The bingo palace

Louise Erdrich

Book - 1994

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FICTION/Erdrich, Louise
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Subjects
Published
New York : HarperCollinsPublishers c1994.
Language
English
Physical Description
274 p.
ISBN
9780061129759
0061129755
0060170808
Main Author
Louise Erdrich (-)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Immediately upon returning to his North Dakota Chippewa reservation, Lipsha Morrissey--having failed in the outside world--falls head over heels in love with the beautiful Shawnee Ray. She is the fierce and ambitious mother of the illegitimate son of Lyman Lamartine, owner of the Bingo Palace and a powerful force on the reservation. Lyman is determined to marry Shawnee Ray, who is just as determined to elude him and go to college. When Lipsha goes to work for Lyman, he also enters into a battle for Shawnee Ray's affections, calling first on the magic of tribal elder Fleur Pillager, then on luck, and finally on traditional tribal religion. Erdrich's fourth novel is at once comic and moving, magical and realistic, and filled with evidence of her awesome descriptive powers. The affecting ending makes the reader hungry for more; those who haven't already read Erdrich's previous novels will want to begin with Love Medicine , recently published in an expanded edition ( LJ 10/15/93). Highly recommended.-- Patricia Ross, Westerville P.L., Ohio Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Erdrich's novels of Native American life, Love Medicine , The Beet Queen and Tracks , have earned her a secure place as an observant, intensely poetic chronicler of her people's lives, spanning much of the 20th century. But if The Bingo Palace is a capstone to the saga, as its interweaving of characters and half-remembered stories from previous volumes rather suggests, it disappoints. Its hero, Lipsha Morrissey, is a young man, bastard son of irresponsible June Kashpaw and jailbird Gerry Nanapush, whose mother tried to drown him as an infant. He seems like a bright person of wasted promise, who drifts aimlessly between jobs taken on a whim until he returns to the reservation and falls under the spell of lovely Shawnee Ray Toose. But Shawnee Ray is the consort of Lyman Lamartine, the smart, opportunistic entrepreneur who gets rich by feeding on his tribespeople's bingo frenzy. How is Lipsha to cope with such a rival--though Shawnee Ray shows she cares for him too? The book is a telling study of Lipsha's passion, and the efforts he makes to win the woman--a vision quest in the deep woods ends up hilariously with him snuggling with a skunk. But neither Shawnee nor Lyman--deeply insecure himself--ever quite comes to life as Lipsha does, and there are myriad subplots and additional characters as Erdrich piles on the generations. The writing is passionate, often beautiful, whole scenes remain firmly etched in memory, and a telling impression remains of the hopes and despairs of contemporary Native Americans. In the end, however, narrative momentum is sacrificed for a broad canvas full of telling strokes, but which fails to cohere. BOMC alternate; author tour. (Jan.) Copyright 1993 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Back on his reservation, Lipsha Morrissey, the illegitimate son of June Kashpaw and Gerry Nanapush, falls in love with Shawnee Ray and is torn between success and meaning, love and money, and the future and the past. Reissue. 25,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

From award-winning New York Times bestselling author Louise Erdrich comes this novel of spiritual death, lyrical prose, and wild hope: a striking, luminous chapter in Erdrich's Ojibwe saga.At the crossroads of his life, Lipsha Morrissey is summoned by his grandmother to return to the reservation. There, he falls in love for the very first time'with the beautiful Shawnee Ray, who's already considering a marriage proposal from Lipsha's wealthy entrepreneurial boss, Lyman Lamartine. But when all efforts to win Shawnee's affections go hopelessly awry, Lipsha seeks out his great-grandmother for a magical solution to his romantic dilemma'on sacred ground where a federally sanctioned bingo palace is slated for construction.Louise Erdrich's luminous novel The Bingo Palace is a tale of spiritual death and reawakening; of money, desperate love, and wild hope; and of the enduring power of cherished dreams.'Wonderful...hopeful, wrenching, funny, sexy, intense, and penetratingly true.''Los Angeles Times Book Review 

Review by Publisher Summary 3

“Wonderful. . . hopeful, wrenching, funny, sexy, intense, and penetratingly true.”—Los Angeles Times Book ReviewFrom acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Louise Erdrich comes a tale of spiritual death and reawakening; of money, desperate love, and wild hope; and of the enduring power of cherished dreams. At the crossroads of his life, Lipsha Morrissey is summoned by his grandmother to return to the reservation. There, he falls in love for the very first time—with the beautiful Shawnee Ray, who’s already considering a marriage proposal from Lipsha’s wealthy entrepreneurial boss, Lyman Lamartine. But when all efforts to win Shawnee’s affections go hopelessly awry, Lipsha seeks out his great-grandmother for a magical solution to his romantic dilemma—on sacred ground where a federally sanctioned bingo palace is slated for construction.