I read this book because the movie was so compelling. Fortunately, the movie follows the book and does not disappoint, however, Michael Blake's writing is not to be missed; it is a stirring story, made more personal by the author's writing. I felt John Dunbar's restless spirit and enjoyed the discoveries he made about himself and his relationship to other humans. His curiosity and understanding and also child-like acceptance of others - humans or wolves - was enlightening
Dances With Wolves is a sweeping epic about one man’s journey, both external and internal, to find the place where he belongs. Set in the mid-1860’s the story of Lt. John Dunbar finding his path through Civil War battles, military postings and finally to the natural wonder of both the American prairies and the Comanche Indians is a wonderful read.
I won’t go into plot details here as so many have seen the movie which follows the book closely. The author, Michael Blake studied Indian history for years before writing this book so his knowledge on their day to day life is extensive. Blake paints a vivid picture of the Comanche and certainly captured how the Indians lived in rhythm with nature.
The arrival of the white people on the American prairies was a tragedy for the Indians. As the buffalo were slaughtered in their thousands, the mainstay of their life was stripped away. A way of life they had been following for thousands of years wiped out in less than 50. Their nomadic lifestyle was put to an end by farms and fences. This story foreshadows the sorrowful outcome of these events.
I found this to be a powerful, stirring story, one that I would consider a classic of it’s genre. The movie based on this book with it’s stunning visuals is also a Classic Western, one not to be missed. I definitely recommend Dances With Wolves to anyone with an interest in the American West.
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