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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on March 25, 2011
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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on December 4, 2000
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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on April 13, 2011
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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on February 20, 2001
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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on December 27, 2000
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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on April 25, 2005
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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on December 29, 2005
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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on September 28, 2014
I enjoyed every aspect of this story, a subject which I rarely read about. The descriptions elicit such visual presence. Definitely recommended.
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on January 2, 2001
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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on October 18, 2015
I was born and raised in Kitimat. Was a trip down memory lane for me. But also was a great quick easy read.
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