Ten Little Indians

Written by: Sherman Alexie

Ten Little Indians Book Cover
Sherman Alexie offers nine poignant and emotionally resonant stories about Native Americans who find themselves at personal and cultural crossroads. In 'The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above', an intellectual feminist Spokane Indian woman saves the lives of dozens of white women all around her, to the bewilderment of her only child. In 'Do You Know Where I Am?' two college sweethearts rescue a lost cat - a simple act that has profound moral consequences for the rest of their lives together. In 'What You Pawn I Will Redeem', a homeless Indian man must raise $1,000 in twenty-four hours to buy back the fancy dance outfit stolen from his grandmother fifty years earlier.

Even as they often make us laugh, Sherman Alexie's stories are driven by a haunting lyricism and naked candour that cut to the heart of the human experience.
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Ten Little Indians Reviews

Rebecca
This must have been an EXCELLENT book. I am not a fan of short stories, but I read and enjoyed them all. I think my favorite was the one with Corliss and the poetry. This was one of the "everybody reads" selections for 2013 for the Multnomah County Library. https://multcolib.org/everybody-reads
Sezín Koehler
What an amazing and touching collection of stories.
Gretchen
I am also saddened by the thought of libraries full of unread books.
The Táin: From the Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge :: Jennifer Government :: Where the Heart Is :: Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books :: Proof
Sunnybunny
Sherman Alexie is hard for me to read-- his world and the people of his characters are all so sad yet hopeful, defeated and still fighting by way of eccentric rituals and ceremonies. Unlike the YA or poetry I'm used to, you see the characters aging, growing mad, helplessly ponder authenticity and means of resurrecting the beloved dead. There is all the ugly and beauty contained in the span of each short story about people, just like you and me, framed in their Native American identity that is ne Sherman Alexie is hard for me to read-- his world and the people of his characters are all so sad yet hopeful, defeated and still fighting by way of eccentric rituals and ceremonies. Unlike the YA or poetry I'm used to, you see the characters aging, growing mad, helplessly ponder authenticity and means of resurrecting the beloved dead. There is all the ugly and beauty contained in the span of each short story about people, just like you and me, framed in their Native American identity that is neither as mythical nor pathetic as polarizing depictions have set in our mind.

I am never sure where Sherman Alexie is going to head in such a short time. There were instances where I thought the story was winding down on a satisfactory resolution and then Alexie violently shakes the world and you're left in a stunned awe. I don't know, I don't know.

My personal favorite was "The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above" and "What You Pawn I Will Redeem."
Ryan Williams
I read the majority of this book while on planes back and forth from Bangor, ME. I spent the majority of those plane rides laughing or being choked up by the fact that I'm not alone in many experiences. I'm Houma. Being Native in South Louisiana is very different than what is shown on the television and in movies and it was something I struggled with growing up. That is, I struggled with a sense of identity. Mr. Alexie really nails the unique ins and outs of what it means to be Native American i I read the majority of this book while on planes back and forth from Bangor, ME. I spent the majority of those plane rides laughing or being choked up by the fact that I'm not alone in many experiences. I'm Houma. Being Native in South Louisiana is very different than what is shown on the television and in movies and it was something I struggled with growing up. That is, I struggled with a sense of identity. Mr. Alexie really nails the unique ins and outs of what it means to be Native American in the 21st century in a land that no longer looks or feels like the home of your ancestors. Definitely reading more by this author in the future!
Lauralee Woodruff
Love Sherman Alexie's blazingly honest writing. His prose comes with the Indian humor characteristic of the culture that, along with the Jews, as he notes, comes from deep within their experiences with genocide. Each story describes its inhabitants wholly and with abundant depth of feeling. Each could be a stand alone movie, a la "Smoke Signals." This is the third of Alexie's books I've read. I think there are at least three more to add to my "to read" list!
Shelly Petrelli
Sherman Alexie delivers such poignant, reflective and funny stories of love, loss, triumphs and epiphanies in this collection. Each one different yet echoes heart-felt profoundness in the prose, pulling at the soul. He is one of my favorite Native American writers and everything I've read of his always resonates with me growing up with a Native American father. All of it, is raw and true.
Samantha Kerr-Vanderslice
Each short story offers a little slice of somebody's life, giving insight into life of the modern Spokane Indian. Each feels real without feeling grim, bleak, or overly clever like many short stories. I loved them all!
Ann Marie
Another fantastic Alexie book that makes you laugh, cry, and read the same sentence over and over because it’s so profoundly beautiful. I could read all his books 50 times and still get new insights each time.
Yesenia
Such a great collection of short stories. I think I had only read one of Alexis’s short stories before for school (I don’t think I enjoyed it that much back then). I am now a fan and will be looking for more of his books.
Abigail
sorry to say that this collection was a bit of a disappointment in comparison to “the lone ranger and tonto.” but the writing was still very good!
Georgia Dentel
Short stories, some new some old, by my favorite author
Susan
I'm not usually a fan of short stories, but from the first story in this outstanding collection I was hooked. It's another example of the power of Alexie's words.
Sally
The stories held so much depth in so few pages. Each story was so different, yet equally captivating and drew profound thought provoking emotions.
Megan Janicki
Amazing collection - my particular favorites are "Can I Get a Witness?" and "Whatever Happened to Frank Snake Church?"

Geraldine
I'm not one for short stories...but I do enjoy Sherman Alexie' wit/humor/sarcasm . My favorite is "The search engine" .
Kathy
A collection of 10 short stories focused on Indians (Native-Americans) and their experiences, this was an insightful view of the humanity that we all share.
Sumarie
I thought this was a wonderful collection of short stories. They're masterfully written and emotionally powerful. I'm still thinking about the characters, especially Frank Snake Church.
Heather Tucker
For when you want to sit in your dining room at 1am, crying because the writing is so beautiful and sad and life-giving. Alexie is a goddamn national treasure.
C
This author was recommended to me by a co-worker, and this was one of the books at the library.

I don't know if this collection of short stories is representative of Alexie's work as a whole, but the genre -- which I guess is documentary fiction? "Slice of life" fiction? I'm not really sure -- isn't normally my genre.

The short stories generally follow a Spokane Indian character through a portion of their life -- sometimes a few days, sometimes 4+ decades -- as they struggle with a situation rangi This author was recommended to me by a co-worker, and this was one of the books at the library.

I don't know if this collection of short stories is representative of Alexie's work as a whole, but the genre -- which I guess is documentary fiction? "Slice of life" fiction? I'm not really sure -- isn't normally my genre.

The short stories generally follow a Spokane Indian character through a portion of their life -- sometimes a few days, sometimes 4+ decades -- as they struggle with a situation ranging from mundane to tragic. The writing is sad in parts, humorous in others, rarely bad, but not always stellar.

I'll summarize each of the short stories in one sentence and provide an even shorter opinion.

The Search Engine: Young Spokane Indian woman accidentally discovers a long-forgotten book of poems by a Spokane man, and when she tracks him down he doesn't live up to expectations. Mundane but fairly enjoyable. 3/5.

Lawyer's League: Half-Indian, half-black man, a rising talent in the political scene, has an encounter with racism during a casual basketball game that changes his life. Kind of raw, gets at you emotionally a bit. 4/5.

Can I Get A Witness: Woman survives a suicide bombing, which is in some way her life's dream come true -- but it doesn't end in the way she hoped. Unexpected, a little strange but interesting. 3/5.

