Joseph Boyden Three Day Road

ISBN 13: 9780753820810

Three Day Road

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9780753820810: Three Day Road

Set in Canada and the battlefields of France and Belgium, Three-Day Road is a mesmerizing novel told through the eyes of Niska—a Canadian Oji-Cree woman living off the land who is the last of a line of healers and diviners—and her nephew Xavier.

At the urging of his friend Elijah, a Cree boy raised in reserve schools, Xavier joins the war effort. Shipped off to Europe when they are nineteen, the boys are marginalized from the Canadian soldiers not only by their native appearance but also by the fine marksmanship that years of hunting in the bush has taught them. Both become snipers renowned for their uncanny accuracy. But while Xavier struggles to understand the purpose of the war and to come to terms with his conscience for the many lives he has ended, Elijah becomes obsessed with killing, taking great risks to become the most accomplished sniper in the army. Eventually the harrowing and bloody truth of war takes its toll on the two friends in different, profound ways. Intertwined with this account is the story of Niska, who herself has borne witness to a lifetime of death—the death of her people.

In part inspired by the legend of Francis Pegahmagabow, the great Indian sniper of World War I, Three-Day Road is an impeccably researched and beautifully written story that offers a searing reminder about the cost of war.

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Review:

Joseph Boyden's first novel is the story of two Cree friends, Xavier and Elijah, who leave their pristine northern country to end up in the horrific trenches of World War I. Loosely based on the real life of a famous Canadian sniper, the story is told from two first-person views: those of Xavier and his old aunt and only living relative, Niska. After the war, Niska is taking her wounded nephew back home north to the bush in a canoe. Their trip is the three-day road of the title, which also refers to the journey taken after death. The story of the war is told in flashbacks on this journey as Xavier recovers from morphine addiction. Niska also relates various stories to Xavier, believing there is "medicine in the tale."

Boyden is a natural storyteller. Both the Native tales of the north and the grim accounts of the war in France and Belgium have the ring of truth. His images can be subtly appropriate--raiders who go over the top are "eaten by the night"--and his characterizations are excellent, especially the three main players and Xavier's Canadian trenchmates. Eventually, Elijah seems to feed on the death all around him, becoming a "windigo," while Xavier begins to question the sanity of the war and his friend's growing madness, realizing "we all fight on two fronts, the one facing the enemy, the one facing what we do to the enemy." Not for the squeamish reader, this is a powerful novel that takes a new angle on a popular subject, "the war to end all wars." --Mark Frutkin, Amazon.ca

About the Author:

Joseph Boyden a Canadian of Irish, Scottish, and Metis roots. He was previously professor of aboriginal programs at Northern College in Ontario and now teaches in the MFA writing program at the University of New Orleans.

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Joseph Boyden
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ISBN 10: 0753820811 ISBN 13: 9780753820810
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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The stories of an American Indian sniper caught up in the Great War and of his aunt, one of the last Cree Indians to live off the land, are intertwined in a mesmerising journey as they travel home over three days This beautiful, haunting novel begins as Niska is reunited with her nephew, Xavier, after he returns from the horrors of the First World War. As she slowly paddles her canoe on the 3-day journey to take him home, travelling through the stark but stunning landscape of Northern Canada, their respective stories emerge. Niska is the last Cree Indian woman living off the land in Canada. She recalls her memories of growing up among her kinsfolk, of trying to remain true to her ancestors and traditions in a rapidly changing world. Xavier joined the war reluctantly at the urging of his only friend, Elijah - a Cree boy raised in the reservation schools. Elijah and Xavier honed their hunting skills as snipers in the horrors of the trenches and the wastes of No-man s land. But as the war continues, they react in very different ways to the never-ending carnage around them. Niska realises that in the aftermath of war, Xavier s very soul is dying - but will the three day journey home be enough to help him find hope again?. Bookseller Inventory # AA29780753820810

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Book Description Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The stories of an American Indian sniper caught up in the Great War and of his aunt, one of the last Cree Indians to live off the land, are intertwined in a mesmerising journey as they travel home over three days This beautiful, haunting novel begins as Niska is reunited with her nephew, Xavier, after he returns from the horrors of the First World War. As she slowly paddles her canoe on the 3-day journey to take him home, travelling through the stark but stunning landscape of Northern Canada, their respective stories emerge. Niska is the last Cree Indian woman living off the land in Canada. She recalls her memories of growing up among her kinsfolk, of trying to remain true to her ancestors and traditions in a rapidly changing world. Xavier joined the war reluctantly at the urging of his only friend, Elijah - a Cree boy raised in the reservation schools. Elijah and Xavier honed their hunting skills as snipers in the horrors of the trenches and the wastes of No-man s land. But as the war continues, they react in very different ways to the never-ending carnage around them. Niska realises that in the aftermath of war, Xavier s very soul is dying - but will the three day journey home be enough to help him find hope again?. Bookseller Inventory # AA29780753820810

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