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The Round House:

A Novel

  • Read by: Gary Farmer
  • Runtime: 12.7 Hours
  • Recording: Unabridged
  • Release date: 10.2.2012
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • 12.65 hrs10/2/2012Unabridged
  • ISBN-13: 9780062204943
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A New York Times Bestseller

Winner of the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction

Winner of a 2013 YALSA Alex Award

One of the 2012 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

A 2012 Washington Post Notable Book

A 2012 Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book for Fiction

A 2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Fiction

An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2012

A 2012 BookPage Best Book for Fiction

A 2012 eMusic Best Audiobook of the Year

A 2012 Booklist Editors’ Choice Selection for Fiction

A 2012 ALA Notable Book

Selected for the October 2012 Indie Next List

A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller

A Publishers Weekly Bestseller

An Amazon Top 10 Book, October 2012

One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe’s life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

While his father, a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends Cappy, Zack, and Angus to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe—and this is only the beginning.

Written with undeniable urgency and illuminating the harsh realities of contemporary life in a community where Ojibwe and white live uneasily together, The Round House is a brilliant and entertaining novel, a masterpiece of literary fiction. Louise Erdrich embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too-human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today.

Editorial Reviews

The Round House is filled with stunning language that recalls shades of Faulkner, Garcia Marquez, and Toni Morrison. Deeply moving, this novel ranks among Erdrich’s best work, and it is impossible to forget.”

USA Today

“Erdrich threads a gripping mystery and multilayered portrait of a community through a deeply affecting coming-of-age novel.”

O, The Oprah Magazine

“A gripping mystery with a moral twist: Revenge might be the harshest punishment, but only for the victims.”

Entertainment Weekly (A-)

“A sweeping, suspenseful outing from this prizewinning, generation-spanning chronicler of her Native American people, the Ojibwe of the northern plains…A sumptuous tale.”


“Moving, complex, and surprisingly uplifting…Likely to be dubbed the Native American To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Parade, Fall’s Best Books

“The story pulses with urgency as [Erdrich] probes the moral and legal ramifications of a terrible act of violence.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Riveting…One of Erdrich’s most suspenseful novels…It vividly portrays both the deep tragedy and crazy comedy of life.”

BookPage (cover / feature review)

“A stunning and devastating tale of hate crimes and vengeance…Erdrich covers a vast spectrum of history, cruel loss, and bracing realizations. A preeminent tale in an essential American saga.”

Booklist (starred review)

“Erdrich skillfully makes Joe’s coming-of-age both universal and specific…The story is also ripe with detail about reservation life, and with her rich cast of characters, Erdrich provides flavor, humor, and depth. Joe’s relationship with his father, Bazil, a judge, has echoes of To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Library Journal (starred review)

“Likely to be dubbed the Native American To Kill a Mockingbird, Louise Erdrich’s moving, complex, and surprisingly uplifting new novel tells of a boy’s coming of age in the wake of a brutal, racist attack on his mother. Drawn from real-life statistics about racially inspired attacks on our country’s reservations, this tale is forceful but never preachy, thanks in large part to Erdrich’s understated but glorious prose and her apparent belief in the redemptive power of storytelling.”

Amazon.com, editorial review

Author Biography

Louise Erdrich is the author of over a dozen novels as well as volumes of poetry, short stories, children’s books, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel Love Medicine won the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse was a finalist for the National Book Award, and The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Louise lives in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore.

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Reader Biography

Gary Farmer is a First Nations actor from Canada.

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