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Extended Audio Sample War Dances, by Sherman Alexie Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,817 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sherman Alexie Narrator: Sherman Alexie Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2009 ISBN: 9781440791468
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With bright insight into the minds of artists, entrepreneurs, fathers, husbands, and sons, Sherman Alexie populates his stories with ordinary men on the brink of exceptional change. In the tour-de-force title story, a son remembers his father slowly dying a “natural Indian death” from alcohol and diabetes, just as he learns that he himself may have a brain tumor. With “The Ballad of Paul Nonetheless,” Alexie dissects a vintage clothing store owner’s failing marriage and his subsequent courtship of a Puma-clad stranger in various airports across the country. And “Breaking and Entering” recounts a film editor’s fateful confrontation with an adolescent who forcibly enters his house to steal his DVD collection.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sherman Alexie is not a finicky writer. He is often messy and in-your-face in a way that can make you laugh (or shudder) when you least expect to…War Dances is Alexie’s fiercely freewheeling collection of stories and poems about the tragicomedies of ordinary lives.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Alexie mixes up comedy and tragedy, shoots it through with tenderness, then delivers with a provocateur’s don’t-give-a-damn flourish.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A paradox in [Alexie’s] writing is that you can be in the middle of delighted laughter when he will hit you with a sentence so true to the core of a character’s pain that you suck in your breath or are startled to realize you are crying.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • War Dances taps every vein and nerve, every tissue, every issue that quickens the current blood-pulse: parenthood, divorce, broken links, sex, gender and racial conflict, substance abuse, medical neglect, 9/11, Official Narrative vs. What Really Happened, settler religion vs. native spirituality, marketing, shopping, and war, war, war. All the heartbreaking ways we don’t live now—this is the caring, eye-opening beauty of this rollicking, bittersweet gem of a book.”

    Al Young, PEN/Faulkner Award judge

  • Winner of the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy | 2/18/2014

    " Loved this book. The audio version is read by Alexie which I think was great. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 2/12/2014

    " Sherman Alexie can articulate the inner state of mind of a uniquely neurotic male so you feel genuine affection for all of the narrator's supporting characters and this collection of stories and poetry added numerous sad and fascinating people to my circle of friends. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Russ | 2/12/2014

    " When this is good, it's very good. When this is OK, it's very OK. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cerenity | 2/11/2014

    " I was really engaged with these stories, poems, and anecdotes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bennett | 2/10/2014

    " I first had the pleasure of hearing Alexie's work on NPR's excellent podcast "Selected Shorts". The wife bought this for me for an Epiphany present, and I read it front to back on an airplane carrying us to a family funeral. "War Dances" is a casserole of short fiction, apocriphal autobiography, poetry, and wry asides that manages to be tender, acerbic, literate, and lighthearted all more or less at the same time. A nice palate cleanser after having my mind blown (again) by Flannery O'Connor's "Wise Blood". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brendan | 2/9/2014

    " The 2011 "One Book, One Philadelphia" book. Smashing. A very satisfactory read. I even liked the poems. Reminiscent of Junot Diaz. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clint Jones | 2/2/2014

    " A fine collection of short stories by my favorite author. Many of these stories call up demons and, then, help to tame them. Alexie's honesty hits like a gut punch, yet his humor and storying telling skills help ease the fear and pain of going into these dark places. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenn Wright | 1/29/2014

    " I have been in love with books before, so I need to read it again right away. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Regan | 1/28/2014

    " Simply the most efficient writer out there! He doesn't need 500+ pages to tell an interesting tale. Sometimes he just needs a few lines. Absolute gems! "

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

    " A collection of unexpected, sharp, witty, lyrical and dramatic stories from Sherman Alexie that was a pleasure to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily Van Dyke | 1/18/2014

    " Another Alexie triumph. I found myself intentionally taking extra time to read this collection of poems and short stories so that I didn't finish within the first few sittings. As usual, some of Alexie's stories and imagery stick with you long after you've finished reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 1/13/2014

    " I loved the poems interspersed between stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 1/5/2014

    " I hear he has a new book out! can't wait. Sounds like this one, a collection of short stories. Alexie is a great writer. Not to be missed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zak | 12/23/2013

    " "Ode to the Mix Tape" is amazing! As well as the other short stories and poems. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hadassah | 12/22/2013

    " A lovely collection of short stories that was a quick read. Alexie is always a good bet for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlie | 12/15/2013

    " Alexie always entertaining and provocative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 10/27/2013

    " High 3. Funny how Alexie's prose is so lovely--almost poetic at times--and his poems are so godawful prosey. My favorite pieces in this collection were the interview-type pieces, which read more like poetry than any of his poems. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don | 3/21/2013

    " Terrific writing, as always. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin Eliason | 12/16/2012

    " Haunting. Heart-breaking. Hilarious. Sherman Alexie hits another home-run with this collection of stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 8/30/2012

    " I really enjoyed the essays and poems. For me, they were thought provoking. On several occasions I found myself pondering various aspects of the text although I was not reading at the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelly | 8/4/2012

    " Just picked it up a couple of hours ago - halfway through. I love Alexie's voice and how he tells stories like a sad, funny, beautiful song. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chelsea Nesvig | 4/12/2012

    " Actually 4.5/5. Not perfect, but damn close. Love Sherman Alexie. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessicat | 10/30/2011

    " I got to see Mr. Alexie speak and he read fom this book...he also made fun of Tom's of Main Deodorant, which was classic. Loved this read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine Laliberte | 9/21/2011

    " Great read! I really enjoyed his writing style and humor. Thanks to Greg for the suggestion! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vern | 9/7/2011

    " great book. good stories and poems. favorite story was the senator's son...or the ballad of paul nonetheless, loved the poem ode to mix tapes...try him. he just seems to get better and better... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stuart Lutzenhiser | 6/23/2011

    " Great collection of short stories and poems. The central story "War Dances" is awesome. But there are other really good ones as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ted | 5/24/2011

    " Alexie's first-person narratives feel real, sometimes creepily so. Listened to this in the car over a week or so of commuting; now I want to really read it... someday. It's a shame Goodreads doesn't allow books to be on two shelves at once (or can I add a second occurance...hmm) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cerenity | 5/11/2011

    " I was really engaged with these stories, poems, and anecdotes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 4/14/2011

    " What a great collection, wide ranging stories and characters, I recommend adding this one to your Sherman Alexie collection. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh | 4/12/2011

    " Not the best Alexie out there; the poems feel like first drafts. But he has an infectiousness to his stories that you forgive their occasional clumsiness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jana | 3/14/2011

    " This was my first taste of Alexie, and I liked it. His prose reminds me of Tim O'Brien. I think this book would be excellent for teaching, and I plan to add it to my list. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma | 3/4/2011

    " Loved it! He can't go wrong for me. Only problem was it was too quick a read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina | 2/23/2011

    " Caleb introduced me to this author, and I've been a fan ever since. His stories pack a punch. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cayr | 2/22/2011

    " Another wonderful book of short stories and poems from one of America's best authors. Alexie really shines in his short stories. "

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