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The Sentence (2021)

por Louise Erdrich

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1,861989,030 (4.08)188
A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading with murderous attention, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 97 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Well drawn characters led by protagonist, share relatable but special experiences working in a book store in Minneapolis during the summer of 2020. ( )
  Lylee | Apr 7, 2024 |
A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading with murderous attention, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.

The Sentence begins on All Souls' Day 2019 and ends on All Souls' Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written. ( )
  jepeters333 | Feb 25, 2024 |
I had a love hate experience with this book! Its confusing, gripping, happy, sad... I could go on and on. I didn't love it, but I couldn't put it down. I love a book that really makes you think, and this one definitely did. ( )
  mjphillips | Feb 23, 2024 |
I'm not sure why I bought this book, it was on my wishlist but I can no longer remember what prompted me to add it. I wish I hadn't. One of the few professionally published books that I very nearly didn't finish at all, and actively disliked the last quarter.

Initially it had some promise. The heroine is one Tookie a Native American newly released from prison, harshly sentenced for a crime she was thoroughly guilty of, and then very suddenly married to the policeman who arrested her. There's a little bit of a redemption arc, as Tookie pull sher life together and starts working in a bookstore interacting well with staff and customers. And then from halfway through it just gets weirder and weirder. Tookie believes she's being haunted by a ghost of one of her customers who'd been culturally appropriating Native ancestry - Tookie and the author of course being somewhat gatekeeping on who is allowed to be a 'real' Native American. From this low it then wallows in a turgid recounting of life with covid and Grant Lloyd.

Yes these were traumatic times, and if you feel the need to write about them to relieve your suffering of those times, then that's fine. Please don't stuff such writing into the back of a novel into which it has no other connection. It was bad enough already. ( )
1 vote reading_fox | Feb 16, 2024 |
Good book I just didn’t love it. ( )
  xfitkitten | Feb 14, 2024 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 97 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The Sentence covers a lot of ground, from ghosts to the joys and trials of bookselling to the lives of Native Americans and inmates doing hard time. And that’s just the first half of the story, before the pandemic, before George Floyd. The novel gets a little baggy after a while, as Erdrich struggles to juggle multiple plotlines. But the virtues here so outweigh the flaws that to complain seems almost like ingratitude ... The Sentence is rife with passages that stop you cold, particularly when Erdrich...articulates those stray, blindsiding moments that made 2020 not only tragic but also so downright weird and unsettling ... There is something wonderfully comforting in the precise recollection of such furtive memories, like someone quietly opening a door onto a little slice of clarity ... The Sentence testifies repeatedly to the power books possess to heal us and, yes, to change our lives ... There are books, like this one, that while they may not resolve the mysteries of the human heart, go a long way toward shedding light on our predicaments. In the case of The Sentence, that’s plenty.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarNew York Times, Malcolm Jones (sítio Web pago) (Nov 9, 2021)
 
The coronavirus pandemic is still raging away and God knows we’ll be reading novels about it for years, but Louise Erdrich’s The Sentence may be the best one we ever get. Neither a grim rehashing of the lockdown nor an apocalyptic exaggeration of the virus, her book offers the kind of fresh reflection only time can facilitate, and yet it’s so current the ink feels wet ... Such is the mystery of Erdrich’s work, and The Sentence is among her most magical novels, switching tones with the felicity of a mockingbird ... The great arc of [the] first 30 pages — zany body-snatching! harrowing prison ordeal! opposites-attract rom-com! — could have provided all the material needed for a whole novel, but Erdrich has something else in mind for The Sentence: This is a ghost story — though not like any I’ve read before. The novel’s ectoplasm hovers between the realms of historical horror and cultural comedy ... Moving at its own peculiar rhythm with a scope that feels somehow both cloistered and expansive, The Sentence captures a traumatic year in the history of a nation struggling to appreciate its own diversity.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarWashington Post, Ron Charles (sítio Web pago) (Nov 9, 2021)
 
The Sentence: It's such an unassuming title (and one that sounds like it belongs to a writing manual); but, Louise Erdrich's latest is a deceptively big novel, various in its storytelling styles; ambitious in its immediacy... All is tumultuous in The Sentence — the spirits, the country, Erdrich's own style. One of the few constants this novel affirms is the power of books. Tookie recalls that everyone at Birchbark is delighted when bookstores are deemed an "essential" business during the pandemic, making books as important as "food, fuel, heat, garbage collection, snow shoveling, and booze." No arguments here. And I'd add The Sentence to the growing list of fiction that seems pretty "essential" for a deeper take on the times we're living through.
 
Clearly having been written in the midst of the events that overtake its characters—the coronavirus and then the Twin Cities' eruption over the murder of George Floyd—the book has a sometimes disconcerting you-are-there quality, which can seem out of step with the story proper, though the events do amplify the novel's themes of social and personal connection and dissociation, and of the historic crimes and contemporary aggressions, micro and overt, perpetrated in the name of white supremacy. What does hold everything together here, fittingly enough in a novel so much of which takes place in a bookstore, is the connection made through reading; and one of the great charms of The Sentence for an avid reader is the running commentary on books—recommendations, judgments, citations, even, at the end, a Totally Biased List of Tookie's favorites.
 
Few novelists can fuse the comic and the tragic as beautifully as Louise Erdrich does, and she does it again in The Sentence ... No one escapes heartache in The Sentence, but mysteries old and new are solved, and some of the broken places made stronger. The Sentence, a book about the healing power of books, makes its own case splendidly.
adicionada por Lemeritus | editarTampa Bay Times, Colette Bancroft (Nov 4, 2021)
 
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From the time of birth to the time of death, every word you utter is part of one long sentence. - Sun Yung Shin, Unbearable Splendor
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To everyone who has worked at Birchbark Books, to our customers, and to our ghosts.
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While in prison, I received a dictionary.
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The first word I looked up was the word ‘sentence.’ I had received an impossible sentence of sixty years from the lips of a judge who believed in an afterlife. So the word with its yawning c, belligerent little e’s, with its hissing sibilants and double n’s, this repetitive bummer of a word made of slyly stabbing letters that surrounded an isolate human t, this word was in my thoughts every moment of every day.
Books contain everything worth knowing except what ultimately matters.
Suddenly he had a wise preternatural look. It was as though he’d only pretended to be an asshole in life but was really a shamanic priest.
Native Americans are the most oversentenced people currently imprisoned. I love statistics because they place what happens to a scrap of humanity, like me, on a worldwide scale.
But in the despair of routine any aberration is a radiant signal.
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A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading with murderous attention, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.

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