Do Not Go Gentle: A couple whose baby is at risk of dying finds laughter and hope in an unexpected place. The shortest and worst story, but its weird juxtaposition of tragedy and juvenile humor prevents it from being awful. 2/5

Flight Patterns: Dark-skinned traveling salesman post 9/11 reflects on his frustrations and converses with a dark-skinned taxi driver with an interesting past. Another mundane but fairly enjoyable one. 3/5

The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above: Man describes his relationship with his mother, a woman full of conflicting opinions and actions. The writing style in this one was a bit different, and helped elevate the story. 3/5

Do You Know Where I Am: Chronicle of a married couple, told through the lens of two instances of dishonesty. Unexpectedly sad and touching, one of the book's highlights. 5/5

What You Pawn I Will Redeem: Homeless man goes on a quest to win back his grandmother's ceremonial dress from a pawn shop. Another highlight, funny and sad and touching. 5/5

Whatever Happened to Frank Snake Church? After his parents die, a middle-aged man quits his job, and gets back into basketball but, by his own admission, it makes him a little crazy. Not as good as the two before it, but still solid. 4/5
Dewey
I first heard of Sherman Alexie from Natives I knew in the Humboldt County area; then I read a short story by him in an Existentialism class I took, which proved to be a curious thing (the story happened to be What You Pawn I Will Redeem, which is in this book). Surprised by how much easier it is to find Native literature in Paris, France, than in the overwhelming majority of the US, I decided to read more Alexie, starting with this collection of stories, Ten Little Indians.

My favourite stories I first heard of Sherman Alexie from Natives I knew in the Humboldt County area; then I read a short story by him in an Existentialism class I took, which proved to be a curious thing (the story happened to be What You Pawn I Will Redeem, which is in this book). Surprised by how much easier it is to find Native literature in Paris, France, than in the overwhelming majority of the US, I decided to read more Alexie, starting with this collection of stories, Ten Little Indians.

My favourite stories, along with the aforementioned one, were Whatever Happened to Frank Snake Church, Flight Patterns and The Search Engine. While a couple others were good without necessarily being my cup of tea, most of the others were forgettable. Published in 2003 in the wake of 9/11, most of these stories are the product of that era of paranoia, meaning that, though the paranoia hasn't necessarily subsided, even in 2014 they seem dated and will probably not age very well over time. The other downside I found with the stories were that the non-Indian characters were very two dimensional, especially the white characters and the random mixed race characters (which is a shame, because his Native characters are so well developed that it throws the mix of characters off balance). In any other instance, I would also question how overtly unrealistic and cheesy many of the white characters are; the only reason I don't is because I'm well aware that white people consistently act weird and cheesy whenever they meet Natives, even if they don't realize that they are (as do other non-Native people). Thus I imagine it must be a difficult thing for Alexie to build strong white characters in any way that differs from those in Ten Little Indians.

I'm certainly willing to give Alexie another shot; the good stories prove that he is an author of merit when he puts his mind to it. But perhaps it is best not to start with this collection of stories and try one of his other works instead. Is he better with longer prose than with short stories? Guess I'll find out soon enough.
Andy Miller
A great collection of short stories. All focused on Native American characters but there is great diversity in the lives of the characters and the themes of stories--from a smart, poor college student with her whole future ahead of her, to economically successful Native Americans some with a full life to match and others with inner demons that haunt that success to finally, the alcoholic, down on their luck Native Americans that Alexie brings to life.

My favorites:

"The Search Engine" about a you A great collection of short stories. All focused on Native American characters but there is great diversity in the lives of the characters and the themes of stories--from a smart, poor college student with her whole future ahead of her, to economically successful Native Americans some with a full life to match and others with inner demons that haunt that success to finally, the alcoholic, down on their luck Native Americans that Alexie brings to life.

My favorites:

"The Search Engine" about a young Native American attending Washington State University who discovers a book of Native American poetry by someone she has never heard of--and how she tracks him down in Seattle 30 years after he wrote his book and his surprised by his life, including his affection and loyalty to his White adoptive parents

"Do you Know Where I Am" where a son of very successful Native American parents recounts meeting his future wife in college, their courtship, their marriage including the couple of rough spots that made their happy marriage seem real and made the good bye at the end of the story even more poignant

"What you Pawn I will redeem" is a narrative by an alcoholic, homeless Native American who discovers his grandmother's regalia in a pawnshop. The heartbreaking, at times frustrating, story of the narrator's attempts to earn money to redeem the regalia; the kindness of many "White" people who helped him only to have the narrator squander their generousity in an alcohol binge

"What Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church" recounts a year of a 40 year old park ranger who quits his job after his father's death to reclaim his basketball prowess from his days of basketball star and University of Washington recruit which he abruptly gave up when his mother died

There are of course, other good stories, I suspect other readers would have different favorites--but I know that most readers will find this to be a great collection well worth the read
Jess Newman
There are a few weak stories in this collection, but also some of Alexie's best. Overall, I preferred this book to The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven. Several of the stories left me in awe and nearly moved me to tears. In particular, "What Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church", "What You Pawn, I Will Redeem", and "Do You Know Where I Am?" stood out.
This collection has a different feel from Alexie's other work for three reasons: first, several stories are heavily influenced by the atm There are a few weak stories in this collection, but also some of Alexie's best. Overall, I preferred this book to The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven. Several of the stories left me in awe and nearly moved me to tears. In particular, "What Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church", "What You Pawn, I Will Redeem", and "Do You Know Where I Am?" stood out.
This collection has a different feel from Alexie's other work for three reasons: first, several stories are heavily influenced by the atmosphere of fear and xenophobia in the wake of 9/11. The way he integrated this into his writing felt somewhat forced, and some of the stories suffered as a result. Second, the stories feature a broader cast of characters than many of his other books. There is no Junior Polatkin, or Lester Falls-Apart. There is more racial diversity, and more focus on the way that different cultures interact with and assimilate into American culture. Third, and most importantly, there is more hope in this collection than one who is accustomed to Alexie's work would expect (although Indians still never win at basketball). Repeatedly, the stories progressed past their darkest moments, when I anticipated the protagonist I had grown to love in so few pages to die or lose all hope, but there is a redemption for all of them and it feels good.
Absolutely recommended, although skipping "Lawyers' League" and "Can I Get A Witness?" is optional.
Tracey
Checked out Ten Little Indians from the library on online recommendation (delphica) - it's a collection of short stories with Native American protagonists.

IMHO, Alexie is a talented writer, using poetic turns of phrase as well as solid ideas. His characters cope with the demands of Native American heritage but the stories themselves deal with human experiences - losing one's parents, marital strife and the struggle for identity. It would not surprise me to see these stories appear in classroom Checked out Ten Little Indians from the library on online recommendation (delphica) - it's a collection of short stories with Native American protagonists.

IMHO, Alexie is a talented writer, using poetic turns of phrase as well as solid ideas. His characters cope with the demands of Native American heritage but the stories themselves deal with human experiences - losing one's parents, marital strife and the struggle for identity. It would not surprise me to see these stories appear in classroom curriculums sometime soon.

There are some powerful images - one story tells about a biracial young man (Indian & Black) with political aspirations - he makes some poor choices (including an incident of violence) and the story ends with the haunting phrase: "Do you understand I have limited range of motion?"

The story "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" is heartbreaking in his hopeful hopelessness - a homeless man has 24 hours to raise a thousand dollars to buy back his grandmother's powwow regalia. Fair warning - basketball plays a role in several stories - knowing some basic terminology might be helpful.

