August 24, 2012

Ghost Dances by Josh Garrett-Davis

Ghost Dances by Josh Garrett-Davis is a story about the Great Plains woven in with a coming of age tale about the author himself. Sometimes places you grow up in have a way of calling you back, and this story shows how special places can indeed do just that.

Book Description
Growing up in South Dakota, Josh Garrett-Davis always knew he would leave. But as a young adult, he kept going back-in dreams and reality and by way of books. With this beautifully written narrative about a seemingly empty but actually rich and complex place, he has reclaimed his childhood, his unusual family-and the Great Plains.

Among the subjects and people who bring his Plains to life are the destruction and resurgence of the American bison; his great-great-grandparents' twenty-year sojourn in Nebraska as homesteaders; Native American "Ghost Dancers," who attempted to ward off destruction by supernatural means before the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee; the political allegory to be found in The Wizard of Oz; and current attempts by ecologists to "rewild" the Plains. GHOST DANCES is a fluid combination of memoir and history and reportage that reminds us that our roots matter-and might even be inspiring and fascinating.” – Ghost Dances

My Thoughts
Ghost Dances is a book I really wanted to enjoy. It was written with fresh prose and was significantly detailed. However, I just couldn’t get into it. I wanted to enjoy it, but found myself wandering off thinking about different things instead of just focusing on the book while reading it. I’m not sure exactly what it was that had me so disconnected from it, perhaps it is the way in which he wrote, or the subject matter. Maybe a combination of the two.

The author is a good writer, but lacked the capacity to hold my attention. I wouldn’t say it is a terrible book, just not one that I enjoyed reading. It felt more like a chore than reading for fun.  

* Thank you to the publisher of Ghost Dances, Little, Brown and Company, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brutally honest review. Two thumbs up!