them: Arden Little Light, Shane Big Canoe, Sheila Jack. This is where Wagamese has served us so well - by simply acknowledging them, seeing them and helping us to see them too. The small slivers of their stories, told in only a few sentences, gives life to their suffering and tells us all we need to know.
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Format: Paperback
It was an honour to read “Indian Horse” by Richard Wagamese. As a reader who wants to encourage others to go out and get this important piece of work, I am breaking the rule about reviewers getting personal with the material. As I worked my way through the staggering story of Saul Indian Horse , there was an immediate flooding of memories...his and mine. I was a 6 year old Dutch immigrant who attended a Catholic school in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. At that time, there were Aboriginal children in my class who were treated horribly by the teachers. They were always getting strapped for speaking their native language or having messy desks or whatever. It seemed to me even at such a young age, that these children were being picked on. By the time I was in grade 3, my teacher even went so far as to tell my dad, that I really shouldn’t be hanging out with Aboriginal kids. I can remember overhearing my dad and mom discussing it late at night while I was in bed. My dad was furious that this teacher had the nerve to say such a thing and he had told her so. Another memory of mine was that these kids were all in foster care with white families in our area. I didn’t get it! What was wrong with their own families? In later years, when I was well into my 40s, I ran across a small paragraph in a Canadian school history book that bluntly mentioned the governmental policy. I was shocked and started looking up information about this unbelievably abhorrent policy. Besides the residential schools , there was a policy called the “Sixties Scoop” where aboriginal children were forcibly removed from their families and placed by child welfare agencies. Who knew that this could happen in a so-called democratic society? Canadians , in general , are in the dark about this policy.Read more ›
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I often find that fitting fiction into my reading time is difficult, but Saul Indian Horse is someone I know or rather a composite of many someones that I know...friends, clients, ancestors... It was originally purchased as a Christmas gift for my 14 year old grandson to help him to understand one of the ancestor paths he carries in his DNA, but I thought I'd read it before I gave it to him. Wow! I couldn't put the book down! Richard Wagamese has a well earned reputation as a story weaver, but this latest is a gem. The story is skillfully woven and narrated by someone who is himself an excellent story teller who knows the timing, language and emotional weight of every single word. If you want to delve into excellent fiction that will be as spell binding to your elders as your grandkids, here's the one to start with! I only say this because I know that Richard will likely outdo himself with his next story.
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Here is an interview at the blog attheedgeofcanada.blogspot.ca with Richard where he talks about his novel Indian Horse. I would love for this book to gain greater appeal among hockey players and lovers, because it would be a great introduction to residential schools and its terrible period for First Nations, while tying into the story which is linked to Canadian identity of Hockey and the wild.

robert ouellette
Indian Horse
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There are things in history that are so shameful often people would rather not talk about them. Richard Wagamese doesn't just talk about them, he helps us experience them. He takes us inside Saul Iron Horse's world, sharing his journey of heartache, heartbreak, disappointments and triumphs. I felt every word and cried a good deal. I have to believe in karma because no money or apology can ever give back the world that existed before residential schooling. I read this book into the wee hours unable to put it down until I had completed Saul's journey with him.
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