As I've said before, I like to explore new authors through reading short stories - and I have been rewarded with this collection. I plan on seeing what else Mr. Alexie has written and I hope it lives up to the promise of this collection. Recommended reading for anyone exploring cultures other than the DWM/WASP.
Rhonda Browning White
My first impression was puzzlement when I realized Sherman Alexie’s Ten Little Indians: Stories was a collection of nine short stories, and I felt somehow cheated, until I realized Alexie himself is the tenth Indian. The feeling of being cheated returned when I finished reading the anthology. The collection wasn’t as good as I had expected from a writer so lauded. There were good stories—none was terrible—however, I especially liked “Do You Know Where I Am?” and “What Ever Happened To Frank Snak My first impression was puzzlement when I realized Sherman Alexie’s Ten Little Indians: Stories was a collection of nine short stories, and I felt somehow cheated, until I realized Alexie himself is the tenth Indian. The feeling of being cheated returned when I finished reading the anthology. The collection wasn’t as good as I had expected from a writer so lauded. There were good stories—none was terrible—however, I especially liked “Do You Know Where I Am?” and “What Ever Happened To Frank Snake Church?”

Most disappointing to me was the way Alexie portrayed the Indians in his story in stereotypical ways. This has bothered me all week as I’ve read and re-read some of these stories. Is it possible to stereotype your own ancestry? Yes, I’ve decided, and in retrospect, I know I’ve done it myself. Alexie’s stories left me feeling as if I’d been tricked . . . lulled into thinking this writer is less than great, one who takes the easy way out by stereotyping his characters—and then he blew me away (the sneak-attack), with a couple of really amazing stories. Since he has this great talent, why wouldn’t he put it forth all the time?

I wholeheartedly recommend the two short stories mentioned above. Great stuff! The other seven? Meh. Only if you've nothing better to do.
Madeline
I like Alexie because he is the kind of writer that breaks you open and makes you laugh when he does it. I think that, in a lot of ways, he writes in a way that wouldn't normally appeal to me - he's sort of maybe very slightly the Kevin Smith of books, but only a tiny bit - and when I say that I mean the way he actually arranges words. And also all the first person narrators and the 1990s-2000s sense of his storytelling. But Alexie does make it work, and his stories are always more literate than I like Alexie because he is the kind of writer that breaks you open and makes you laugh when he does it. I think that, in a lot of ways, he writes in a way that wouldn't normally appeal to me - he's sort of maybe very slightly the Kevin Smith of books, but only a tiny bit - and when I say that I mean the way he actually arranges words. And also all the first person narrators and the 1990s-2000s sense of his storytelling. But Alexie does make it work, and his stories are always more literate than I expect/remember, which since books about books (and also meditations on storytelling) are some of my favorites things, is good.

The sadness in these stories is always, always paired with redemption - but never in a fix it way, which is what saves them from giving easy answers to difficult problems. "What You Pawn I Will Redeem," the most-talked about story and which you can read on the New Yorker website, is perhaps the best example of this theme, but it runs through all the stories in the book (okay, "Lawyer's League" might be an exception).

I like "Flight Patterns," "The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above," and "Do You Know Where I Am?" the best, I think.
Deb
I picked this up at a favorite small indy bookstore to a) support them and b) to keep reading Alexie.

The timing was interesting because as an older work (2003) there is one story in particular that references 9//11 ("Flight Patterns"). Good reading while having a lot of 10-year anniversary media filling the air. Noticeable was the fact that the protagonist had to run to a pay phone in an airport. It startled, because so many people had cell phones in 01. But not everyone, even "sophisticates" we I picked this up at a favorite small indy bookstore to a) support them and b) to keep reading Alexie.

The timing was interesting because as an older work (2003) there is one story in particular that references 9//11 ("Flight Patterns"). Good reading while having a lot of 10-year anniversary media filling the air. Noticeable was the fact that the protagonist had to run to a pay phone in an airport. It startled, because so many people had cell phones in 01. But not everyone, even "sophisticates" were holding out, not just Luddites. After 9/11 cell phone usage exploded. But there is more in the story than running to the phone. But running to the phone is much more energetic and cinematic that pulling it out of a pocket. I miss running to the phone scenes.

I like Alexie's writing. How brash and honest he is. How full of humor and shame and compassion. Fearless and funny. And poignancy that is a gift in context of the other riches. A rich but small desert rather than an entire bakery of too-sweet. Great combination.

Another favorite is "The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above" for the way it is presented as much as the story. I like the inserted lists, Q&A, "NOTICE O HISTORICAL REVISION" that add character and playfulness.

Yup. I am an Alexie fan.
Dan
I picked this up thinking that a collection of short stories would be perfect to have on my phone for those times when I forgot to bring a book with me somewhere and had some time to kill. Unfortunately, Sherman Alexie is too good of a writer. I found I couldn't put the collection down and ended up reading the whole thing in about two and a half days. I had the feeling that I'd read some of the stories before, so maybe I'd read this collection at some point in the past and forgotten. But regardl I picked this up thinking that a collection of short stories would be perfect to have on my phone for those times when I forgot to bring a book with me somewhere and had some time to kill. Unfortunately, Sherman Alexie is too good of a writer. I found I couldn't put the collection down and ended up reading the whole thing in about two and a half days. I had the feeling that I'd read some of the stories before, so maybe I'd read this collection at some point in the past and forgotten. But regardless, I still enjoyed every minute of it.

It was also interesting to read this while Bob Dylan was winning the Noble prize. I like Dylan, but it struck me that someone like Alexie would've been a much better recipient. At a time when old American reflects of isolationism are once again rearing their ugly head, Alexie offers a vision of compassion, forgiveness, and unity that is sorely needed. Anyway, those are my two cents on the matter. Whether you agree with me or not, you should still read this book (and anything/everything else by Sherman Alexie). You won't regret it.

If you liked this, make sure to follow me on Goodreads for more reviews!

Cathy
I LOVE Sherman Alexie!! He is a master storyteller with a freshness and verve that leaves you upbeat even when he leaves you in tears. this is collection of nine short stories about very different people who all happen to be Spokane Indians. His writing is not about being Indian as much as it is about being human and seeing the world with the added native American filter. One story describes a very caustic flower child/feminist from the '70s, whose son managed to survive in spite of having to co I LOVE Sherman Alexie!! He is a master storyteller with a freshness and verve that leaves you upbeat even when he leaves you in tears. this is collection of nine short stories about very different people who all happen to be Spokane Indians. His writing is not about being Indian as much as it is about being human and seeing the world with the added native American filter. One story describes a very caustic flower child/feminist from the '70s, whose son managed to survive in spite of having to co-exist with her women's groups. Although most of her friends were white liberals, she observed: "I figure about 75 percent of the white liberals who hang round Indians will eventually start believing they're Indians, and then start telling us Indians how to be Indian." Perhaps my favorite is the story of the Indian who is a Think Tank expert on his way to Chicago to match wits with other brilliant people who inadvertently gets into a discussion with his Ethiopian cab driver about the realities of being outsiders. That's not a story line you run across every day. Alexie just seems to love life and love the people who inhabit his stories, even when he's telling you some heartbreaking things.
Shayla
This is the third Sherman Alexie book that I've read and I really like his style - it's clear and very rich in description. His characters feel like people I know or want to know more about.

The nine stories were so fascinating and painted such a diverse picture of Indians in America or shall I say, in Seattle. My favorite stories were "Lawyer's League" and "What You Pawn I Will Redeem." "Lawyer's League" which is about a young, bright and ambitious half Black half Indian man and his political as This is the third Sherman Alexie book that I've read and I really like his style - it's clear and very rich in description. His characters feel like people I know or want to know more about.

