Top critical review
2.0 out of 5 starsThe Story about his story
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on September 21, 2008
While at the U of A recently I saw that at least three classes were using this text and it sparked me to read it. Now my question is WHY are they using it? Basically the book is a rambling, mediocre account of the author's upbringing. It feels unstructured, like some old guy forcing you to "visit" while he retells for the umpteenth time the way he did this or that. Each story begins with a Native Canadian creation story, which repeated begins to get really annoying. Oh wait, do we tell stories over and over because our retelling makes them more meaningful? I bet it does for the author. The main message here is probably, write what you know. In who you are lies whatever truth you want to find. Further, the "truth" of a story...well, how pretentious and perhaps downright incorrect in a post deconstructive era. Nobody believes in this sort of truth any more and even personal identity is up for grabs.
Trust me, it's not even this deep. Like I said it's rambling. Most disappointing was this truth: the book is not about writing or how to write. Students who look to it for that sort of theme will be mad. Try John Gardner's On Becoming a Novelist for a much better written book on the subject.