What do you think?
Rate this book
305 pages, Hardcover
First published July 14, 2020
Comanche Chief Tosawi reputedly told [Union General Philip] Sheridan in 1869, "Tosawi, good Indian," to which Sheridan supposedly replied, "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead." - Wikipedia----------------------------------------
Payback’s a bitch, with antlers.You hide in the herd. You wait. And you never forget.
The headline kicks up in Lewis’s head on automatic, straight out of the reservation: not the FULLBLOOD TO DILUTE BLOODLINE he’d always expected if he married white, that he’d been prepping to deal with, because who knows, but FULLBLOOD BETRAYS EVERY DEAD INDIAN BEFORE HIM. It’s the guilt of having some pristine Native swimmers…cocked and loaded but never pushing them downstream, meaning the few of his ancestors who made it through raids and plagues, massacres and genocide, diabetes and all the wobbly-tired cars the rest of America was done with, they may as well have just stood up into that big Gatling gun of history, yeah?As seen in the above quote, Lewis maintains a running wry commentary on his own actions with imagined self-deprecating newspaper headlines. INDIAN MAN HAS NO ROOTS, THINKS HE’S STILL INDIAN IF HE TALKS LIKE AN INDIAN. Not exactly ha-ha funny, but there is a vein of humor throughout.
Really, Lewis imagines, he deserves some big Indian award for having made it to thirty-six without pulling into the drive-through for a burger and fries, easing away from diabetes and high blood pressure and leukemia. And he gets the rest of the trophies for having avoided all the car crashes and jail time and alcoholism on his cultural dance card. Or maybe the reward for lucking through all that—meth too, he guesses—is having been married ten years now to Peta, who doesn’t have to put up with motorcycle parts in the sink…Jones applies genre tropes, like , or a young female taking on the beast. Where it breaks from the Jason/Mikey Myers physical form is in giving the monster the ability to shapeshift. The monster’s targets are not bad people. They are decent people who did a bad thing. And it is something that Lewis has suffered years of guilt over. It would have been an easy out to have written them all as dark-hearted souls. I particularly enjoyed a gem of a sporting contest, the biggest game of the year, . It is riveting!
Death is too easy. Better to make every moment of the rest of a person’s life agony.
Particularly in the world today, we need to learn the lesson that, while there is certainly evil in the world, it is possible to overcome it. I have always had a fondness for horror. When I was seven years old, my mother took me to see The Crawling Eye, a cheesy sci-fi/horror flick that I loved. The Tingler came out when I was still seven, and I saw and loved that one too, maybe with my older brother. A few years later Mr Sardonicus. I can recall no trauma, although clearly I had mom’s DNA and enjoyment of horror films to support my interest. Jones makes a strong point about why it is important to stay the course while exposing your kids to these things. Well worth the reading.-----NY Times - 8/14/20 - ‘We’ve Already Survived an Apocalypse’: Indigenous Writers Are Changing Sci-Fi by Alexandra Alter
”It’s a good day to die.
I will fight no more forever.
The only good Indian is a dead Indian.
Kill the Indian, save the man.
Bury the hatchet.
Off the reservation.
Indian go home.
No Indians or dogs allowed.”
If the only good Indian is a dead one, then she's going to be the worst Indian ever.
In most slashers, it tends to become a muscle match—who can swing the machete the hardest. She doesn’t get to use the characteristics she’s been developing her whole life... I’ve always been uncomfortable with that. So with The Only Good Indians I was trying to make my stab at letting the final girl retain her own identity and win the day with compassion, rather than muscles.
Original page from Deer Woman: A Vignette (see Deer Woman: An Anthology)