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The Only Good Indians

por Stephen Graham Jones

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2,188997,216 (3.86)150
Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 99 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
DNF. I found this confusing and sad.
  cmbohn | Apr 4, 2024 |
Sono un po’ in difficoltà nello scrivervi di questo romanzo perché il mio lato razionale l’ha amato tanto, mentre quello emotivo è rimasto completamente indifferente. Sono comunque contenta di averlo letto, visto che è un genere che frequento poco e ha saputo sorprendermi con elementi che non ricordo di aver letto in nessun altro libro. Quindi se l’idea di leggere un romanzo con una creatura alciforme piena di risentimento che si vendica di un gruppo di amici irrispettosi delle tradizioni della Blackfeet Nation vi alletta, non fatevi sfuggire The Only Good Indians.

Dunque, il primo aspetto che ho apprezzato molto di questo romanzo è stato il suo radicamento nella cultura Blackfeet, che non è solo un elemento di colore, ma è essenziale alla sola esistenza della storia, che si dipana dall’infrazione del rispetto della natura e dei suoi cicli alla vendetta di questa entità, che si muove secondo uno schema sfuggente e opera seguendo un codice morale estraneo e abbastanza spaventoso.

L’altro aspetto interessante è stata la logica che i personaggi seguono nell’avere a che fare con questa creatura che dà loro la caccia. Si tratta di una logica – immagino – frutto della cultura nativa americana e che è molto diversa da quella che potrei seguire io in una circostanza del genere – supponendo naturalmente di non essere uccisa prima di subito perché il mio scetticismo ha bisogno di prove dell’esistenza di una simile creatura prima ancora di iniziare a pensare a come fare per salvare la pelle.

Comunque, questa logica segue percorsi inconsueti e spiazzanti: a volte mi sono ritrovata a rileggere dei passaggi perché non mi era chiaro in che modo si fosse dipanato il ragionamento, non perché non fosse coerente, ma perché si rifaceva a un modo di intendere il mondo che per me non era immediato e dovevo dedurlo dal modo stesso in cui i pensieri dei personaggi si susseguivano. Da questo punto di vista è stata una lettura davvero stimolante.

La nota dolente per me riguarda il mio lato emotivo, che durante la lettura era proprio non pervenuto. È una storia che non mi ha mai spaventato, disgustato o tenuta con il fiato sospeso. Non penso neanche che sia un problema imputabile all’autore: penso che questo genere di storia abbia bisogno di colpire la tua emotività e che ognunə abbia delle sensibilità diverse. Evidentemente The Only Good Indians non ha colpito nessuno dei miei punti sensibili, ma questa cosa non dovrebbe proprio scoraggiarvi se sentite che solletica la vostra curiosità. ( )
  lasiepedimore | Jan 17, 2024 |
I enjoyed this a lot! I fell in love with the writing style and how smoothly the story and dialog pulled me along. There were no dull moments, even reading every day life on a rez was interesting. ( )
  Lichnlemonade | Dec 29, 2023 |
In The Only Good Indians, four young Blackfeet men ignore the hunting boundaries of their community and fire into an elk herd on land reserved for the elders, but one elk proves unnaturally hard to kill. Years later, they’re forced to answer for their act of selfish violence, setting into motion a supernatural hunt in which predator becomes prey.

The mysteriously supernatural Elk Head Women is out to seek revenge for that fateful day and she has come to kill. The four men at the novel's core basically accept the elk's vengeance, but Denorah, the daughter of one of the four men, refuses to believe in the need for vengeance. Can she survive?

I don't want to say too much about the plot (and I'm afraid I've said too much already) other than it focuses on each of the four Blackfeet men (as well as Denorah, the daughter of one the men) in parts and how they are being haunted both figuratively and literately by their past mistake(s), and what starts out as a slow burn of a novel, ramps into a nail-biting, frightening, and satisfying ending that suggests the cycle of generational trauma, the cycle of violence, has been overcome.

The Only Good Indians is one of best novels I've ever read in any genre. It's a violent tale of vengeance, justice, and generational trauma. But it also a tale about putting an end to cycles of such trauma, so in this sense, The Only Good Indians is a tale about hope; a tale about recovery. While it combines elements of the slasher genre (a favorite of Stephen Graham Jones), Jones ability to write authentic characters is where this novel truly shines. Jones is Native American himself, and his portrayal is meticulously detailed, and real. This gives the novel a realism that is striking and scarily good.

Stephen Grapham Jones is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Read this book. You won't regret it. ( )
  ryantlaferney87 | Dec 8, 2023 |
It has been awhile since I've read horror this good, this visceral, this immersive. Stephen Graham Jones' writing is so intense that I even found myself laser-focused on a basketball game, that was so much more that a simple one-on-one match. (A fucking sportsball game! Me intent on it. Note the date.)