The nine stories were so fascinating and painted such a diverse picture of Indians in America or shall I say, in Seattle. My favorite stories were "Lawyer's League" and "What You Pawn I Will Redeem." "Lawyer's League" which is about a young, bright and ambitious half Black half Indian man and his political aspirations, totally made me think about Obama and how he has to be "on" at all times and hopefully not have any "serious" mistakes from his past. "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" was a sad and funny story about a homeless man's quest to buy his grandmother's stolen dance regalia. In this story, which covers a 24 hour period, Alexie presents us with a character whose journey touches on so many issues that define and plague many Indians in the US - Stolen "property", alcoholism, homelessness, laughter, sense of community/family... it's really beautiful and moving stuff.
Ezzy
This book made me laugh and then broke my heart, over and over with each story, and not necessarily in that order.

I first picked up this book when it first came out, about 10 years ago. I thought it was fine, but I didn't really "get" it. On this reading, I felt like my heart had a direct line to the text and all its sorrow and joy. I think this is because these stories are about joy and loss, the holes we allow into our lives when we fall down. At 20 years old, what did I know about love and jo This book made me laugh and then broke my heart, over and over with each story, and not necessarily in that order.

I first picked up this book when it first came out, about 10 years ago. I thought it was fine, but I didn't really "get" it. On this reading, I felt like my heart had a direct line to the text and all its sorrow and joy. I think this is because these stories are about joy and loss, the holes we allow into our lives when we fall down. At 20 years old, what did I know about love and joy and getting kicked on my ass? Answer: not nearly as much as I know at 30. And I'll be revisiting this book again and again.

If you like sterile stories with sweet conclusions, this will not be the book for you. This is a book that asks questions it cannot answer- about race, about love, about marriage, about family. The characters are challenged and challenging. If you don't laugh and cry, you probably aren't human.
Heather
WOW! Sherman Alexie really got good in the ten years between The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and this book! I mean, I liked his first book quite a bit, but this—this was really something. A set of nine stories, set in Washington (mostly the Seattle area). Each story follows a Spokane Indian. Some are wealthy political advisors, some are alcoholic and homeless. Each of the characters is written so intricately that the portrait outshines the plot in most of the stories for me. Sprink WOW! Sherman Alexie really got good in the ten years between The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and this book! I mean, I liked his first book quite a bit, but this—this was really something. A set of nine stories, set in Washington (mostly the Seattle area). Each story follows a Spokane Indian. Some are wealthy political advisors, some are alcoholic and homeless. Each of the characters is written so intricately that the portrait outshines the plot in most of the stories for me. Sprinkled throughout the book, nuggets of observations may be interpreted as a little window into the author's mind and his reflections on his fame as an author, his experiences in Seattle, and more. This was Multnomah County Library's "Everybody Reads" selection for 2013, so I'm a little late but I'm still quite glad I read it.
Heather
This is the type of literary "super-realistic-warts-and-all" style that I don't really like. But this was for a more-important-than-average book group, so I made a greater-than-average effort to finish. I didn't like the casual (and very crass) sexuality thrown in at the beginning for no real reason, but Alexie either put it in the earlier stories to weed out the undedicated, or I got used to it.

However, I liked a few of the stories, and I found some lines that really resonated with me:

From Fl This is the type of literary "super-realistic-warts-and-all" style that I don't really like. But this was for a more-important-than-average book group, so I made a greater-than-average effort to finish. I didn't like the casual (and very crass) sexuality thrown in at the beginning for no real reason, but Alexie either put it in the earlier stories to weed out the undedicated, or I got used to it.

However, I liked a few of the stories, and I found some lines that really resonated with me:

From Flight Patterns "He invested much of his money in socially responsible funds. Imagine that! Imagine choosing to trust your money with companies that supposedly made their millions through ethical means. Imagine the breathtaking privilege of such a choice."

And from The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above "I don't understand her, not then or now. She's a contradiction. She has always contained multitudes."
Karima
Man-oh-MAN! I wish I could invite this guy to dinner at our house!

This is a collection of nine short stories, all set in the Pacific Northwest (mainly Seattle). I LOVE it when I complete a book, slap the back cover closed and shake my head in wonder. This book was such a head-shaker.

I want to browse dusty bookstores with Corliss ("The Search Engine").
I want to help the pizza boy at Domino Pizza make free pizzas for rescue workers ("Lawyer's League").
I want to make sure that the letters & mon Man-oh-MAN! I wish I could invite this guy to dinner at our house!

This is a collection of nine short stories, all set in the Pacific Northwest (mainly Seattle). I LOVE it when I complete a book, slap the back cover closed and shake my head in wonder. This book was such a head-shaker.

I want to browse dusty bookstores with Corliss ("The Search Engine").
I want to help the pizza boy at Domino Pizza make free pizzas for rescue workers ("Lawyer's League").
I want to make sure that the letters & money Fekadu (the cab driver in "Flight Patterns") sends to his family in Ethiopia GETS to them.
I want to work with Estelle ("The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above")
in a church basement.
I want to do something VERY, VERY good for the pawnbroker in "What you Pawn I will Redeem" and send Frank a surprise/anonymous delivery of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Can I do all these things? More even? Alexie makes me believe I can.
Clark
This book was kind of a mixed bag. There were a number of stories that didn't do much for me, but there were also a few of the most affecting stories I've read all year. "What You Pawn I Will Redeem", "Do You Know Where I Am?", "Can I Get A Witness?" and "Lawyer's League" were especially great. What struck me most was Alexie's ability to inhabit a number of different voices throughout the collection. I personally find it difficult to create a unique voice for different stories, but he seems to d This book was kind of a mixed bag. There were a number of stories that didn't do much for me, but there were also a few of the most affecting stories I've read all year. "What You Pawn I Will Redeem", "Do You Know Where I Am?", "Can I Get A Witness?" and "Lawyer's League" were especially great. What struck me most was Alexie's ability to inhabit a number of different voices throughout the collection. I personally find it difficult to create a unique voice for different stories, but he seems to do it effortlessly. One thing that was odd for me was the nature of Alexie's humor. There were often sections of wit that I found really funny, while at other points I found it cringe-inducing. I wonder if he is a sort of idiot savant that hasn't quite figured out how to brandish his sense of humor. Certainly an interesting author to keep an eye on.
Kathy McC
I'm not really a short story person, but I so loved Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, I thought I would give this a try. I loved several of the stories, but the rest, not so much. The writing is superb in all of them, but some just were not my cup of tea.
My favorite of the stories was "The Search Engine".

"Corliss wanted to read herself to death. She wanted to be buried in a coffin filled with used paperbacks."
" Corliss wondered what happened to a book that sits unread I'm not really a short story person, but I so loved Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, I thought I would give this a try. I loved several of the stories, but the rest, not so much. The writing is superb in all of them, but some just were not my cup of tea.
My favorite of the stories was "The Search Engine".

"Corliss wanted to read herself to death. She wanted to be buried in a coffin filled with used paperbacks."
" Corliss wondered what happened to a book that sits unread on a library shelf for thirty years. Can a book rightfully be called a book it it never gets read? If a tree falls in a forest and gets pulped to make paper for a book that never gets read, does it make a sound?"

Kelly
A collection of short stories filled with interesting people responding to their circumstances in surprising ways. I would definitely love to hang out withe several of the people I met in this book.

Like other of Alexie's short stories, I found some of the content inexplicably dark and graphic in ways I didn't find served the story so I docked a star for that. And again...sigh.... Alexie's love of basketball and my ambivalence about get in the way, maybe I should stop taking stars away because o A collection of short stories filled with interesting people responding to their circumstances in surprising ways. I would definitely love to hang out withe several of the people I met in this book.

