The Literary Horizon: Indian Killer

Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie

“Part thriller, part magical realism, and part social commentary, Indian Killer . . . lingers long past the final page.”—Seattle Weekly

A national best seller, Indian Killer is arguably Sherman Alexie’s most controversial book to date—a gritty, racially charged literary thriller that, over a decade after its first publication, remains an electrifying tale of alienation and justice. A serial murderer called the Indian Killer is terrorizing Seattle, hunting, scalping, and slaughtering white men. Motivated by rage and seeking retribution for his people’s violent history, his grizzly MO and skillful elusiveness both paralyze the city with fear and prompt an uprising of racial brutality. Out of the chaos emerges John Smith. Born to Indians but raised by white parents, Smith yearns for his lost heritage. As his embitterment with his dual life increases, Smith falls deeper into vengeful madness and quickly surfaces as the prime suspect. Tensions mount, and while Smith battles to allay the anger that engulfs him, the Indian Killer claims another life. With acerbic wit and chilling page-turning intensity, Alexie takes an unflinching look at what nurtures rage within a race both colonized and marginalized by a society that neither values nor understands it.

via Amazon

This definitely comes from Nancy Pearl, but is always influenced by the fact that I really loved The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I’m behind when it comes to Alexie, but there’s no time like the present to get started, right?

Eva at A Striped Armchair absolutely adored it. The blogger at Buried in Print loved it, too. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review. Richard E. Nicholls, writing for The New York Times, found the darkness of the premise leavened with Alexie’s wit, but its edge by no means dampened.

Indian Killer was published in September of 1996.

2 thoughts on “The Literary Horizon: Indian Killer

  1. Thanks for the shout-out; I enjoyed browsing your pages. And I hope you enjoy your second Alexie as much as you enjoyed the first. It’s hard for anything to compare to Junior’s story, but this one has its own flavour and is unsettlingly good.

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