Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas KingGreen Grass, Running Water by Thomas King

Green Grass, Running Water

byThomas King

Paperback | July 15, 1999

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NAT IONAL BESTSELLER • FINALIST FOR THE GOVERNOR GENERAL’S AWARD FOR FICTION • WINNER OF THE
CANADIAN AUTHORS’ AWARD FOR FICTION • AMONG THE BEST CANADIAN FICTION OF THE CENTURY (QUILL &
QUIRE) • A CBC CANADA READS FINALIST (2004)


Welcome to the town of Blossom—part myth, part hilariously off-kilter reality.Green Grass, Running Water is the story of five Blackfoot Indians whose existences connect in ways that are at once coincidental, comical and cosmic. This is a rich tale, weaving magical humour, revisionist history, nostalgia and myth into one bright whole.

Green Grass, Running Water’s timeless appeal has kept it flying off bookstore shelves since it was published in 1993. Enhanced with a P.S. section, this edition introduces a new generation of readers to King’s unique take on contemporary human experience.

Thomas King is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter and photographer of Cherokee and Greek descent. His acclaimed, bestselling fiction includesMedicine River;Truth and Bright Water;One Good Story,That One; andA Short History of Indians in Canada. In addition to its many award distinctions,Green Grass, Running Wat...
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Title:Green Grass, Running WaterFormat:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.2 inPublished:July 15, 1999Publisher:HarperCollins