Like other of Alexie's short stories, I found some of the content inexplicably dark and graphic in ways I didn't find served the story so I docked a star for that. And again...sigh.... Alexie's love of basketball and my ambivalence about get in the way, maybe I should stop taking stars away because of it. It really isn't him, it's me...

The ending of the story "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" was perfect and as satisfying an ending as I have read in a long time.

I would have loved it for Alexie to be the fly on the wall of the book discussion group I attended about this book, there was some serious white guilt going on...
Kellie Ewilson
I think I "unconsciously purposefully" slowed down the reading of this book so that I could finish it on September 11th as there's a story with September 11th discussions called "Can I Get a Witness?". Even though I became uncomfortable at how often white people were mentioned and I experienced some annoying deja vu (Alexie will reuse nuggets of wisdom & humor); I liked something about every story. My favorites were "Do You Know Where I Am?" and "What Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church?" I I think I "unconsciously purposefully" slowed down the reading of this book so that I could finish it on September 11th as there's a story with September 11th discussions called "Can I Get a Witness?". Even though I became uncomfortable at how often white people were mentioned and I experienced some annoying deja vu (Alexie will reuse nuggets of wisdom & humor); I liked something about every story. My favorites were "Do You Know Where I Am?" and "What Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church?" I recommend this book because it's interesting, funny, and well crafted without you having to think too much about how well crafted it is. I should have read it in 2003, but I was doing my student teaching and the co-operating teacher + my people-pleasing-22-year-old-self wouldn't let me skip out on my last day of work to go see the author. The book is good.
Gayle Francis Moffet
Sherman Alexie is a master of his form, and his form is generally the short story. Ten Little Indians is a collection of short stories, each of them about a person who is going through something in his or her life and that person is a Native American. I appreciate how Alexie writes his characters; they're honest and kind and trying very hard to be good people. Sometimes, they're trying simply because they want to be good; sometimes they're trying because there are expectations on them as Native Sherman Alexie is a master of his form, and his form is generally the short story. Ten Little Indians is a collection of short stories, each of them about a person who is going through something in his or her life and that person is a Native American. I appreciate how Alexie writes his characters; they're honest and kind and trying very hard to be good people. Sometimes, they're trying simply because they want to be good; sometimes they're trying because there are expectations on them as Native Americans, and sometimes, they're trying to be good because they know they're not great.

I didn't connect with every single story in this collection, but I felt for all these characters, and I cheered for them and cried for them and hoped they were okay, and every one of these characters is someone who feels real and honest, and that's a wonderful thing to have in the world.
Jamie Rolleston
I am not a fan of short stories, generally speaking. However, I couldn't put this book down. As a Māori woman (indigenous to New Zealand) this book resonated with me in a huge way. I admire the way the author has challenged the stereotypes that indigenous people face daily, whether those stereo types come from within or without.
The ease with which he was able to write as a male or a female character amazed and the characters were quick to grasp you and hang on to the reader until the end of each I am not a fan of short stories, generally speaking. However, I couldn't put this book down. As a Māori woman (indigenous to New Zealand) this book resonated with me in a huge way. I admire the way the author has challenged the stereotypes that indigenous people face daily, whether those stereo types come from within or without.
The ease with which he was able to write as a male or a female character amazed and the characters were quick to grasp you and hang on to the reader until the end of each story.
My favourite was the first story "the search engine"
I would recommend this series of short stories to any indigenous person or someone interested in indigenous people. This book will change the way you define what it means to be indigenous.

Excellent
Sara Beresford
This book might go into my "will return to again and again" pile. Love it love it love it. The author has mastered the short story. I can't say enough about him.
Some favorite passages:

"And so my wife and I named him Abraham and carried him home and lay him in his crib and hung Chocolate Thunder from the ceiling above him like a crazy mobile and laughed and laughed with the joy of it. We deported Mr. Grief back to his awful country. Our baby boy was going to live a long and good life. We wondere This book might go into my "will return to again and again" pile. Love it love it love it. The author has mastered the short story. I can't say enough about him.
Some favorite passages:

"And so my wife and I named him Abraham and carried him home and lay him in his crib and hung Chocolate Thunder from the ceiling above him like a crazy mobile and laughed and laughed with the joy of it. We deported Mr. Grief back to his awful country. Our baby boy was going to live a long and good life. We wondered aloud what we would tell our Abraham about the wondrous world when he was old enough to wonder about it." (I won't tell you what Chocolate Thunder is...)

"At 5:05 A.M., Patsy Cline fell loudly to pieces on William's clock radio."

I could go on and on.
lucas711
This is on of the best short story compilations i have ever read. I liked seven out of nine of the stories. The only two i did not like were "Can i Get a Witness?" and "The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above." Also I brought my copy of the book to a reading at Symphony Space where Sherman Alexie was introducing readers and he signed my book!
For my spanish speakers:

Este es uno de los mejores cuentos cortos recopilaciones que he leído. Me ha gustado siete de los nueve de las historias. Los dos This is on of the best short story compilations i have ever read. I liked seven out of nine of the stories. The only two i did not like were "Can i Get a Witness?" and "The Life and Times of Estelle Walks Above." Also I brought my copy of the book to a reading at Symphony Space where Sherman Alexie was introducing readers and he signed my book!
For my spanish speakers:

Este es uno de los mejores cuentos cortos recopilaciones que he leído. Me ha gustado siete de los nueve de las historias. Los dos únicos no me gustaron fueron " ¿Se Puede Obtener un Testimonio?" y "La Vida y la Época de Estelle Camina Sobre." También me trajo a mi copia del libro a una lectura en Symphony Espacio donde Sherman Alexie fue introduciendo los lectores y que firmó mi libro!
Steve Lundh
I like the style of Alexie's writing, real, a bit gritty and honest. Ten Little Indians like the other two books of his I have read, are stories that I think reflect his own upbringing and the things he has seen and experience or at least watched happen. As a white guy, I find so much of what he writes depressing more because I know it is real and that is sad to me. There is so much that North American Indians can offer but the rez just seems to beat it out of most. There are sparks of hope and I like the style of Alexie's writing, real, a bit gritty and honest. Ten Little Indians like the other two books of his I have read, are stories that I think reflect his own upbringing and the things he has seen and experience or at least watched happen. As a white guy, I find so much of what he writes depressing more because I know it is real and that is sad to me. There is so much that North American Indians can offer but the rez just seems to beat it out of most. There are sparks of hope and the desire to succeed but his stories seem to show that the people he writes about feel defeated before they make a move. Sometimes funny, many times depressing but sadly real. Hard to fathom standing on the outside looking in.
Lucinda
This collection of stories is a mixed bag in terms of what I liked and did not like. Published shortly after september 11th many of the stories deal with themes related to the traumatic toll that this event had on the American Psyche - at times the stories were a bit too raw for my liking in this regard. or maybe the issue is more that for me that has all passed, or has been dealt with somewhat, and I have no desire to revisit it. On the other hand there are a few stories that I absolutely loved This collection of stories is a mixed bag in terms of what I liked and did not like. Published shortly after september 11th many of the stories deal with themes related to the traumatic toll that this event had on the American Psyche - at times the stories were a bit too raw for my liking in this regard. or maybe the issue is more that for me that has all passed, or has been dealt with somewhat, and I have no desire to revisit it. On the other hand there are a few stories that I absolutely loved and would recommend on a top 20 short stories list if I were ever to make one.
Sherman Alexie has an incredible voice as an author, it is definitely something to experience if you have not yet met the guy's writing.
Altpamela Alt
i don't normally write in this section because i usually end up finishing books at some ungodly hour or when i should really be doing something else and i'm too tired or some other silly excuse. but this book. oh, this book. i will only say that i, who cannot sit still long enough to floss my teeth, sat in front of the fireplace and read this book for hours in silence. i did not bring it into the bathtub because i knew i would end up reading the whole thing in there and end up with a cold from t i don't normally write in this section because i usually end up finishing books at some ungodly hour or when i should really be doing something else and i'm too tired or some other silly excuse. but this book. oh, this book. i will only say that i, who cannot sit still long enough to floss my teeth, sat in front of the fireplace and read this book for hours in silence. i did not bring it into the bathtub because i knew i would end up reading the whole thing in there and end up with a cold from the draft of that. i love short story books because i can pick them up and put them down and do a million things in between but i really just wanted to read this, and not any other million things.
Penny
Sherman Alexie rewards his readers with his stories. Each of these stories involving, of course, American Indians, particularly Spokane Indians, shows a slightly different perspective but the author's main concern is racism and how it affects this population as well as the general population. It would be difficult to select which story is best. I love his sense of humor. I am impressed with his sense of humanity. '"What makes you think your pain is so special, so different from anybody else's pa Sherman Alexie rewards his readers with his stories. Each of these stories involving, of course, American Indians, particularly Spokane Indians, shows a slightly different perspective but the author's main concern is racism and how it affects this population as well as the general population. It would be difficult to select which story is best. I love his sense of humor. I am impressed with his sense of humanity. '"What makes you think your pain is so special, so different from anybody else's pain? You look up death in the medical dictionary, and it says everybody's going to catch it..." ...Preacher felt the heat of Frank's mania, of his burning... ...He was pressed skin-to-skin with a crazy man, maybe a dangerous man, and how the hell do you escape such an embrace?'
Tarah
I picked this up again from my shelf because I couldn't remember if it was good enough to keep (I'm getting serious about getting rid of shit I don't need). Short answer: yes.

