Indian Killer

Indian Killer

by Sherman Alexie

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Indian Killer 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Batspit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not his usual story¿this book has an element of suspense. I absolutely loved it, but then, I love everything Alexie writes. The Indian Killer is either an Indian who kills white people¿much like the ghost dance (the Indian killer is the ghost dance, I believe) but it could be read another way¿the white people are the Indian killer, killing Indians left and right with only that same theme of humanity running through their heads: ¿Our way feels so right, so their way must be wrong¿. Alexei does a good job, this is different than his other books, but only slightly: it¿s one part mystery, one part detailed fiction, one part poetry, and one part revolution. Read it. Now.
pattijean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first Alexie book I read, for an Anthropology class at Purdue - thanks Professor Watson (he is amazing by the way). This is a really dark mystery, involving a series of murders. It deals with racism and hate. Amazing.
gonzobrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Understanding Sherman Alexie is a little complicated, a little conflicting. Listen to him speak and he'll stress that he's just a typical guy, that there's nothing really that mystical about being a Spokane Indian, or American Indian in general. Read one of his works, though, and you'll find his magic oozing between each page. Magic that's woven with tenderness, rage, and humor that's distinctly and unabashedly Indian. Magically real and real magic.Such was my hunch after reading Indian Killer. Much more than a mystery, Indian Killer is an epic construct of the alienated and isolated American Indian, perhaps even just the American experience. Alexie interweaves the interconnectedness of a disparate set of characters, Indian and otherwise, within the mist and cold of Seattle.The main theme of the story deals with the advancement of John Smith, adopted Spokane Indian by a young non-native couple from Seattle into adulthood. Smith is the symbol, the representation of alienation and marginalization, his actions set around a series of violent murders unhinging the city. The greater story, however, concerns itself more around the other archetypes Alexie so often seems conflicted with: the whites who are Indians of the "Wannabe Tribe", the academics who hijack Indian stories, the perpetually exploited and oppressed Indians, and the rednecks who take advantage when the right moment arises.Alexie artfully interweaves each of these elements, while simultaneously providing beautifully rich detail of the setting. His description of Seattle, though not forced, is intensely deliberate. The distinctive neighborhoods, the dank roadways, the huddled yet resilient groups of homeless, the bookstores, and the water that envelops, isolates each.In short, Indian Killer is a masterpiece. Sherman Alexie brings the Indian, but leaves the human imprint on the reader. It's a tragedy that belongs within the realm of magical realism, though savoring the magic within his writing is supremely uplifting.
DianePapp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Once I started, I couldn't put it down. Had to wait for some friends to read it so we could discuss it. I even had the opportunity to meet & talk to Sherman Alexie in Cleveland! Just when you think you know "whodunnit" you never will....
safetygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
that bit about how the skyscrapers are just giant tombstones just gets me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’ve come to expect “disturbing” from Alexi. With the exception of his YA novel, his books have a distinctly dark side.. and this is the darkest yet. It’s not just the graphic violence (which is indeed graphic in places), it’s the despair that stalks every character, from overtly racist talk show host to the clueless white Wannabe Indian author, and from the activist Indian female student to the Killer Indian (btw, calling him “Indian Killer” is, as Marie points out, a misnomer fraught with irony) himself. What’s disturbing? Having my own well-meant prejudices exposed by this perceptive author. Yet as uncomfortable as the book made me, I could not stop reading. On a surface level, I simply wanted to know how this taut, perfectly paced suspense novel would end. A little deeper, I cared about the characters (well, about all but one), whatever their shortcomings (I’ll let you guess which one). Even deeper...I’m not sure yet what this novel touched in me, but it woke something up that won’t go away. I keep thinking about it, can’t get it off my mind. A must-read for Americans of every stripe.
brandon_s11 More than 1 year ago
"Indian Killer" is an exciting and thought provoking book that displays the way the society works while creating a thrilling plot to make the story more exciting. The title of "Indian Killer" is an accurate and exciting title because it displays the key points in the story without completely giving it away. In a way, "Indian Killer", is very interesting story that I personally believe anyone would enjoy regardless of age or race.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rusty-C-Adore More than 1 year ago
Sherman Alexie is a fantastic writer. His style is highly approachable. The plot flows well, with a great mix of suspense, drama and dark humor. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good thought provoking mystery.
vannmarquise42 More than 1 year ago
Secret Killer Sherman Alexie's "Indian Killer" is a great book which I would strongly recommend. It's set in Seattle in the city of Spokane were the main characters, a troubled John Smith a 6' 6", heavily muscled, Spokane Indian and psychotic killer live. The author begins the book describing the main character, John Smith's birth as being difficult and extremely painful for his fourteen year old mother. He details the birth using good imagery, describing the blood gushing from her vagina, painful contractions, and sudden tearing. After his birth, his mother chooses to give him up for adoption to Olivia Smith, a beautiful white women who is dedicated to being a good mother, and Daniel Smith a handsome, strong, white man, a loving father determined to teach their Indian son how to be a man. Eventually, they decided to baptize their Indian son by a man named, Father Duncan, a Spokane Indian, Jesuit, gigantic man, about 7' 2" with delicate hands. Father Duncan was a teacher and close friend to John. He'd share secrets that he made John promise never to reveal. Then one day when John was six years old, Father Duncan took him to a chapel were he showed him a paintings of Indians killing white Jesuits. In this visit Father Duncan explained that a change was occurring inside him to John, who didn't really understand as they stared at the glass. Father Duncan continued his visits until John was seven years old, were one day he disappeared. This disappearance eventually pushed John to certain insanity which was already built up from lack of community, not knowing his heritage and mother. This unstableness in John progresses to the point were he decided that he needed to kill a white man. After he comes to this decision a psychotic killer arises. This killer, kills a white man by devouring his eyes, scalping him, and stabbing him multiple times in the chest. He continues, kidnapping a white boy, Mark Jones, a six year old white boy, with blonde hair and blue-eyes. His killings throw the city into a state of panic. As well as the main character the author includes many side characters as well. Marie Polatkin, an aggressive, beautiful Spokane Indian who attends the University of Washington and constantly challenges the ideas of Dr. Clarence Mather, a professor of the college and Indian wannabe. Reggie Polatkin a half-breed Indian, with long black hair braided into two ponytails, and blue eyes, who was kicked out of the university for assaulting Dr. Mather. This characters are a few of the side characters but you'll have to read the book in order to learn more.
chokeword More than 1 year ago
Sherman Alexie can do no wrong by me (except maybe his descent into the Teen and YA genres). Indian Killer is such a unique sort of thriller. It's a beautiful portrayal of anger and madness, and especially of the thin line between the two. John Smith will always have a place in my heart.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
John Smith is a Native American who was adopted as a baby by a Caucasian couple. Throughout his life, he is unhappy the way he lives it. He wants to live like a real Indian on a reservation. As a grown man, he lives in Seattle as a lonely man who has depressed life. When a murderer starts to scalp and kidnap white men, a culture clash begins between the Indians and the Whites. John is forced to cope with the conflicts of being an Indian in a city that has become chaotic and in turmoil.

