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The Sentence door Louise Erdrich
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The Sentence (origineel 2021; editie 2021)

door Louise Erdrich (Auteur)

LedenBesprekingenPopulariteitGemiddelde beoordelingAanhalingen
8114722,016 (4.14)108
In this stunning and timely novel, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich creates a wickedly funny ghost story, a tale of passion, of a complex marriage, and of a woman's relentless errors. Louise Erdrich's latest novel, The Sentence, asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book. 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. … (meer)
Lid:MichelleandBobby
Titel:The Sentence
Auteurs:Louise Erdrich (Auteur)
Info:Harper (2021), Edition: 1st edition, 400 pages
Verzamelingen:Jouw bibliotheek
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Trefwoorden:Geen

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The Sentence door Louise Erdrich (2021)

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1-5 van 47 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
This is a truly pointless and boring story. It revolves around a woman who was sentenced to prison for a moronic escapade of stealing a corpse that unfortunately for her had drugs stashed in the armpits unknown to her. She borrowed a vehicle from her work to perform the crime. She is of American Indian descent and marries the policeman who arrested her. She works in a bookstore where a client dies, who haunts the bookstore. The book is filled with humor but it does not help make it worth reading. It likely does not help that I find the addition of a ghost into an attempt to cover recent events such as the pandemic and George Floyd out of place and ridiculous. I understand that this book was well received by others but that does not change my opinion. ( )
  GlennBell | Jun 25, 2022 |
What first drew me into The Sentence, the latest novel by Pulitzer-Prize-winner Louise Erdrich, was the witty, streetwise voice of Tookie, the Ojibwe protagonist and main narrator. We learn that Tookie spent time in prison, after a tragi-comic mishap that saw her transport the body of her dead lover over state lines with, unbeknownst to her, a stash of drags stuck under his armpits. In prison, she discovers books and learns to love them and once discharged, marries Pollux, the tribal cop who arrested her, and lands a job at an Indigenous bookstore in Minneapolis, Minnesota. All seems great, except that the bookshop – and Tookie in particular – is haunted by the ghost of Flora who, in her lifetime, was a quasi-obsessive customer of the store. Flora was a white woman with a keen interest in Indigenous culture, who made it her life project to prove her Indian antecedents. Pretty soon, the terrors of a ghostly visitant are replaced (or rather, accompanied) by more immediate horrors – the onset of the Covid pandemic, the murder of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin, the ensuing incendiary riots and, in the final pages, the divisive Presidential election of 2020. All this takes its toll on Tookie and her complex relationship with Pollux.

The supernatural is a key element of The Sentence. A haunting lies at its heart, Pollux is described as a performer of Indian ceremonial rituals, and there’s even a sub-plot involving a Rugaroo, the French-Canadian/Indian equivalent of a werewolf (or loup-garou). Yet, despite my love for horror and the Gothic, this is the aspect of The Sentence which least engaged me. Indeed, after my initial enthusiasm for the novel, life (and other books) got in the way, and I found it quite hard to return to it. My interest was piqued again when I got to the more topical “state of the nation” parts. Erdrich is herself an Ojibwe from her mother’s side, and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a bookstore and showcase for Native culture in Minneapolis. Unsurprisingly, the descriptions of the daily operations of the fictional bookshop, the impact of the pandemic and the BLM protests have an authentic and edgy feel to them. I also felt that the introduction of Hetta, Tookie’s stepdaughter, and her baby son Jarvis, gave the novel a more personal, intimate feel which it lacked in its first part.

The Sentence is, perhaps, too ambitious. It tries to be too many things at once – a comic crime caper to start with; then a work of supernatural fiction; finally, a topical family drama. Despite my reservations it is, however, a work I would recommend. Ultimately, The Sentence, is a paean to books. Books help us to understand the world; they serve as a bridge to “the other”, and often act as “life support”. No wonder that the novel ends with a “totally biased list” of “Tookie’s” favourite books. Are they, perhaps, the authors’ favourites too?

3.5*

https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2022/02/The-Sentence-by-Louise-Erdrich.html ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Jun 19, 2022 |
The beginning was boffo... loved the pace and the surprises but was ground down by the sudden immersion into current politics (the pandemic, the George Floyd killing....) Sigh. Not escapist enough for this troubled reader. ( )
  mjspear | May 30, 2022 |
I received this book as a gift and I was very excited to get it and to read it. i loved Louise Erdrich's book - The Round House. I expected to be wowed with this one, but unfortunately, it didn't wow me and it never really made sense to me. The story was ok and kind of fun. Tookie is a remarkable character, and I really liked her. One of the things I love about Louise Erdrich's writing is her wonderful characters and Tookie did not disappoint. Another thing I like about her writing is her insightful and empathic writing, and the way she shines on a light on social and cultural issues. This does occur in this book too. The book is set in present-day Minneapolis. It is written during the time of the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis, and carries on through one year of the pandemic. With wry and warm humour, Erdrich highlights the strange and unsettling times of the past few years into a totally believable narrative of what all of this was like for people who lived close to the George Floyd incident. Tookie and her husband Pollux weather the storm and live to fight another day, but not until Pollux but recover from a bout of Covid, and Tookie is haunted by a deceased customer in the bookstore where she works. That's another delight about this book. Tookie's vast knowledge of literature and books is seen throughout. This love of books helped her through a decade of incarceration for a crime that wasn't really a crime. It helped her through the haunting of the store and through the stresses of the times, and it helped her migrate through her relationships with her family and friends. Tookie carries a lot of baggage and it continues to be partially unpacked throughout the book, as we learn her backstory. What didn't ring true with me was the actual haunting itself. I don't know if the haunting was all in Tookie's head like I like to think it was, or real and frightening as it is portrayed. I found that the ghost in the story did really nothing to move the story along, or help me get to the bottom of Tookie and her very colourful life. The book is unabashedly about Tookie, and that is the best thing about it. The ghost just didn't seem to fit in anywhere in the story. ( )
  Romonko | May 25, 2022 |
In this stunning and timely novel, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich creates a wickedly funny ghost story, a tale of passion, of a complex marriage, and of a woman's relentless errors.

Louise Erdrich's latest novel, The Sentence, asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book. 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.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.
  Gmomaj | May 1, 2022 |
1-5 van 47 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
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.
toegevoegd door Lemeritus | bewerkNew York Times, Malcolm Jones (betaal website) (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.
toegevoegd door Lemeritus | bewerkWashington Post, Ron Charles (betaal website) (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.
toegevoegd door Lemeritus | bewerkTampa Bay Times, Colette Bancroft (Nov 4, 2021)
 
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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.
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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.
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In this stunning and timely novel, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich creates a wickedly funny ghost story, a tale of passion, of a complex marriage, and of a woman's relentless errors. Louise Erdrich's latest novel, The Sentence, asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book. 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. 

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