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0006485138

ISBN - 13:9780006485131

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A master storyteller King is a master storyteller. This is one of his best.
Date published: 2017-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Read This is a great story that made me laugh out loud at times. Thomas King is now one of my favorite writers, and I encourage anyone who likes to laugh and who appreciates aboriginal culture to read this book and all of his others.
Date published: 2017-04-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from love it Great book, Makes you laugh. Up lifting story and the symbols used are amazing.
Date published: 2017-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Love This Book This is my new favorite book. It is so funny and yet touches on some very serious topics. It kept me laughing and got me thinking all at the same time. I really cannot get enough Thomas King
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I can't get enough Thomas King We had to read this book in a university English class and I loved it. It was the first book I read by an aboriginal author and the style is so different than anything I had read before. This book encouraged me to seek out the rest of Thomas King's work and it also didn't disappoint. While this book can seem a little 'choppy' I think that is, in many ways, part of the charm. #PlumReview
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A Sad, Sad Loss Here's a book I wish I had never read again. I walked away from my first reading with overwhelming feelings for Thomas King's story. I thought it one of the best books I'd ever read. It leapt to the top of my unofficial favourite books list, and I couldn't wait to read it again. The playful subversiveness of Coyote, King's post-colonial exploding of the Lone Ranger, Ishmael, Hawkeye, and Robinson Crusoe (popular culture's great "friends" to indigenous peoples) as their true "Native" selves, lame salesman Lionel Red Cloud and his sell out Hollywood father, big dams, big floods and big trouble, all made me gush my love for Green Grass, Running Water. I did wait to read it again, though. Life and lots of books got in the way, and I read it five years later. The experience was nothing like the first time. I still enjoyed bits of King's story, and I found his post-colonialism as attractive as ever, but the shine was completely gone. It was like the crush one develops on an actor, only to discover that they are wrinkled and blemished and pasty without their make-up; the shift in perception doesn't change their skill, but the joy of the crush dissipates in a steam burst of reality. But I still held King's book in high esteem, so when I was teaching Aboriginal students I chose Green Grass Running Water for our novel. I felt sure that a Native perspective would rekindle my love for Coyote's great adventure, but I was disappointed again, and I have remained so ever since. Part of this might have to do with the fact that most of my students found King's narrative hard to follow -- so hard that most never finished the story and the ones who did were bitter that they read it at all. Part of this might have to do with the fact that I had to read their essays, a torturous debacle of little commitment and many misinterpretations ( and I think I might have tortured my students as much as myself by making them write about Green Grass Running Water). And part of this might be that my first experience with Green Grass Running Water came at the perfect moment for myself and the book to meet, and that moment could never, ever be recaptured. I wish I'd never reread this book. I would still love it, and I could recommend it to everyone. Now, the best I can muster is appreciation. It's a sad loss. Don't reread everything you love...you may live to regret it.
Date published: 2009-03-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Gr, gr, ru, wa! The story is based on modern native american culture. Although the way it is organized is quite funny, the book's great: it portrays that everything's connected, and there are probably many morals to the book (I just don't know or want to mention them). There are also parts of this novel connected to King's other novel, "Medicine River."
Date published: 2007-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!! Thomas King is absolutely brilliant. Racial identity, sexual identity, and religious clashes are all profoundly presented in King's novel. However, King intersperses the serious statements on Native culture with sequences that will have you laughing out loud on the subway. A truly amazing read.
Date published: 2005-10-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Can't say I'm thrilled with this book.... I don't see what all the hoopla is about this novel. I found King's novel to be long-winded and choppy. Just as your getting into one of the story lines, it changes, which I found annoying. Also,unless you have a good insight into Aboriginal culture and practices, I don't think you would find it funny at all. I'm amazed at how many awards and accolades King recieved for this book, but then again, maybe I just don't get it.
Date published: 2005-01-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Green Grass Running Water: Old as New Again Green Grass Running Water: Old as New Again A review by B. J. Baker, of the Novel, Green Grass Running Water by Thomas King. In his novel, Green Grass Running Water, Thomas King uses a variety of story lines intended to complement each other. These include, the Native creation mythology and Genesis, a pseudo-classic chorus of figures from 18th, 19th and 20th century fiction, and contemporary young native characters who endeavour to find their niche in life. These narratives combine to provide the reader with an entertaining, albeit disturbing, insight into the aboriginal perspective. In one narrative line, the mixed account of Genesis and the aboriginal creation myth of Turtle Island is hilarious and successfully highlights the awkwardness encountered when one attempts to reconcile the two contrasting cultures. King succeeds in raising this issue to complement the contemporary story lines, but the contemporary and mundane narratives seem to fade into secondary importance and even comparative insignificance at times. King ridicules the out-dated stereotypes that were perpetuated by old Hollywood movies. A native actor is rendered more “realistic” by the addition of an oversized false nose. A good-natured humorous account of him putting it on and chasing his wife around the house brings home the author’s point. Yet, the author goes too far in having old movie Indians kill John Wayne and Richard Widmark in a turn of plot in an old Hollywood western. That this is played on a wall of televisions arranged in the shape of the North American continent is disturbing, and forces the reader to wonder what is King’s larger message. On the one hand, King uses out-dated stereotypes of Indians to ridicule stereotyping, and on the other hand he uses old works of fiction to invoke out-dated stereotypes to ridicule non-Indigenous people. He invokes the characters of Hawkeye, the Lone Ranger, Robinson Crusoe, and Ishmael to target all non-indigenous North Americans as colonialists. Out-dated is probably the operative word here. Classifying the non-Indigenous as colonialists is a racist and unproductive line of reasoning. We have come a long way in mutual understanding and empathy since these out-dated stereotypes were conceived of and people on both sides of this cultural divide (as King would seem to have it) deserve more credit. Yet, Green Grass and Running Water is an engaging, witty, and refreshing example of native literature in the contemporary fiction genre. King competently masters the contemporary writing style and structure although he uses it to dress up out-dated and regressive issues. The more immediate theme of the difficulties that arise when people attempt to navigate the two contrasting cultures loses focus as a result.
Date published: 2004-07-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quirky, not profound I read this for a book club. I'm not sure that I will give it a thumbs up . I was expecting some good humour, but I did not laugh even once. I don't think it is a bad book, but it lacks passion, and the characters were remote.
Date published: 2004-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nicely done I, also, had the great pleasure of reading this book for my university English class. I thank the prof for giving the class this book to read rather than some of the more convenional books that are easy enough to stick on a reading list. First, Thomas King is a creative writer. I like that his chapters were as short an a page. Not something that most writers do normally. The characters have depth and fullness; true to human nature and divine. Overall and enlightening read which has you thinking twice.
Date published: 2003-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never Runs Dry... I too had to read this book for a class in university. However, unlike many books that are dull and completely tortuous to read, this one was exhilarating and hilarious! The overlap of plots and parallel universes made for an all round entertaining and insightful story that should not be overlooked by readers.
Date published: 2002-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The grass is green and the water runs I had to read this book for two courses I was taking in college. This is by far one of the best books I have ever read. The characters are all very amusing, they are easy to relate to, and i love how it all comes together in the end. It really is a delightful book to read.
Date published: 2000-01-11

From Our Editors

Through a combination of magical humour, revisionist history and muted nostalgia, this book transports readers to the fictional town of Blossom. As the story unfolds, Thomas King familiarizes readers with the lives of five Blackfoot Indians. The plot centres around Alberta, a university professor involved with two men who pull her into opposing orbits. There is also Charlie, a flashy ambitious lawyer; Lionel, the local TV salesman; Latisha, the manager of the Dead Dog Cafe; and Eli, a lost soul searching for the white man’s grail in Toronto. Although the characters live seemingly separate lives, they discover their existences are connected in ways at once coincidental, comical and cosmic in Green Grass, Running Water.

Employee Review

King has definitely created an insightful novel. He examines the stereotypes that have been directed towards Canada's aboriginal people in an interesting and comical way. His original characters leave the reader feeling enlightened in a non-threatening way. Simply an excellent example of often over-looked Canadian literature.