Book Review, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Brett A

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a book about a boy named Arnold Spirit Jr. But most everybody on the reservation called him Junior. The only problem with that was the every other Indian on the reservation was named junior. But Arnold was special, not exactly in a good way. He was born with “water on the brain” as he liked to call it. What that really means is he was born with too much liquid in his skull. Well he had surgery to fix that (which he was not likely to live through). Arnold was also born with 42 teeth. Yes the normal human has 32, so he was born with 10 extra teeth. And since the reservation has such a good dental plan he had them all pulled in one day. So Junior had been through the worst before he was even 10 years old. But it wasn’t over. Junior had a huge head, huge hands and feet, he was as skinny as a twig, had to wear big thick rimmed glasses (that were crooked cause his ears were un-even), he had a stutter AND a lisp, and he was poor, in fact, “My parents came from poor people who came from poor people who came from poor people, all the way back to the very first poor people.” is how Arnold explains his money situation. Oh, and he also draws cartoons. So Junior was basically the biggest target for beatings and teasings ever to set foot in the next 6 reservations. But he’s on a mission. If he is to ever make it anywhere in life, he must leave his reservation forever.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie, was an okay read. It was good but it could defiantly be better. It got very dull in the middle of the book. It became more of a journal then a story that was supposed to entertain. It also was very redundant with the plot and the structure of the story. What I did like was the writing style of the story. Sherman Alexie captured the perspective of the characters he described very well. Rowdy especially (Rowdy = Arnold’s best friend). This book also grasped the line that is drawn between Indian reservations and the rest of the town around them amazingly well. How divided they are, how different they are, the stereotypes set between the two groups. This added so much emotion and feeling to the book. I thought the moral the book portrayed at the end and the lessons that Arnold and Rowdy had learned were a very good addition and surprise to the book.
Overall The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was an all right read. It had its’ good and bad points. I would say about a 3 out of 5 if I had to rate it. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good comedy/tragedy that has a lot of funny/sad parts with a little bit of romance and arguments mixed in that also had some good meaning to it. Lets just say this book could have many different labels stuck on it.


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