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Indian Horse

A Novel
Written by: Richard Wagamese
Narrated by: Jason Ryll
Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
5 out of 5 stars (645 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Saul Indian Horse is in critical condition. Sitting feeble in an alcoholism treatment facility, he is told that sharing his story will help relieve his agony. Though skeptical, he embarks on a heartbreaking journey from the present - and into the woods of Northern Ontario, where his life began in a snowy Ojibway camp. The tale that follows is one of great pain and great determination from Richard Wagamese, an author who "never seems to waste a shot" (New York Times).

After being taken forcibly from his family, Saul is placed in an abusive boarding school determined to expunge his Ojibway traditions and knowledge. But he finds salvation each morning at dawn, practicing hockey alone on the school's makeshift ice rink. Saul's gift is undeniable: He quickly rises from his school's all-Ojibway team to the white-dominated regional circuit. As his skills improve and he gains notoriety, however, each of his victories on the ice is met by racism and hate. As the years pass, Saul must reconcile his passion - the game he loves, that allowed him to escape poverty - with the harshness of a world that will never make him entirely welcome.

Unfolding against the bleak loveliness of Northern Ontario - all rock, marsh, bog, and cedar - this is a singular story of resilience from a beloved storyteller.

©2012 Richard Wagamese (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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Heart wrenching and Humbling

I love hockey. My family has been involved in hockey since I was born. Richard Wagamese highlights the horrendous acts committed at the residential schools, and the generational effect it still has while simultaneously making you long for the arena. You follow Saul through his journey with his birth family, to the school, and again with his adoptive family. Every step of the way giving you happiness, then a reminder that weighs at the back of his mind. I found myself pausing to cry about Saul’s experience, knowing that it was a fiction based on the true testimony of many; too many. A haunting reminder of our past, our traditions, and the culture we live and breathe.

The performance was remarkable, and easy to follow. A must read (or listen) for all.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Moving Story

This story pulled me in and felt as though I was inside the mind or personal journal of the character Saul. it reminded me that every person has a deep story and past that is worth recognizing. #Audible1

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Incredible story, so well narrated

It takes a true storyteller to weave so much underlying emotion with so few emotional words used. The quiet and empty spaces leave one holding one’s breath.

I can’t recommend this audiobook highly enough. Although there is quite a bit of hockey talk, it is essential to the story. It is told in such a way that it rekindles a passion that might have been forgotten or overlooked.

The narration was the frosting on this particular cake. It brought the whole thing to life, giving it soul. I was disappointed when the story ended and I knew that this was a tale that had not only enlightened me, but had touched my heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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If I Could Rate Higher Than Five - I Would.

Beautifully written, and moving account of a young native man's life. This should become required reading in every high school in Canada. Raw, emotional, and spiritual recounting of the trauma lived by indigenous children in one particular residential school in northern Ontario. This is not easy listening but must be heard or read. Narration was the best I have ever listened to on Audible. Once I started listening, I did not want to stop.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The narrator sucked!!

The story was powerful, unfortunately it was severely diminished by the narrator. I don't know who decided the narrator should read the story in that stereotypical virtually comical, this is what I imagine what Indians should sound like, voice. it detracts from the seriousness of the subject and makes it difficult to listen to. I really wish I would have bought the book and read it instead.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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incredible

not that I've read/watched much competition, but this is now my favourite hockey story. Going to go read some non-fiction on residential schools now.

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A heartbreaking tale

I truly enjoyed this. My heart ached, cheered, adored, swooned. A truly amazing novel.
I loved the narrator.

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Beautifully written about a dark past

The truth about the residential schools is shadowed just enough to see and hear about the beauty and joy a young boy learned from his love of the game. The emotions expressed by Wagamese are tangible and felt through the performance by Ryll. An amazing and true to life story about a dark past that no child or people should have ever gone through. The turn taken in the last half of the book make it hard to hear at times, but it was someone else's truth.

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Indian Horse is AMAZING

As an Anishinaabe woman I appreciate, live and highly respect Richard Wagamese and all of his work. Indian Horse is a wonderfully written novel. It has left me with feelings of losing and finding family, sadness, loss, anger, hatred, longing, more sadness and overall healing. Residential Schools have left scars on the survives, like Saul, the generations after, and the ones still to come.

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Really good book

Very well narrated. I listened to to whole book in a few days. Highly recommend.

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  • ruthemily
  • 2019-10-07

Important Read

One of the rare cases where I seen the movie before I read the book. Richard Wagamese weaves a remarkable story (based on a culmination of true accounts) of the Indian Boarding Schools that many Native American and First Nation children were sent to after being kidnapped from their families. What many people do not realize is that these schools did not close until 1990's and there are so many horrifying tales of what happened to the Native children who went there and who never left. Beautifully written, and achingly tragic, I highly recommend this story for every American and Canadian citizen so everyone can understand an important piece of what is not taught in history classes today.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • jaynell
  • 2019-04-18

educational inside look

sad and interesting. educational and new understanding. amazing stories and never had me uninterested. watched the movie also.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-12-06

A Gem.

This book was not my first choice, it was a selection from my book club. I was very pleasantly surprised. It was beautifully written the language creating vivid imagery and very evocative. The subject was painful at times but was not graphic, and was dealt with honestly. I would recommend this.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-11-08

Amazing

I loved this book the storyline was so good I was forced into reading this book my my English teacher thanks for pushing me to read what an amazing book

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  • Chris Stephens
  • 2018-10-11

Everything and More!

A book all indigenous people and indigenous allies should read / listen too. It goes beyond the pain of residential schools into the healing that survivors go into. I loved the story - I was drawn to the characters and to the light behind the pain. Such a fantastic book!

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  • Hard Stop Publishing @hardstoppublish
  • 2018-10-05

Amazing journey

This book and performance was incredible. I have not been moved by a book in a very long time and this had me vacillating between sadness and joy throughout. I highly recommend this to everyone.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-05-29

good storyline

powerful and sad, although the ending was encouraging. This would be a good story for anyone unfamiliar with the Indian schools.

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  • jacy davis
  • 2018-04-29

Read and share!

Read if you dare., A truth so many Native American nations endured. So many loss, so many in the struggle, so many generational heartaches. The ripple.