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The Heartsong of Charging Elk (2000)

af James Welch

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
389565,140 (4.06)5
Sioux-indianeren Charging Elk optræder i Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, som er på turné i Europa. Efter et rideuheld bliver han efterladt på et sanatorium i Marseille uden at kunne tale hverken engelsk eller fransk, og bliver fængslet for mord.
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» Se også 5 omtaler

Viser 5 af 5
Unusual story about a Oglala Indian, Charging Elk, who as a very young man refused to be put on the reservation and spent three years with a friend out on the frontier basically by themselves. Returning to the reservation, he somehow was selected by Buffalo Bill to join his touring company and go to France. While in France, he enjoyed participating in the show but was accidentally thrown from his horse and wound up in a French hospital unable to speak the language. Buffalo Bill's group had left him.

The story actually begins at this point with his confusion and fear at the "sickhouse". He manages to escape and lives on the street but is found and turned over to the American embassy. One bureaucratic bumble after another prevents his return to America. He is eventually placed into the home of a fishmonger who treated him well and he learned some French and learned to love the family. After a while, however, he moves to his own place and yearning for a wife and family begins to visit a whorehouse. He falls in loves with a woman who isn't quite sure what to think of him. Earlier at the fish market a well known homosexual chef had eyed Charging Elk and he forces the whore to give him a drug so that the chef can molest him CE wakes up during the encounter and stabs the man to death. A very unfair trial follows and CE winds up in a remote prison where he becomes a model prisoner and learns to garden. He is eventually released again to a home of a farmer who treats him well. Natalie, the daughter falls in love with CK and they sort of "live happily ever after." Many more complications although the ending might be a bit too pat. Still a very good read and interesting look at the European fascination with the American West and the sad story of a man forced to leave everything behind and forced into a totally new culture. ( )
  maryreinert | Oct 20, 2023 |
I gave this book a B+ in my collection.
A native American whose life changed radically as the settlers took over their territory in United States , went with a group to France as part of a touring Wild Western show. Due to an injury, he was left behind without identity papers when the group returned to America. So as a stranger in a strange land, he had to survive and build a life for himself, even as by appearance he was definitely unique in this totally unfamiliar civilization. We see him get employment, cope with his new life with some new friends. Then he falls in love with a girl in a brothel. His romantic dreams lead him to plan a life for them together, but this ends when she betrays him and puts him in danger from a sexual molester in the brothel. Protecting himself, he is tried for the murder of this attacker. The story unfolds as we see him cope, and when he is finally released, he find a life in this society.
This book seemed to take off in the middle, and all of a sudden I found it hard to put it down. I enjoyed it. ( )
  JeanneKirkby | Jun 14, 2011 |
Honestly, I thought this was a lukewarm and boring book. Granted, it's an interesting idea for a story, and some parts were intriguing. Also, Welch is a skilled writer capable of creating thoughtful passages. Overall, though, this one just didn't touch me. I felt little to no urgency while reading, and Charging Elk just didn't spark for me as a compelling character. I would recommend this to readers interested in Westerns and the Wild West -- which I am not. Perhaps they will get more from it than I did. ( )
  TheBooknerd | Jun 11, 2010 |
An amazing book: the characterization of Charging Elk is drawn with a fine, elegant pen. This is a story about a hero: an unusual hero, left on his own in France without benefit of any language but his native tongue. ( )
1 stem Rosareads | Dec 26, 2009 |
adult situations (sex); needs parent permission
Native American joins the Wild West show, travels to Paris with them, and is abandoned. Knowing no English or French, and being dark-skinned, Charging Elk has a difficult time in his new surroundings. ( )
  stunik | Mar 27, 2009 |
Viser 5 af 5
Despite some contrived plot twists, Welch's study of a man forced to adapt to a world utterly unlike his own—and a richly imagined world it is—is well sustained. An amply rewarding read.

tilføjet af doomjesse | RedigerKirkus (Jun 1, 2000)
 
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Sioux-indianeren Charging Elk optræder i Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, som er på turné i Europa. Efter et rideuheld bliver han efterladt på et sanatorium i Marseille uden at kunne tale hverken engelsk eller fransk, og bliver fængslet for mord.

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