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Extended Audio Sample The Round House: A Novel Audiobook, by Louise Erdrich Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (18,709 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Louise Erdrich Narrator: Gary Farmer Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2012 ISBN: 9780062204943
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One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe’s life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

While his father, a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends Cappy, Zack, and Angus to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe—and this is only the beginning.

Written with undeniable urgency and illuminating the harsh realities of contemporary life in a community where Ojibwe and white live uneasily together, The Round House is a brilliant and entertaining novel, a masterpiece of literary fiction. Louise Erdrich embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too-human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Round House is filled with stunning language that recalls shades of Faulkner, Garcia Marquez, and Toni Morrison. Deeply moving, this novel ranks among Erdrich’s best work, and it is impossible to forget.”

    USA Today

  • “Erdrich threads a gripping mystery and multilayered portrait of a community through a deeply affecting coming-of-age novel.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “A gripping mystery with a moral twist: Revenge might be the harshest punishment, but only for the victims.”

    Entertainment Weekly (A-)

  • “A sweeping, suspenseful outing from this prizewinning, generation-spanning chronicler of her Native American people, the Ojibwe of the northern plains…A sumptuous tale.”


  • “Moving, complex, and surprisingly uplifting…Likely to be dubbed the Native American To Kill a Mockingbird.”

    Parade, Fall’s Best Books

  • “The story pulses with urgency as [Erdrich] probes the moral and legal ramifications of a terrible act of violence.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Riveting…One of Erdrich’s most suspenseful novels…It vividly portrays both the deep tragedy and crazy comedy of life.”

    BookPage (cover / feature review)

  • “A stunning and devastating tale of hate crimes and vengeance…Erdrich covers a vast spectrum of history, cruel loss, and bracing realizations. A preeminent tale in an essential American saga.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Erdrich skillfully makes Joe’s coming-of-age both universal and specific…The story is also ripe with detail about reservation life, and with her rich cast of characters, Erdrich provides flavor, humor, and depth. Joe’s relationship with his father, Bazil, a judge, has echoes of To Kill a Mockingbird.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Likely to be dubbed the Native American To Kill a Mockingbird, Louise Erdrich’s moving, complex, and surprisingly uplifting new novel tells of a boy’s coming of age in the wake of a brutal, racist attack on his mother. Drawn from real-life statistics about racially inspired attacks on our country’s reservations, this tale is forceful but never preachy, thanks in large part to Erdrich’s understated but glorious prose and her apparent belief in the redemptive power of storytelling.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • A 2012 ALA Notable Book
  • One of the 2012 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction
  • Winner of a 2013 YALSA Alex Award
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
  • A 2012 eMusic Best Audiobook of the Year
  • Selected for the October 2012 Indie Next List
  • Winner of the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A 2012 Washington Post Notable Book
  • A 2012 Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Fiction
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2012
  • A 2012 Booklist Editors’ Choice Selection for Fiction
  • A 2012 BookPage Best Book for Fiction
  • An Amazon Top 10 Book, October 2012
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liliana | 2/15/2014

    " This is a truly beautiful book. It is the first I read by Ms Erdrich and will certainly not be my last. With her crafty use of language and her style, Ms Erdrich takes you by the hand and leads you into Joe's world. A world which although different than mine, is still inhabited by humans who remain the basically same the whole world over. The book tackles very difficult subjects on different levels, basic reality, morality, mysticism. Her characters are totally real and no part of our human reality is left aside. I think the characters in this book will remain with me and will now form part of my book family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Snem | 2/7/2014

    " This was a really compelling story from beginning to end. I loved that the story was told through the perspective of the 13 year old son. I really liked some of he themes surrounding Native American issues and the law. Read like a good movie. There are a couple of tangents that readers might like appreciate. In general this was a really good story and I think many would enjoy it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 1/29/2014

    " Excellent. Well-written "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 1/26/2014