Alexie really is the master of the short-story, something that has been a deficit in most his novel-writing (his latest "Absolutely True Diary" is an exception, I think). Here, the stories are poignant and sad, but not depressing. And the strike a chord... somehow, you think, I understand this homeless, male, Pacific-Northw I picked this up again from my shelf because I couldn't remember if it was good enough to keep (I'm getting serious about getting rid of shit I don't need). Short answer: yes.

Alexie really is the master of the short-story, something that has been a deficit in most his novel-writing (his latest "Absolutely True Diary" is an exception, I think). Here, the stories are poignant and sad, but not depressing. And the strike a chord... somehow, you think, I understand this homeless, male, Pacific-Northwestern, Indian... though I am none of these things. These moments of empathy are, I think, the mark of truly great fiction. Some stories are better than others, but all are good. A book worth keeping on the shelf.
Mary
my housemate left this lying around and i blew through these short stories in gluttonous spurts of stolen free time...sometimes alexie crams too much humor into each sentence, but then he coyly and self-effacingly continues to reference native americans' nortorious sense of humor...he plays with a number of stereotypes and examines the white gaze from every angle. dude calls white america on all sorts of shit while introducing the reader to unique contemporary native american characters. it's su my housemate left this lying around and i blew through these short stories in gluttonous spurts of stolen free time...sometimes alexie crams too much humor into each sentence, but then he coyly and self-effacingly continues to reference native americans' nortorious sense of humor...he plays with a number of stereotypes and examines the white gaze from every angle. dude calls white america on all sorts of shit while introducing the reader to unique contemporary native american characters. it's super-readable and entertaining and right-on too. this book also made me ache a little bit for the pacific northwest, where all the stories take place. smart, smart
Kate
This collection of short stories, like his other novels, examine life in America and what it is to be a Native American on a reservation and in the city. His books are full of painful honesty and truth-revealing fictions. I loved experiencing his perspective on the issues of love, loss success, terrorism, failing in our dreams, making it in the dominant culture, and being ourselves. However, I would recommend his other books, especially The Lone Ranger and Tonto, a Fistfight in Heaven and Reserv This collection of short stories, like his other novels, examine life in America and what it is to be a Native American on a reservation and in the city. His books are full of painful honesty and truth-revealing fictions. I loved experiencing his perspective on the issues of love, loss success, terrorism, failing in our dreams, making it in the dominant culture, and being ourselves. However, I would recommend his other books, especially The Lone Ranger and Tonto, a Fistfight in Heaven and Reservation Blues over this collection.
Joanna
There were some really excellent moments in these stories. Oddly, the three bits I particularly loved I had heard or read before- the moment in The Search Engine when our narrator confronts a man with an under-researched poetry pickup line, the acknowledgment in the same story that being "other" is marvelous and mysterious until familiarity sets in, and the scenario with the cat in Do You Know Where I Am?

Overall this collection was a mixed bag for me. I felt some irritation with the incessant " There were some really excellent moments in these stories. Oddly, the three bits I particularly loved I had heard or read before- the moment in The Search Engine when our narrator confronts a man with an under-researched poetry pickup line, the acknowledgment in the same story that being "other" is marvelous and mysterious until familiarity sets in, and the scenario with the cat in Do You Know Where I Am?

Overall this collection was a mixed bag for me. I felt some irritation with the incessant "I am INDIAN" refrain despite knowing ahead of time that this was the theme. It was a little too stridently constant throughout the work for me.

