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am 9. August 1997
I thought I could not read anything as beautiful by a Native American woman than Luci Tapahonso's works, or Joy Harjo's works. Until now. Linda Hogan's words evoke powerful images of female beauty. She overturns European myths and traditions by making all her major characters women. These are no "shrinking violets" but women who make it on their own; they are not simply biding their time until some man comes along, but they are active in the business of living life. This is no man-hating treatise either, for men are welcome, if they fit in. Some do, some don't, and some learn that loving a woman means being everything she needs you to be, not just what you think she needs. Hogan also turns physical scarring into beauty, as Angel learns to love herself despite her inner and outward scars. Hogan even takes the most commonplace of anti-feminine insults, "That's just like a woman," and turns it into an expression of strength. Yes, it IS just like a woman, and that's what makes her powerful, beautiful and desirable to all. Read SOLAR STORMS and learn a lot, about yourself as a woman or a man, about yourself as a Western "improver" of nature, and about yourself as a human being. Love for everything and everyone is the secret joy in this novel, and you will finish it with a sense that you have achieved something of this
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am 21. August 1999
I'm interested in novels written by people who are also proficient in poetry, but while this has some nice poetic moments and vivid images, this novel really didn't hold up for me. I thought that way too often Hogan did some metaphysical (or slightly new-agey) hand-waving: she used long expository passages that a) seemed out of voice of the main character b) distracted the reader from the fact that the story was REALLY THIN at times. During these moments, I felt that Hogan really didn't know what she wanted to say, so she threw in a few 'earth is sacred' passages or vague meditations.Also, even though awful things happen in this book, and its understandable to take a fairly serious tone. I wish this book had a tad more sense of humor in places. The characters take themselves so seriously, it ventures on arrogance. Rarely, if ever, do the protagonists that Hogan depict ever put themselves in the shoes of the 'bad guys' (the Evil Developers), most of which are pure cardboard cutouts. The complexities of history and landscape are ignored; in the end, I was left with little except for a few nice images-- and the characters' ponderous, oddly uninspiring struggle that bordered on the self righteous. Self righetousness is usually pretty boring in literature.
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am 12. Mai 2000
One thing I like about book clubs is that they force people to read books they might not have otherwise read. When my book club chose Solar Storms, I was not overly enthusiastic. However, Hogan's writing captured me from the first page. I could feel the cold of the frozen Great Lakes, smell the stuffiness of hut, taste the native dishes, agonize with the family's loss. Then, when Angel returns to her grandmothers' home and begins her healing process, I could feel the story line start to vibrate in me like violin strings.
Like some of America's greatest prose, the content of this book was not as important to me as the style, although I thought the storyline was thought-provoking. No one memorizes Lincoln's Gettysburg Address because of the message. They memorize it because it is such a beautiful example of what our language can sound like in the hands of a master. Hogan is a master.
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I marvel at the intricate and deeply authentic way in which Linda Hogan exposes the emotional center of her characters... as well as the manner in which she reveals how they experience their external environment... with its vast riches of light and life and shifting storms... of turning seasons, of companies of birds and fish... of forests and water... all as an aspect of what is occurring in their inner lives. They seem to breathe in the land, to drink of the rich wellspring of fullness and diversity present in 'all their relations...' and to sense with clear awareness and slow contemplative abosrption the re-rooting of the natural world within their own souls. The "potlatch" which served as the story's prologue is one of the most poignant pieces of literary excellence I have ever read.
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am 7. Mai 1997
A beautifully written book that to me spoke loudly about how most things recent generations strive for don't matter to the soul, and how one very badly beaten soul found meaning to life through a rite of passage among women. I am touched by the book, and recommend it to any female who reads fiction regularly. My only hesitation to truly recommending the book is its occasionally heavy hand with the politics of dam building. The book is so heavily centered on transformation and personal change however, that the anger the character/author feels toward environmental destruction aids the reader in understanding the depth of the character's self knowledge
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This book is about the journey which each person must take in life, the journey to knowing oneself. Incredibly written with beautiful insights, this book is a must for anyone who needs to be inspired in life. Practically every line is pregnant with wisdom and eloquence, yet not encumbered by being overly philosophical. It contains truths which can be simply understood by the reader. It has helped teach me (the reviewer) the value of inner quiet as well as outer quiet. In a world where all we do has instant reactions and ramifications, we could all use a dose of the kind of loving enlightenment this book has to offer.
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am 6. September 1998
"Absolutely terrible." raves me. This book is only a good read for Native American Women or bleeding heart librals. My school forced me to read this book and I find it distasteful. Steriotypical remarks were made about white men and I find that rude and offensive. Not much probably said about that but I garauntee that if this were a Story about stuborn Indians who wouldn't let a town benifit from a hydroelectric dam there would be much controversey. However I must say the writting was excelent.
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am 4. Februar 1999
Before reading this book I had never concerned myself much with the plight of the Native Americans. This book vividly reveals the abuses of the American government toward these often naive, and fundamentally innocent, individuals who simply wanted to live their lives in the ways of their ancestors. It is sad to recognize what "progess" can do to human culture and to the environment. Linda Hogan makes her statements with a writing style that is almost like poetry. This book is truly beautiful.
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am 27. Februar 1999
This is the first book I have read by Hogan. I was very impressed by her writing. She uses lovely words and creates wonderful images for the reader. This is a very important book and having read it has increased by awareness of Native Americans' plight. The damage to their culture, their personhood and to the earth (the land)with all the animals and plants is painful and horrid. This is a deeply felt book and the writing will speak to your heart.
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am 17. Dezember 1999
I very much enjoyed this novel. While I'm not a Native American, I grew up in a rural, simple environment and Hogan's protrayal of the relationships and struggles of these people was sensitive and touching. I found her prose to be haunting and evocative.
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