Although this book is fiction, the content of it is real. Sherman Alexie's writing flows together and makes a lot of sense, even if readers don't know much about the issues. The writing about the lifestyles of Native American's is portrayed accurately because the author is Native American. It is the real deal and readers who like a good mystery thriller and want to learn a sense of the lifestyle of Native Americans should read this book.

Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that is was the best book that I read The only book that I didnt quit on for the first time I wish there had been more of the book so that I could have read more
Guest More than 1 year ago
The talent of Sherman Alexie is in my own opinion at an unrivaled state in this country. The book is so utterly gripping in structure that I read the entire work in less than a day, and enjoyed every last word written. The book is absolutely chilling due to several elements which the author included. First, the story of a native man killing white people brings about the nervous sense of a coming apocalypse, as does the stark divisions of the caucasian populace and the native americans of Seattle within the story. The thought of the native peoples'support for the killer, and the uprising of vigilance in the white community adds passion and fear to the book, as does the killers' use of owl feathers as a calling card. I am a Chicano man, and know that I am very strongly rooted in my own type of native culture. Ancient mexican native cultures believed the owl to be a symbol of death, and this belief has stayed very prevalent in my culture as well as many other native american cultures to this very day. Alexies' comparision of the Indian Killer to an owl was frightening at the very least. I may have already revealed too much, so read the book and make your own decision. You will not regret it.
Watcher10 More than 1 year ago
I read this book as part of Junot Diaz's Interpretation of Fiction class. Mr. Diaz himself eventually acknowledged that while Alexie had written previously important works, Indian Killer was a simply awful novel. If you find this to be thought provoking or entertaining I weep for your simplicity.