Several stories were wonderful.
Audrey
Sucia's review was right on! I had a few favorite stories but I think the one I enjoyed so much was "What Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church?", maybe because it was a bit longer and I could get into it a little more. Alexie has an engaging style and you are carried along not realizing how involved you have become with each character until you are reading the last paragraph of a story and you are sad because it's over! I am looking forward to reading other books by Sherman Alexie. I had heard hi Sucia's review was right on! I had a few favorite stories but I think the one I enjoyed so much was "What Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church?", maybe because it was a bit longer and I could get into it a little more. Alexie has an engaging style and you are carried along not realizing how involved you have become with each character until you are reading the last paragraph of a story and you are sad because it's over! I am looking forward to reading other books by Sherman Alexie. I had heard him speak at our local independent book store about 3 years ago and I am sorry now that it has taken me this long to read one of his works. He is an entertaining speaker and writer!
Susy
Interesting collection of linked short stories whose common thread is that the narrators are all from the Spokane tribe and living in Seattle. My suspcian is that this is true of the author although I am not curious enough to verify it! He offers good insights into the angst of the native American living in the 21st century and amazingly, the issues that face each of the main characters are those that trouble many of the rest of us. Just told with the tribal way of problem solving. If nothing el Interesting collection of linked short stories whose common thread is that the narrators are all from the Spokane tribe and living in Seattle. My suspcian is that this is true of the author although I am not curious enough to verify it! He offers good insights into the angst of the native American living in the 21st century and amazingly, the issues that face each of the main characters are those that trouble many of the rest of us. Just told with the tribal way of problem solving. If nothing else, it was fun to recognize locations in the Seattle area after so many trips there in the past two years.
Geraud
J'avais quitté Sherman Alexie en refermant "Indian blues", je l'ai retrouvé avec "dix petits indiens" comme un bon copain, toujours ce ton plein d'humour pour parler d'un sujet souvent triste à pleurer, un ton juste et authentique.
Ces neufs histoires mot donné encore une fois envie d'aller voir un peu qui sont ces indiens Spokane, ils sont apparemment très drôle et sont paraît il de grands conteurs d'histoires. Ils ont paraît il une piètre idée d'eux même, je crois qu'il est temps qu'on leur dis J'avais quitté Sherman Alexie en refermant "Indian blues", je l'ai retrouvé avec "dix petits indiens" comme un bon copain, toujours ce ton plein d'humour pour parler d'un sujet souvent triste à pleurer, un ton juste et authentique.
Ces neufs histoires mot donné encore une fois envie d'aller voir un peu qui sont ces indiens Spokane, ils sont apparemment très drôle et sont paraît il de grands conteurs d'histoires. Ils ont paraît il une piètre idée d'eux même, je crois qu'il est temps qu'on leur dise, que nous lecteurs, on les trouve supers !
une mention spéciale à "Tonerre Chocolat", un bâton médecine avec de la vraie magie dont vous me direz des nouvelles.
Caitlin
This is a wonderful collection of short stories chronicaling the lives of Native Americans living outside of the Reservation. Our society has cemented ideas about how Native Americans behave: they are good with animals, herbs, close to the earth, etc. This idea has been called the "Invented Indian." Alexie is not preachy but he wants America to recognize that Native Americans are smart, not all alcholics, etc. The charm of this book is while laughing at Alexie's witticisms, you feel like you've This is a wonderful collection of short stories chronicaling the lives of Native Americans living outside of the Reservation. Our society has cemented ideas about how Native Americans behave: they are good with animals, herbs, close to the earth, etc. This idea has been called the "Invented Indian." Alexie is not preachy but he wants America to recognize that Native Americans are smart, not all alcholics, etc. The charm of this book is while laughing at Alexie's witticisms, you feel like you've been punched in the stomach when he says profound, concise statements about what is wrong with the treatment and experiences of Native Americans today.
Ryan Hartman
Even though the only writing I've been able to do in my life has been of the short story variety, I've never had much of a taste for reading them. Junot Diaz, Charles Bukowski, and Lauren Groff. Add Sherman Alexie to this list. I had previously read The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven and I loved it. Ten Little Indians wasn't as moving as that one, but still definitely makes my list of top ten books of short stories.
Alexie has a skill for telling dark, deep stories in a whimsical, sim Even though the only writing I've been able to do in my life has been of the short story variety, I've never had much of a taste for reading them. Junot Diaz, Charles Bukowski, and Lauren Groff. Add Sherman Alexie to this list. I had previously read The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven and I loved it. Ten Little Indians wasn't as moving as that one, but still definitely makes my list of top ten books of short stories.
Alexie has a skill for telling dark, deep stories in a whimsical, simple way. His stories aren't necessarily funny, but all the characters in them are, if that makes any sense.
Sherman Alexie has definitely been added to the list of writers I'm obsessed with.
Rod
A fine, if uneven, collection of stories, full of passages that display Alexie's forthright style and biting humor:

What is it about Indians that turns otherwise intelligent, interesting, and capable people into blithering idiots? I don't think every white person I meet has the spiritual talents and service commitment of a Jesuit priest, but white folks often think we Indians are shamanic geniuses. Most Indians are only poor folks worried about paying the rent and the light bill, and they usually A fine, if uneven, collection of stories, full of passages that display Alexie's forthright style and biting humor:

What is it about Indians that turns otherwise intelligent, interesting, and capable people into blithering idiots? I don't think every white person I meet has the spiritual talents and service commitment of a Jesuit priest, but white folks often think we Indians are shamanic geniuses. Most Indians are only poor folks worried about paying the rent and the light bill, and they usually pray to win the lottery.

Alexie's stories are refreshingly grounded in the everyday. Was great to visit his world again.
Maureen
My first try at Sherman Alexie who is a Northwest writing legend. I picked up this book at a fundraising auction for a great price - along with a few other good ones I'd like to read soon. It did not occur to me until after I started that this was a collection of stories about individual fictional Indian characters, 10 of them to be exact. Ergo, Ten Little Indians. So far it feels like any of them could be a great full-blown novel character. I'm enjoying this, largely because of the local ties t My first try at Sherman Alexie who is a Northwest writing legend. I picked up this book at a fundraising auction for a great price - along with a few other good ones I'd like to read soon. It did not occur to me until after I started that this was a collection of stories about individual fictional Indian characters, 10 of them to be exact. Ergo, Ten Little Indians. So far it feels like any of them could be a great full-blown novel character. I'm enjoying this, largely because of the local ties to Washington State throughout the stories, but also because of the intense writing style.
Shawn
This was my first experience reading anything by Sherman Alexie and I was impressed. The short stories collected here address a wide array of everyday human experiences and, while most of the stories exclusively involve Native Americans, many of the emotions and experiences may be familiar to the general reader. Alexie has a talent for conveying the humanity of his characters and making the reader care about what happens to them. While I found all of the stories interesting, the last two in part This was my first experience reading anything by Sherman Alexie and I was impressed. The short stories collected here address a wide array of everyday human experiences and, while most of the stories exclusively involve Native Americans, many of the emotions and experiences may be familiar to the general reader. Alexie has a talent for conveying the humanity of his characters and making the reader care about what happens to them. While I found all of the stories interesting, the last two in particular were my favorite.
Camille
Sherman Alexie is a fantastic writer, and he pulls you immediately into his world. Working through stories of contemporary American Indians, each story is loaded, powerful, and deep. He's able to balance tone so that this isn't simply very.heavy.writing., but rather, bright, thoughtful, and image-laden pieces that work through the more common deployment of nostalgia, melancholy, and loss in contemporary Native literature. There's elements of joy in his work, along with despondency, and it's his Sherman Alexie is a fantastic writer, and he pulls you immediately into his world. Working through stories of contemporary American Indians, each story is loaded, powerful, and deep. He's able to balance tone so that this isn't simply very.heavy.writing., but rather, bright, thoughtful, and image-laden pieces that work through the more common deployment of nostalgia, melancholy, and loss in contemporary Native literature. There's elements of joy in his work, along with despondency, and it's his ability to toe the line between the two that truly sets these stories on fire.
Noel
Wow, so many great short stories to give praise to and my admiration. From the first short story to the last, I enjoyed them terribly with laughter, reflection and some sadness. Each one I related to in someway, but mostly, I felt that the characters were real and I learned to care for them. This is my first book that I've read written by Sherman Alexie. I must confess, I have watched the movie "Smoke Signals" and so, I looked forward in reading this book. Next, I am going to start reading "The Wow, so many great short stories to give praise to and my admiration. From the first short story to the last, I enjoyed them terribly with laughter, reflection and some sadness. Each one I related to in someway, but mostly, I felt that the characters were real and I learned to care for them. This is my first book that I've read written by Sherman Alexie. I must confess, I have watched the movie "Smoke Signals" and so, I looked forward in reading this book. Next, I am going to start reading "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven".
Diana
This is a good collection of stories. They're all about Indians, in very different circumstances. I especially likes one about a long-married middle class couple who manage to stay together by forgiving each other, another about a fairly affluent traveling member of a think tank company who has a great conversation in a cab with his Ethiopian driver, and one about a homeless alcoholic man living on the streets of Seattle. The conversations in these stories are so alive-- you sense in them that a This is a good collection of stories. They're all about Indians, in very different circumstances. I especially likes one about a long-married middle class couple who manage to stay together by forgiving each other, another about a fairly affluent traveling member of a think tank company who has a great conversation in a cab with his Ethiopian driver, and one about a homeless alcoholic man living on the streets of Seattle. The conversations in these stories are so alive-- you sense in them that a life can be changed by a conversation with a stranger.
Mark
Ten Little Indians, by Sherman Alexie, 2003. This is the first book I’ve read by Sherman Alexie, and I plan to read more. Really good short stories that are funny and wrenching and profound. My favorite was the first one in the book, “The Search Engine.”