    " great story, good characters, love the 13-year-old boy voice, and that he became a lawyer. party scene is the best "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maryjoamani | 1/19/2014

    " I loved this book--a wonderful coming-of-age story that provides a glimpse into Native American culture today. The first chapter ropes you in immediately, and though it slows down after that, the plot remains intriguing. Erdrich writes beautifully and the old stories told through the older members of the community are fun to read and to make sense of and connect with present-day occurrences. I highly recommend this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 1/2/2014

    " Powerful, moving, and well written. One of the good ones you can't set down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth R | 12/26/2013

    " I LOVED this book!!! I think Louise Erdrich is one of my favorite authors. She wrote The Birchbark House which I loved (a book for children). The story was so compelling and wonderfully written- I felt like I was watching a movie almost. This is one book I will definitely want to re-read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Sala | 12/25/2013

    " Excellent look inside reservation life, very wellwritten, also explains why "the violence against women act" needed to be passed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie Guest | 12/3/2013

    " It took me a LONG time to get to the end--The last 50 pages were the best part of the book. Just "okay" in my opinion! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sankhya | 11/30/2013

    " The ending seemed sudden, otherwise it would have been really good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 T Lewandowski | 11/25/2013

    " Book was engaging. Listened to the audio version. Little bit TOO sad. Gives insight to the Native American culture and US laws I had never heard about before. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lina | 11/22/2013

    " Great insight in today's native life wrapped up in a gripping story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lia | 11/15/2013

    " Oh, my. This book proves to me that Erdrich is simply a master. In this gem, she crafted a story so compelling, so seamless, so multidimensional, that I read it as quickly as I could. Amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dotty | 10/9/2013

    " I enjoyed this book, Louise Erdrich never fails to please! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kari Hansen | 9/1/2013

    " They were right. This is one fantastic novel with stories interweaving in theme, an intense and engrossing plot and absolutely drawn believable characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carla Aldrich | 8/26/2013

    " I wish there had been more about the Indian culture, but an interesting story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat Cowan | 8/9/2013

    " Loved this book and will definitely read other books by this author "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dale | 8/3/2013

    " Erdrich is a good writer. She teaches us about some reservation laws for Native Americans and whites in this novel. It is well written about some tough topics which include rape, family relationships, small town life and much more. It was good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Martiphd | 7/24/2013

    " I guess I'm one of the very few who this book didn't grab me. I found it to be very tedious on places. But with so many other raving about it I'm sure it's just me. I did enjoy learning about the legal problems of the Native Americans. What a mess for. Them! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacey Baumhauer | 6/14/2013

    " I loved this book. It was well written and kept me coming back for more! I finished it in 2 days. I find myself thinking about it days later... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caryl | 5/6/2013

    " Excellent book. I had a hard time putting this one down. What a creative writer with such depth and variety in her books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 3/24/2013

    " Just finished this and enjoyed the writing. The story was a little slow in parts and a few parts were downright disturbing. The author's description of life on the rez seemed authentic and I liked the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gayle Eatman-varn | 3/2/2013

    " I found the ending a surprise. I was wondering where she would take us. I never saw it coming. I think I expected a harder read, but this was smooth, the characters were nicely fleshed out, and the subject is fresh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Freeman | 2/17/2013

    " It's both a coming of age novel and a mystery, set on an Indian reservation in 1988. For some reason, it reminded me of Stand By Me, a little bit. It is both heartbreaking and funny in parts. Definitely a worthwhile read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tina | 12/19/2012

    " Wonderful story....took me a little while to warm up to it, but the story wraps itself around you. I did miss the punctuation!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Jazwinski | 10/22/2012

    " Such a page turner. I love the way it is written - almost emotionless yet very, very emotionally involving. "

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About the Author

Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Making the New York Times bestsellers list were her novels The Round House, LaRose, and The Beet Queen, and The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

About the Narrator

Gary Farmer is a First Nations actor from Canada.