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The Painted Drum: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 6, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 286 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Though Erdrich's latest lyrical novel returns to Ojibwe territory (Four Souls; Love Medicine, etc.), it departs from the concentrated vigor of her best work in its breadth of storytelling. Erdrich essays the grief that comes when the sins of parents become mortal for their children. Native American antiquities specialist Faye Travers, bereaved of her sister and father, ambivalently in love with a sculptor who has lost his wife and loses his daughter, stumbles onto a ceremonial drum when she handles the estate of John Jewett Tatro, whose grandfather was an agent at the Ojibwe reservation. Under its spell, she secrets it away and eventually repatriates it to that reservation on the northern plains—the home of her grandmother. The drum is revived, as are those around it. Gracefully weaving many threads, Erdrich details the multigenerational history surrounding the drum. Despite her elegant story and luminous prose, many of the characters feel sketchy compared to Erdrich's previous titans, and several redemptions seem too pat. But even at low voltage, Erdrich crafts a provocative read elevated by beautiful imagery, as when children near death fly off like skeletal ravens. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Not her best, not her worst, say critics of Erdrich’s 10th novel. Yet though it’s leaner than works like The Master Butchers Singing Club and not as brilliant as others, it’s pure Erdrich, full of grace, legend, and mysticism. Here, she weaves together three stories, each about mother-child relationships, over time and place. Critics agree that Ojibwe elder Bernard Shaawano’s story is the strongest and most memorable; Erdrich renders reservation life impeccably. Faye’s story, by contrast, is a little too sentimental; as a character, she is more "dull-plumaged" than interesting (Houston Chronicle). Still, the novel possesses a charming, mystical power, and the story resounds. Despite the serious, ominous tone of the novel, it’s actually a tale of redemption—even joy.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper; First Edition (September 6, 2005)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0060515104
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0060515102
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.12 x 0.97 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 286 ratings

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Louise Erdrich is one of the most gifted, prolific, and challenging of American novelists. Her fiction reflects aspects of her mixed heritage: German through her father, and French and Ojibwa through her mother. She is the author of many novels, the first of which, Love Medicine, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the last of which, The Round House, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2012. She lives in Minnesota.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
286 global ratings

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Stella
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
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3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe
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5.0 out of 5 stars superb
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Michele Cross
5.0 out of 5 stars As always a good read!
Reviewed in Canada on March 3, 2013
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GILL JOHNSON
5.0 out of 5 stars No podras dejer de leer este libro!
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