The Only Good Indians is brilliantly written and breathtaking horror. With realistic characters and deftly interwoven social commentary, it took me to the edge of my seat and provoked me to consider the world in different ways. My thanks to the author for one hell of a ride.

Content warning: violence against animals, teens, and women ( )
  Zoes_Human | Sep 27, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 99 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The Only Good Indians is a disturbing horror novel about revenge and sorrow that houses a narrative about identity and the price of breaking away from tradition at its core. And that identity, Native American, isn't monolithic here; the four friends are Blackfeet, and while that means being Indian, not all Indians are the same. Also, the horror is unlike anything you've read before. It goes from disturbing flashes of thing that may or may not be there to in-your-face explosions of gore and violence tinged with supernatural elements.... Besides the creeping horror and gory poetry, The Only Good Indians does a lot in terms of illuminating Native American life from the inside, offering insights into how old traditions and modern living collide in contemporary life.... the novel is also an outstanding narrative of creeping horror in which guilt is so present it's almost a character and grief, pain, and desperation combine to feed the monsters of the past and allow them to haunt the present. Jones is one of the best writers working today regardless of genre, and this gritty, heartbreaking novel might just be his best yet.
Jones writes in clear, sparkling prose. He’s simultaneously funny, irreverent and serious, particularly when he deploys stereotype as a literary device. Lewis gets “trophies for having avoided all the car crashes and jail time and alcoholism on his cultural dance card.” ... The three friends judge themselves harshly. They try to do right by the people who are in their lives, though not necessarily by those they’ve left behind.... But the best intentions may not matter when you’re complicit in murdering a pregnant elk. And basketball may not quite be basketball, either, but instead a metaphor for what’s really in competition here — fate vs. human will. If that seems heavy for a book billed “one of 2020’s buzziest horror novels,” it’s not. “The Only Good Indians” is splashed with the requisite amounts of blood and gore, but there’s much more to it than that.
Is Elk Head Woman’s destruction a ruthless warning against losing one’s way, against adopting the colonizer’s mind-set? Or is she simply evil incarnate, a manifestation of centuries of American carnage? ... The men’s banter, their affection for one another, their personal choices and troubled journeys frame their wrongdoings, big and small, as consequences of their complex lives on a reservation, not of their nature. And so the harrowing misfortunes that await them seem strangely undeserved.... “The Only Good Indians” strains to weave a horror story with robust character studies. In the end, there is enough in each strand to appeal to both the genre fan and the literary reader, even if neither is fully reconciled to the other.
Good horror novels often have you reading and turning the pages as fast as you can. With a great horror novel – one that so arouses a sense of dread, connects so profoundly with that which is just beyond the normal world, is written with such superb craft and charac­terization that it draws you into the souls of the fictional beings – you sometimes read slowly.... The Only Good Indians is a great horror novel. Jones, long a prolific and notable sui generis writer, has written a masterpiece. Because this is the story of four men and the spirit of a vengeful female they killed as youths, I’m sure apt comparisons will be made to Peter Straub’s Ghost Story. Here, however the men are contemporary Blackfeet rather than old, almost-dead white guys. The book will be seen as effective “social commentary,” but it is not “commentary”: it is simply the truth displayed and injustice portrayed clearly for all to read.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarLocus, Paula Guran (May 3, 2020)
Aviolent tale of vengeance, justice, and generational trauma from a prolific horror tinkerer.... Horror’s genre conventions are more than satisfied, often in ways that surprise or subvert expectations; fans will grin when they come across clever nods and homages sprinkled throughout that never feel heavy-handed or too cute. While the minimalist prose propels the narrative, it also serves to establish an eerie tone of detachment that mirrors the characters’ own questions about what it means to live distinctly Native lives in today's world—a world that obscures the line between what is traditional and what is contemporary. Form and content strike a delicate balance in this work, allowing Jones to revel in his distinctive voice, which has always lingered, quiet and disturbing, in the stark backcountry of the Rez.... Jones hits his stride with a smart story of social commentary—it’s scary good.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarKirkus Reviews (Mar 2, 2020)

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Stephen Graham Jonesautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Taylor-Corbett, ShaunNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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This scene of terror is repeated all too often in elk country every season. Over the years, the hunters' screams of anguish have rocked the timber.

-Don Laubach and Mark Henkel, Elk Talks
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For Jim Kuhn.
He was a real horror fan.
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The headline for Richard Boss Ribs would be INDIAN MAN KILLED IN DISUTE OUTSIDE BAR. That's one way to say it.
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Jerry says Lewis shouldn’t hold it against Harley. He didn’t know what he was doing. When the whole world hurts, you bite it, don’t you?
“We’re from where we’re from,” she says back. “Scars are part of the deal, aren’t they?”
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Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends.

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