Green Grass Running Water

Thoughts Green Grass Running Water by Thomas King, HarperCollins 1993/HarperPerennial 2007, 431 pages

MOTIVATION for READING:   My dear friend KB recommended this as one of her favorites and I had never heard of it.   And then! Eva reviewed it with glowing ‘must-read‘ which I could have sworn was in all caps but as I link to it, I guess I must have read it in my mind in all caps.   Go figure…   How could I not read it?   I bookmooched it.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:   Well, it’s hard to explain.    Let’s see…  there are these four very old (ancient even) Indians who have escaped from their (locked) care-facility and they only seem to do so when a major catastrophe happens. At the same time, we have a story unfolding and re-folding and folding onto itself before getting restarted all over again. And there’s water, lots of water. Puddles forming and sweeping away cars. We’ve got coyotes and a narrator named “I”, and women swimming around and meeting interesting characters that merge mythology and North American history and Biblical tales and even a few literature* icons. And the story begins again. Sort of. If I’ve confused you, trust me when I say that Thomas King pulls it off with clever wit and skilled sentence, paragraph and chapter construction.

I remember being told it was funny. It’s not that it is full of jokes, but it IS comic. A subtle clever comedy that, as Eva says, it QUIRKY. It’s just delightful, really.

Wait!  There’s even more layers and overlapping! ANOTHER story line involves a Canadian Native American college professor named Alberta who wants to have a baby but would prefer not to marry either of the two guys she is dating. And few more fun characters from the reservation and we all meet up at the Sun Dance. And by ‘all’, I mean every character and story line – they collide/merge. I’m right now wondering how I kept it all straight and I’m bungling this review, but trust me again – it’s a fun ride.

WHAT’s GOOD:      The construction of the story is amazing from a technical standpoint and believe-you-me, that is not my forte to discuss. I love love love the portrayal of all the women – their strengths in times of trouble, their wisdom. The men could come off looking pretty pathetic and yet, they don’t really.  SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT AND ADMIRE!!!! Grand sweeping theme(s)?   YES.

WHAT’s not so GOOD:     As I sit here and think about this part of my review-format and not coming up with anything, I now feel I must attempt to defend my ONLY four pie slice rating. Why not FIVE? I don’t know. Just one more book that I can appreciate as masterful but won’t be able to gush obsessively as a best-I’ve-ever-read. But it could be. Throw away the silly ratings and just consider this a GREAT READ.

FINAL THOUGHTS:       I heartily recommend this and it would be a fun one to discuss for the Women Unbound Challenge, a Canadian Reads Challenge, a Mythology Challenge, a Native** American Reading Challenge, etc etc***.  Is the What’sInAName Challenge seeking titles of ‘body of water’?  Would this count for that?

RATING: with extra whipped cream.

OTHER REVIEWS:
Eva at A Striped Armchair (I’m really not trying to stalk her)

Aarti at BookLust 

sorry!  I had trouble linking to more!   Please check this search engine for more reviews…

footnotes
* Softdrink!   You know with all this water, that there is a reference to Moby Dick, right??!   hee hee

** Without meaning to, I happened to read four books this year with Native American (with two Canadian) themes:     Alexie’s Absolutely True Diary…, Boyden’s Through Black Spruce, Marshall’s nonfiction Little Bighorn, and this.

*** Please enjoy the Novel Challenge blog to find all reading challenge descriptions.

About these ads

13 Responses to “Green Grass Running Water”


  1. 1 KB December 19, 2009 at 11:10 am

    GGRW…….ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, one of my all time favorites. I really should reread it again. (I’ve already read it 10 times, but that’s what happens when it’s the primary book for your grad thesis.)

    It’s a wonderful story that is appreciated so much more when it’s over.

    Love, love, love it.

  2. 2 diaryofaneccentric December 19, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    This sounds fascinating. I love books with complex plots that are difficult to explain, so long as they aren’t boring, and this one doesn’t sound like it is.

    I know what you mean about really really liking a book but being reluctant to give it 5 stars (or slices of pie in this case). I’ve read several like that this year. There’s just that little something that keeps it from making the best books I’ve ever read list.

    –Anna

  3. 3 historyofshe December 19, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Sounds good to me! My brain kinda hurts from trying to understand what it’s about, but it’s just one of those read and your shall find out! Something I will definitely be doing! Dontcha just love when one book carried over so many different challenges?!?!

  4. 4 Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) December 19, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    There were lots of Moby Dick references in this book, and Robinson Crusoe. I don’t know why I haven’t read it again recently because it’s awesome.

  5. 5 Aarti December 19, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    I’ve had this on my wishlist since Eva’s review, too, and now I really want to read it! I know what you mean about not being able to articulate why a certain book gets a particular rating; that’s why I took the ratings off my blog. Don’t like explaining myself!

  6. 6 Eva December 19, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    You can stalk me anytime! :D

    Sometimes I give books four stars but can’t point to why, except that I didn’t finish it and want to run around telling everyone I know to read it now! So I get that. ;)

    And I was just like you; while I was reading the book, I didn’t have problems following the plot. But trying to review it and summarise the plot is a whole different story! lol

  7. 7 Marie December 19, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Wow, sounds great! :-)You make me want to run right out and buy this!

  8. 8 softdrink December 19, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    You just had to go and mention the whale.

  9. 9 Lisa December 21, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Gonna have to pick it up just to figure it out!

  10. 10 Ali December 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    I’m not quite sure what to make of this one, but I’ll take your word for it on the awesome part. Sounds like I’ll just have to read it and find out for myself, you definitely have me intrigued.

  11. 11 stacybuckeye December 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Quirky is good. I’ll have to look for this one.

  12. 12 always win January 7, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Sometimes it’s really that simple, isn’t it? I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this myself/earlier, though.


  1. 1 Diversity in Fantasy « Care's Online Book Club Trackback on August 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Welcome! I invite you to comment. If for some reason commenting is troublesome, pls send email to BkClubCare [at] Gmail

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




LetterMo2014square

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,411 other followers

Twitter Updates

I prefer pi.

pieratingsml

Goodreads

December 2009
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Copyright Notice

Creative Commons License
Care's Online Book Club text & images by Care is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,411 other followers

%d bloggers like this: