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The Orenda [Kindle Edition]

Joseph Boyden
3.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

“Magnificent. . . an extraordinary work of art, savage and beautiful. It immerses us in an ancient culture and chronicles a period of catastrophic change. . . . Boyden’s profound comprehension of and compassion for all his characters invite us to acknowledge the wholeness of the life force [called] “the orenda”: a unity encompassing cruelty and kindness, ignorance and understanding, inevitable sorrow and joy. . . . The clash of civilizations assumes personal dimensions [through his] charismatic, flawed and achingly human protagonists.” —Wendy Smith, The Washington Post
 
“Profoundly spiritual [with] an epic quality [and] a gorgeous simplicity in service of this transcendent tale. . . . a rare reading experience that stayed with me even when away from the book and long after I finished reading it.” —David Takami, The Seattle Times

The Orenda is a heart song that spans the continent, and echoes to us across the years. At times devastating and difficult, Joseph Boyden’s novel is equally compassionate and inspiring.” —Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

“I tend to approach historical fiction with a certain reluctance to suspend disbelief, yet a few paragraphs into The Orenda I was so thoroughly absorbed in Joseph Boyden’s recreation of the moment of first contact between Old World and New that I was digging my nails into my palms. It's a thoroughly beautiful, brilliantly imagined and terrifying novel that seems to tell us something fresh and original about the tragic collision that shaped our continent.” —Jay McInerney
 
“Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda is a sublime, haunting, and harrowing achievement—a work of fiction, of art, of myth-making at its very finest.” —Dinaw Mengestu, author of All Our Names and The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears
 
“Years from now, The Orenda will be called a classic, but for now Joseph Boyden will have to settle for visionary, majestic, awe-inspiring. The prose is incandescent—and the cultural, tribal, spiritual battles are as gripping as anything I have ever read. There is magic in these pages that will convince you there is magic in the world.” —Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon, The Wilding, and Refresh, Refresh

“It is Joseph Boyden’s characters that stay with a reader. So generously drawn and flawed and honest in their cruelties and compassion and righteousness and sacrifice, in their embrace of family, their reach toward spirit. The Orenda is truly a magical accomplishment, rendered vividly in scenes of water and earth and blood.” —Mark Spragg, author of An Unfinished Life and Bone Fire
 
“Spellbinding. . . Epic in scope, exquisite in execution.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)  

Mesmerizing. . . In this deeply researched work, Boyden captures his characters’ disparate beliefs, remaining impartial even as they pass judgment on the customs they find simultaneously fascinating and repellent in the others. The prose conveys a raw beauty in its depictions of trade journeys, daily life within longhouses, and spirituality. . .  [The Orenda] offers many intense impressions of cross-cultural conflicts and differences, yet it is most affecting when evoking its protagonists’ shared humanity and life force—the “orenda”—burning brightly within each of them.” —Sarah Johnson, Booklist (starred review)

“Dignified and penetrating.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“A stunning, masterful work of staggering depth. . . it is like nothing you have ever read, and read it you must. . . . The Orenda is a feat, an achievement [that] is impossible to read without coming away profoundly shaken, possibly changed.” – Robert J. Wiersema, The Vancouver Sun
 
“Profoundly researched and told in elegant, muscular prose. . . a great, heartbreaking novel, full of fierce action and superb characters and an unblinking humanity.”  —Charles Foran, The Globe and Mail
 
“[A] stunning historical epic. . . the entire novel unfolds like one of the Huron’s mystical visions. We experience their world in such tremendous detail [and] come away with a sense of intimacy and a respect . . . Boyden’s innate respect for his characters—aboriginal and European—translates into a powerful and convincing depiction of both faiths.” —Donna Bailey Nurse, The Windsor Star
 

Kurzbeschreibung

1640s, The New World In the remote winter landscape a brutal massacre and the kidnapping of a young Iroquois girl violently re-ignites a deep rift between two tribes. The girl’s captor, Bird, is one of the Huron Nation’s great warriors and statesmen. Years have passed since the murder of his family, and yet they are never far from his mind. In the girl, Snow Falls, he recognizes the ghost of his lost daughter, but as he fights for her heart and allegiance, small battles erupt into bigger wars as both tribes face a new, more dangerous threat from afar. Travelling with the Huron is Christophe, a charismatic missionary who has found his calling among the tribe and devotes himself to learning and understanding their customs and language. An emissary from distant lands, he brings much more than his faith to this new world, with its natural beauty and riches. As these three souls dance with each other through intricately woven acts of duplicity, their social, political and spiritual worlds collide - and a new nation rises from a world in flux.

Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1127 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 500 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1780744358
  • Verlag: Oneworld Publications (11. Juli 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00G92LN8G
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (4 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #103.141 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Kundenrezensionen

3.5 von 5 Sternen
3.5 von 5 Sternen
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen not for the faint hearted... 17. Oktober 2014
Von TOTORO
Format:Kindle Edition
... just an exhilarating experience, which leaves you breathless and somehow purified of any clichee of the benign softrinsed American Indian, but so much richer in indelible images... it's a tour de force, so well written, researched to the core, pitiless yet hopeful, uncomfortable but full of lightness and light... oh , you try to write a review worthy of the book, get  entangled in adjectives and want to give up. But The Orenda is worth every effort, of the reader and the speechless reviewer. More stars to it and more braves to appreciate and celebrate it.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen The Orenda 17. November 2014
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Von Joseph Boyden habe ich "Der lange Weg" und "Durch dunkle Wälder" gelesen und war von beiden Büchern sehr begeistert, deshalb habe ich mir auch "The Orenda" besorgt. Es ist wirklich nicht schlecht, aber im Vergleich zu den beiden oben erwähnten Büchern hat es mich nicht so fasziniert.
Nichts desto trotz ist "The Orenda" sehr genau recherchiert und die Charaktere einfühlsam gezeichnet.Ich finde es durchaus lesenswert. Für meinen Geschmack sind Gegenwartsthemen der indigenen Bevölkerung spannender als historische.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Exceptional!! 5. August 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This is one of the best books that I've read in a long time!
It gives you a deep understanding of the life of the first nations in North America and it stays free of prejudice at the same time, because the author just describes. The writing is brilliant and takes you right into the story.

I highly recommend it!
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0 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen sickening 1. Juli 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
After two pages I had the choice of reading on and being sick or stop reading. I deleted the book from kindle.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 von 5 Sternen  146 Rezensionen
28 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen What constitutes a 5-star book? 30. Oktober 2013
Von Jill I. Shtulman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This sweepingly ambitious novel by Joseph Boyden - a 500 page epic - focuses strongly on all these successes as well as failures in the early beginnings of Canada, when the Huron, the Iroquois as the Jesuit missionaries clashed together. It's narrated by three characters: the well-respected Huron warrior Bird, the Iroquois girl Snow Falls, whom he claims as his daughter after slaying her true family, and Christophe, a French Jesuit missionary whose faith defines his very existence.

It is evident that Joseph Boyden did exhaustive work to unearth this story of 17th century Canada. It rings of authenticity, from the description of the missionaries (called "crows" because of the way they are perceived to hop around and peck at the dead or dying... the oki, or soul, that resides within each human, animal and thing...the rules of battle between the Huron and the Iroquois...the meticulous creation of the wampum belt...and so much more.

The cultural barriers between the Huron and Iroquois and the Christians are both dark and brutal and enlightening. Torture, to the Christians, was a barbarian act used to punish and demean. The Huron and the Iroquois used another word for torture: they called it "caressing", and its purpose was to honor their captured and to celebrate a strong spirit that a courageous enemy might possess. Mr. Boyden goes into great detail about the torturing rituals and while the scenes are definitely cringe-worthy, they heightened my understanding enormously.

But let's get back to the start of this review: the measurement of success. That measurement left me conflicted for many days now, contemplating how to measure a book such as the one Joseph Boyden wrote.

From a literary standpoint? There are many passages that are six-star brilliant. The opening, in which he twins his characters with animals (I wasn't quite sure if I were reading about a human or an animal) was beautifully crafted. Descriptions of the inadvertent harm caused by the Jesuits - upsetting a balance generations in the making, and shifting from a more mystical view of the world to one in which humans crave more and more control are stunningly portrayed.

Yet there are also times when the prose falls down, or doesn't strive nearly hard enough. As the story becomes more of an adventurous telling, I missed finding out more about the interior lives of the characters. Yes, Christophe is faith-filled and resilient, but what in his past made him so? Is he ever troubled by the beginnings of doubt? And yes, Snow Falls is a wonderfully rebellious character, but how is it possible for her to balance her growing daughterly love with the knowledge of her family's massacre? Some of the prose appears out of place, as when Bird turns to his sidekick Fox and explodes, "Tell me again why I thought bringing them among us was a good idea?"

So over and over I asked myself: what determines a 5-star book? Is it a book that educates us or morally enlightens us? Is it a book that grabs us by the collar and won't let go until we breathlessly turn the last page? Is it a book that changes our way of thinking and remains in our minds, long after it's been read? Or is it a book that is defined by consistently sterling prose and authentic characters?

The best answer is "all of the above." Those are the books that end up as classics and I don't think Joseph Boyden's The Orenda is quite there. But days later, I can't get the book and its contents out of my mind. It may be flawed for this reader, but I'm giving it 5 stars. There's too much that is good about it to give anything less.
20 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Brilliant writing and extensive research, but no spark of life 15. April 2014
Von Aaron C. Brown - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
The novel consists of three intertwined first-person accounts in 1630's North America by a Huron war leader, an Iroquois girl and a Jesuit missionary. Details of life in native villages and Quebec City are accurate and sharply drawn. If you're looking for a painless way to absorb some history and ethnography, you will enjoy this book.

The Orenda is something of a throwback, it reminds me of 1950s stories by authors like Dorothy Johnson. While on one level the native way of life is respected, the respect is based on antiscientific romanticism rather than sincere appreciation of the culture and its accomplishments. European culture is viewed through the same lens, which results in caricature. Science was right and superstition was wrong, and enlightened rationalism leads to peaceful progress, prosperity and human dignity while romanticism leads to horror. If you don't believe those things, or deliberately ignore them, there's not much to like in modern European history.

Starting in the 1960s, colonial-period North American historical fiction gradually developed a more mature and balanced view of the catastrophic cultural and biological collisions from 1600 to 1900. An epic example is Thomas Pynchon's Mason and Dixon. But the deeper truths in these books have not generated iconic stories as compelling as the earlier style.

The Orenda is almost as wordy and slow as Pynchon, and as out-of-date in its condescension as Johnson. I found this combination less satisfactory than either original. Joseph Boyden has the talent to write a literary masterpiece, but this fails due to lack of respect for characters and readers, and because the story is derivative for all the impressive research. For pure escapist enjoyment, Johnson packs more punch in ten well-chosen words than Boyden can manage in a chapter.

Despite these criticisms, it is a brilliantly written book, that displays extensive research artfully. It's not quite a great novel, and not quite a great history. It's got all the ingredients, but it needs a bolt of lightning to give it life.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Jesuits and Huron: Canada's raw conception 31. März 2014
Von John L Murphy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I've enjoyed two stark and harrowing novels about this same subject, the Jesuit-meets-Huron event in Canada in the early 17th century. Both Brian Moore's "Black Robe" (and the Bruce Beresford film) and William T. Vollmann's "Fathers and Crows" treat the Iron People (French) and the native Wendat (Huron) with sensitivity and insight. "The Orenda" balances neatly its similar perspectives, alternating as did Vollmann between indigenous and Christian participants, but at about half the length (see my "Fathers" review) as so much ethnographic detail and personal reflection expanded Vollmann's account. Moore chose a sparer register to filter his Jesuit missionary's travails among the wilderness and privation and torture.

Joseph Boyden captures both the sprawl of a novel delving relentlessly into a harsh land and a brutal mentality, and the precision of a narrative pair who square off, Bird and Christophe. This novel strips down the details so what remains stands out. In the first dozen pages, already you struggle to keep up with the back-and-forth tension as enemies lurk and death arrives suddenly. As a chronicler of two acclaimed novels, inspired by his own family's roots in the First Nations, this Canadian writer applies a steady eye to the realities of culture clash.

"The weight these men give their dreams will be the end of them." The first paragraph of the first chapter closes as the young Frenchman passes judgement on his captors and those he has been sent to convert. How the charcoal-clad newcomers, as well as the ancient people, possess the "orenda" (the life force) provides the mystery for the First Nations. They wonder how to manage the French. As Gosling warns Bird, these "crows" are "very difficult to tame."

The machinations that ensue, as a Jesuit captive proves valuable in the complications that overtake all the Wendat, dramatic as Moore and Vollmann showed well, here deepen as Boyden takes a nuanced perspective, equally careful to tell this story fairly. This novel expects concentration, and like its intent, wary characters, you are pulled into their mindsets in a vernacular that speaks in our own phrasing, but is whittled down meticulously to express a slightly altered time and setting, attesting to Boyden's skill at rendering this distance vividly.

Enriched by his own sensibility, it can be argued that Boyden's advantage in being placed as he is within the meeting of the two nations deepens the accuracy of his aim: to sharpen our wits as those here must, in order to survive the results of what God and country, iron and warfare, demand. I'll leave off plot summary but I'll encourage you to settle into this historical novel with an awareness that your focus will be rewarded, as your investment in this bracing, bewildering landscape, and the mentalities that it cuts open and tears into, pays off movingly.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Incomplete history 16. Oktober 2014
Von Angela Rose - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The Orenda depicts three characters living in the Great Lakes region in the mid-seventeenth century: a Haudenosaunee girl, Snow Falls, who is kidnapped and adopted by the Wendat man, Bird, and a French Jesuit missionary, Christophe, who seeks to convert the Wendat to Catholicism (Bland). The novel covers the events prior to the defeat of the Wendat tribe by the Haudenosaunee, told through the eyes of these three characters. By using the three different points of views, Boyden does make an attempt to convey a more non-partial view of these events that neither demonizes the European colonizers' side nor victimizes the First Nations' side. Boyden acknowledges that part of the reason he wrote The Orenda was to correct misconceptions about the conflict between the Jesuits and the Huron (Wendat) he had grown up hearing about: "It's a book that comes from being educated by Jesuits...knowing the story of the Jesuits and the Huron...so much of our history that so many don't know and so many got wrong" (Bland).

One of the sources of his research Boyden takes note of in his "Acknowledgments" is the Wendat historian, Georges Sioui's Huron Wendat: The Heritage of the Circle. In an article, Sioui is told to have criticized the original draft of the novel, stating, "`Joseph was a victim of the received views of the Iroquois; he made them look vicious'" (Foran). Sioui was "anxious for the author to learn more about the purposes of torture and violence within the culture" (Foran). However, reviewers have pointed out that Boyden's research for the novel regarding the Haudenosaunee and Wendat torture practices were particularly one-sided. Author Peggy Blair points out that a source Boyden used prominently for Jesuit-Wendat interactions, a source Boyden also mentions in his "Acknowledgments," was The Jesuit Relations edited by Allan Greer, which reflected only the biased view of Jesuit missionaries (Blair). In another review, the reports chronicled in The Jesuit Relations are described as "propaganda documents meant to raise funds to continue the Jesuit mission" (Turner). However, in the passages in Christophe's point of view, the missionary often mentions his fear of his reports never reaching the outside world, and there is no mention of them being used as propaganda to receive funds--only that they "have driven the public imagination" (Boyden 247).

Many reviews emphasize Boyden's use of graphic violence throughout the novel, especially in scenes describing the Wendat's and Haudenosaunee's torture practices. In an interview Boyden explains his understanding of the differences between European Christians' torture and those practiced by the Wendat and Haudenosaunee: "The Christians in Europe tortured to belittle and to demean and to punish. The Huron and the Iroquois tortured each other to honour and possess the power of the enemy" (Bland). Boyden does make the effort to illustrate these two views of torture in the novel. However, he fails to mention the French's torture of Native people even once (Blair). Blair's further comments under her review mention that The Jesuit Relations's descriptions of Haudenosaunee torture are overemphasized to the point of complete inaccuracy, thus making The Orenda's same depictions just as inaccurate. The Orenda repeatedly mentions that the Haudenosaunee torture their captives for days. The one scene of torture depicted among the Wendat, however, lasts only a single evening and night, ending at sunrise. But little mention is made of how the Haudenosaunee "adopted thousands of their captives as full members of their communities" (Blair), and absolutely no mention is made in the novel of the Haudenosaunee's roles as peacemakers, even though Boyden mentions his knowledge of the Haudenosaunee's Great Law of Peace in an interview (Bland).

The Orenda also reflects The Jesuit Relations excluding mention of Haudenosaunee clan mothers (Blair). Throughout the novel there is no mention of how leadership works among the Wendat or the Haudenosaunee, let alone women's prominence in leadership roles--instead, the character Bird is depicted as naturally taking a leadership role through virtue of his character. He is also shown making several questionable decisions that lead to worse conditions for his people, least of which is his decision to kill Snow Falls's family and adopt Snow Falls. It's unclear if Bird's actions are completely at fault for the Wendat's demise, or Boyden simply wants Bird's actions to act as symbolic of the Wendat's playing a part in their own demise.

The only female roles emphasized in the novel are those of the Anishnaabe medicine woman Gosling, and Snow Falls. The former's narrative focuses on her mystical skills, which are used in a notable passage to predict the Wendat's demise, and her relationship to Bird. The latter's narrative focuses on her adolescent development and attraction to a Wendat boy Carries an Axe, and gives scant attention to the development of her own mystical powers, though they are heavily emphasized by Bird and Gosling in the first part of the novel.

The most notable criticism of The Orenda is of the passages introducing each of the three parts of the novel, and delivering a conclusion after the final chapter. These short passages, spoken by an omniscient narrator and depicting the Sky Woman Aataentsic, deliver the novel's overarching message of the Wendat being responsible for their own demise. Some reviewers interpret this to mean that The Orenda is saying the Wendat are the only ones responsible for their demise, which illustrates the novel's inability to clearly deliver its own message. In an interview, Boyden states his message clearly enough: "...when it comes to big cultural movements, the Huron played a role in their demise, and they know that. The English and the French and Dutch all did, too. Just the acceptance of responsibility is really important" (Bland). Reviewer Christina Turner states that the novel being depicted as inciting social change could be damaging in that "this alleviates European historical actors of their responsibility for the harms of colonialism." But Boyden does not seek to absolve colonists of their part in the suffering of First Nations tribes--Christophe's narrative is filled with the flawed views of one seeking to convert through deception and fallacy, and several characters represent the different abuses brought by missionaries, not only disease.

The Orenda should not be taken as historical fact, or an instigator for social change, because it depicts an incomplete history of complex events. The Orenda's failure to deliver its message of accepting responsibility failed in part because Boyden chose to depict an incomplete historical picture of the war between the Haudenosaunee and Wendat. This picture was not only incomplete in the depiction of torture practices, but also the reason for the conflict itself. Boyden puts the novel's shallow understanding of this conflict in the mouth of the Wendat character Sleeps Long: "`We hurt one another because we've been hurt...We kill one another because we have been killed. We will continue to eat one another until one of us is completely consumed'" (Boyden 170). Ultimately, it is this shallow understanding that brings a disadvantage to readers' understanding of a complex history of colonialism and war among these First Nations tribes.

Works Cited
Blair, Peggy. "The Orenda by Joseph Boyden: an `historical' review." Peggy Blair - Getting Published. n.p., 30 Oct. 2013. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://peggyblair.wordpress.com>.
Bland, Jared. "Joseph Boyden tackles native torture, colonial amnesia and ongoing racism." The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail Inc., 14 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2014. <http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media>.
Boyden, Joseph. The Orenda. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014. Print.
Foran, Charles. "Revision Quest." The Walrus. The Walrus Foundation, Apr. 2014. Web. 23 Sept. 2014. <http://thewalrus.ca/revision-quest>.
Turner, Christina. "The Orenda won Canada Reads and I feel weird about it." Rabble.ca Blogs. Christina Turner, 7 Mar. 2014. Web. 23 Sept. 2014. <http://rabble.ca/blogs>.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen It's Too Bad 12. Mai 2014
Von Rick Mitchell - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
The writing and history in this novel are both excellent. Were that all to the book, it would be a five star. There was a lot of accounts of torture in the book, which were appropriate for the 17th century. Unfortunately the pacing of the novel was a form of 21st century torture. It was so so slow.

The book is told by three narrators. A Huron leader/warrior, a young Iroquois girl and a French Jesuit priest. It was impossible to differentiate the voices, which is startling, especially when comparing a French priest to a Huron or Iroquois and a girl with a warrior or a priest. The sameness of the voices added to the plodding nature of the telling.

There was also virtually no character development. Amazingly, after several hundred pages of autobiographical accounts given by the three, the reader knew them no better on page 300 than on page 30.

The book started with so much potential, but it just didn't go anywhere. The themes of war and torture between the tribes and the attempts of the French to convert the Hurons were repeated over and over and over. The sameness of the pages were mind-numbing. It was such fertile ground with such good research, it is a shame the telling could not have been appreciably better.
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