Here’s one line I liked from that story, found by the main character as a response to an interview question by a former poet she is searching for: “Late at night I go out and listen to the wind. That’s all the wisdom I need. I mean, I love books Ten Little Indians, by Sherman Alexie, 2003. This is the first book I’ve read by Sherman Alexie, and I plan to read more. Really good short stories that are funny and wrenching and profound. My favorite was the first one in the book, “The Search Engine.”

Here’s one line I liked from that story, found by the main character as a response to an interview question by a former poet she is searching for: “Late at night I go out and listen to the wind. That’s all the wisdom I need. I mean, I love books, but shoot, most of the world’s wisdom is not contained in books.” Worth remembering.
Kevin Stephens
This was my first trip around the dance floor with Sherman Alexie, and I’m a fan. He can intertwine comedy and tragedy in a single sentence, just the way I like it. His main characters, all Native Americans (he just calls them “Indians), are all somewhat alienated, misunderstood and struggling to define themselves – and usually deftly employ humor as a first-line coping mechanism. I came across Alexie by Googling “writers similar to George Saunders,” and they got that right, the laugh-until-you- This was my first trip around the dance floor with Sherman Alexie, and I’m a fan. He can intertwine comedy and tragedy in a single sentence, just the way I like it. His main characters, all Native Americans (he just calls them “Indians), are all somewhat alienated, misunderstood and struggling to define themselves – and usually deftly employ humor as a first-line coping mechanism. I came across Alexie by Googling “writers similar to George Saunders,” and they got that right, the laugh-until-you-cry trajectory of their stories being the common denominator. I highly recommend this book.
Jesse Lehrer
While not one of my favorites, this is yet another fantastic book by Sherman Alexie. He writes some seriously great short stories. A couple of the stories in here were particularly incredibly, especially the last and longest one which almost made me start crying while reading it in a park. His ability to translate emotion into words is incredible - I've always appreciated his straight forward way of saying things like they are in a raw and honest way. Ten Little Indians is just one more book on While not one of my favorites, this is yet another fantastic book by Sherman Alexie. He writes some seriously great short stories. A couple of the stories in here were particularly incredibly, especially the last and longest one which almost made me start crying while reading it in a park. His ability to translate emotion into words is incredible - I've always appreciated his straight forward way of saying things like they are in a raw and honest way. Ten Little Indians is just one more book on the list of reasons why I absolutely love Alexie's writing.
Rebecca
I really loved this collection. The stories are rich and deep; the characters are thoroughly original and thoroughly believable. I love the specificity of his detail: he is such a careful observer, yet he also puts ideas together in entirely new ways. Hard to choose favorites, but "Do You Know Where I Am?" and "What Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church" will stay with me for a long time. And of course the unforgettable "What You Pawn I Will Redeem," which I first read in the New Yorker in 2003 an I really loved this collection. The stories are rich and deep; the characters are thoroughly original and thoroughly believable. I love the specificity of his detail: he is such a careful observer, yet he also puts ideas together in entirely new ways. Hard to choose favorites, but "Do You Know Where I Am?" and "What Ever Happened to Frank Snake Church" will stay with me for a long time. And of course the unforgettable "What You Pawn I Will Redeem," which I first read in the New Yorker in 2003 and think about regularly ever since.
Carissa
Maybe even 5 stars . . . I waffle. These short stories are far more character-driven than plot-driven, but they are fine character studies indeed. Here are Alexie's familiar Spokane, but mostly a set of "urban" Indians, recognizing and dealing with their place in more than one culture. They are literate, funny, educated, striving, loving, interesting people. And Alexie peppers in lots of his familiar wit and pathos. This was a fun book to dip in and out of, maybe not the emotional effect of some Maybe even 5 stars . . . I waffle. These short stories are far more character-driven than plot-driven, but they are fine character studies indeed. Here are Alexie's familiar Spokane, but mostly a set of "urban" Indians, recognizing and dealing with their place in more than one culture. They are literate, funny, educated, striving, loving, interesting people. And Alexie peppers in lots of his familiar wit and pathos. This was a fun book to dip in and out of, maybe not the emotional effect of some of his other writing, but I enjoyed it and recommend it. -cg
Willow
It is difficult to rate a collection of short stories with one number. I loved some of the stories in this book and did not care for a few. Alexie is a gifted writer and I love his humor and sadness that can be found in all his stories. There is something about the power of laughter in the face of devastation that gives these tales healing properties. My favorites were "The Search Engine", "Do You Know Where I Am?", "Do Not Go Gentle", "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" and "What Ever Happened To Fra It is difficult to rate a collection of short stories with one number. I loved some of the stories in this book and did not care for a few. Alexie is a gifted writer and I love his humor and sadness that can be found in all his stories. There is something about the power of laughter in the face of devastation that gives these tales healing properties. My favorites were "The Search Engine", "Do You Know Where I Am?", "Do Not Go Gentle", "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" and "What Ever Happened To Frank Snake Church?". My least favorite was "Lawyer's League".
Tom
A collection of ten short stories--hence the title--by the Spokane writer, that engage borders within us: urbanity, ethnicity, intellectuality, gender. He treats his characters with great gentleness while pushing them through social and spiritual (with a small "s") fracture. I heard Sherman Alexie speak at the U of Illinois three years ago. The talk got around to Iraq pretty fast & I'm not sure I've ever heard such a nuanced and personal public presentation about something that is such publi A collection of ten short stories--hence the title--by the Spokane writer, that engage borders within us: urbanity, ethnicity, intellectuality, gender. He treats his characters with great gentleness while pushing them through social and spiritual (with a small "s") fracture. I heard Sherman Alexie speak at the U of Illinois three years ago. The talk got around to Iraq pretty fast & I'm not sure I've ever heard such a nuanced and personal public presentation about something that is such public territory. Alexie's writing is like that--lyrical and deeply functional.
Natalie
I liked this book and really liked some of the stories. I do think that Sherman Alexie is a good writer. But these stories were perhaps too closely the same story. As if Alexie were trying out different ways to sing this song of ache and straddling two worlds. Each character has a turn at center stage. The spotlight is hot, the character exhales, the story comes out in giggles, in rants, in elegies, in whines. Yet these are somehow each the same story so, as a collection, not a 5-star. But you w I liked this book and really liked some of the stories. I do think that Sherman Alexie is a good writer. But these stories were perhaps too closely the same story. As if Alexie were trying out different ways to sing this song of ache and straddling two worlds. Each character has a turn at center stage. The spotlight is hot, the character exhales, the story comes out in giggles, in rants, in elegies, in whines. Yet these are somehow each the same story so, as a collection, not a 5-star. But you will love these voices and come to know the narrator, the voice, the ache.
Jen
These stories had some excellent moments and characters. But the writing is uneven and the collection seemed to start off with the few strongest stories and go downhill from there.

Also he has a strange way with tension - I feel like he kind of overuses the anti-climactic ending - it's ok to go "huh?" a few times, but I felt like so often he was taking a lazy way out - I'd almost prefer to have a deus ex machina swoop in and provide a resolution! But I would try reading him again; he has some gr These stories had some excellent moments and characters. But the writing is uneven and the collection seemed to start off with the few strongest stories and go downhill from there.

Also he has a strange way with tension - I feel like he kind of overuses the anti-climactic ending - it's ok to go "huh?" a few times, but I felt like so often he was taking a lazy way out - I'd almost prefer to have a deus ex machina swoop in and provide a resolution! But I would try reading him again; he has some great insights and seems like perhaps a diamond in the rough.
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