There There

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC of this book. 

An amazing debut novel about the urban Native American. Lots of characters and somewhat hard to keep track of all of them (I finally resorted to making notes) but totally worth the effort. It becomes a bit tough in the later part of the book. Life is not easy and things don't always turn out the way one would hope they would but great insight is provided. A readable book that digs deeply into the lives of its characters.
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Vignettes from the lives of a dozen “urban Indians” preparing for a powwow at the Oakland Coliseum are braided together in this novel, which gets its title from Gertrude Stein’s lament about Oakland: "there is no there there." The stories are raw, angry, and painful, often questioning what it means to be Native and what it means to be from Oakland. Orange plays with time and point of view, with some stories taking place many years ago and others taking place in the months leading up to the powwow, as he slowly reveals how the lives of the characters intertwine. The novel is deceptively short, with an abrupt and devastating ending, and Orange's observations on human nature...

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This debut novel from Tommy Orange was nothing less than fantastic. There were a lot of characters stories that you have to follow, so it was a little hard to keep track of the characters, but I really enjoyed how he wrote in a way reminiscent of Louise Erdrich - with each character overlapping with the others in some way or another. You really felt like you were inside the lives of each character and the development of the characters was breathtaking and heartbreaking. I won't spoil the end, but I really enjoy how he kept most of the characters endings open. To be honest, I finished this book a couple of days ago but am still thinking about it. I learned so much from Tommy Orange, I...

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This book was gritty, poetic, powerful, and ultimately heart-wrenching. My library will definitely be purchasing this title and I'll certainly be recommending it anyone who loves literary fiction. Tommy Orange is an artist.
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I first heard about Tommy Orange July of last year when I was told about some Native American authors to look forward to reading. I was really excited to be able to preview this title on NetGalley. This is a great piece of 21st Century fiction.  Orange writes about the urban Native American experience is such an engaging way and writes about compelling characters. Highly recommended.
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Moving, gripping, illuminating: Orange brings a cast of dozens to vivid life and drives them all to a feverish,  fateful conclusion.
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It was one of those books I loved, but wanted more. I want more book, I want a sequel, I want more of the story, more, more, more, but it was beautiful and tragic and a needed voice. This story wraps around the Oakland powwow that takes place at the end of the novel, those who are a part of it, who want to be a part of it, and those that bring in harm. You have multiple character perspectives and as you read you start to see the connections being made. This book had brilliance and poetry in its commentary of the lives of urban Indians. The author also brings in history and stereotype and blows everything wide open. And again just beautiful writing…

The only thing I struggled with is I...

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Superb. Excellent storytelling with fully realized character and a vivid setting. This is bound to be one of the talked about books of the year.
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The city of Oakland -- the "there" -- is as much a character in this moving story as any of the characters so thoughtfully and fully realized in this novel. It is not necessarily an easy book to read in the best and most fascinating possible way, as the reader moves from character to character and perspective to perspective slowly putting together the pieces. The author pulls few punches in his representation of urban life and at times the reader is left emotionally reeling.
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Beautiful written, moving, and with absolutely top notch observations about people. The author makes you care about the characters swiftly and wholely, even the people who would traditionally be the villains; no one's a monolith and no one exists independent of their history and their trauma. My enjoyment was only dampened by a few awkward transitions between tenses, and by the fact that the story's ultimately more slice-of-life than I usually prefer.
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Absolutely astounding. Distinct characters written with great care and humanity, lyrical prose juxtaposed with honest voices. A gutting story of identity, history, and fate.
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