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Thursday Quotables – The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

Too hot to sleep so I walked down to the Third Avenue 7-11 for a Creamsicle and the company of a graveyard-shift cashier. I know that game. I worked graveyard for a Seattle 7-11 and got robbed once too often. The last time the bastard locked me in the cooler. He even took my money and basketball shoes.

The graveyard-shift worker in the Third Avenue 7-11 looked like they all do. Acne scars and a bad haircut, work pants  that showed off his white socks, and those cheap black shoes that have no support. My arches still ache from my year at the Seattle 7-11.

“Hello,” he asked when I walked into his store. “How you doing?”

I gave him a half-wave as I headed back to the freezer. He looked me over so he could describe me to the police later. I knew the look. One of my old girlfriends said I started to look at her that way, too. She left me not long after that. No, I left her and don’t blame her for anything. That’s how it happened. When one person start to look at another like a criminal, then the love is over. It’s logical.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie - Loneliness in the city of Seattle #shortstory Click To Tweet

quotation-marks4Ok, I’ll say it upfront: Sharman Alexis is my favourite author. So that you know.

This is from his first anthology of short stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, which is also the first thing I ever read of him. And truly, I fell in love right away. I’ve seldom ever come across such strong voice – strong and personal – and such a unique way of telling stories. Alexis’ stories always interconnect. You could say all his stories are connected to each other, but not by events or characters. It’s their soul that connects them. The message, if you’re more comfortable calling it so. Characters appear and reappear from one story to another, but they are never exactly the same characters. Episodes may recur too and still be not part of the same event.

It’s as if all his stories happened in the same universe, involving the same people, but everything is constantly changing, so you have to readjust all the time. You can never be comfortably sure of your position in relation to characters and situations. It’s like Alexis is constantly asking you to pay attention, because nothing is the way it looks to be, and even if you get a glimpse of what the truth is, that truth changes the next moment and you have to reconsider it again.

That’s why I love his storytelling.


Did you like this quote? Here’s a few things you might want to do.

  1. Head over to Bookshelf Fantasies, who sponsors the Thursday Quotables, and join in the fun.
  2. Post a quote on your blog and make sure to leave a link in the comment box below. I’ll be sure to visit and comment.
  3. Maybe you’ve read this author too and would love to share your opinion. By all means do it in the comment box below. I’ll never object.


  • Amara Lebel
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 11:46

    I really enjoyed this book, and the movie! Good choice.
    Here is my Thursday Quotables…

  • Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 16:01

    It’s been years since I read this book, so I don’t remember the specifics too well — but I agree, Sherman Alexie is an amazing writer with such a strong voice. I loved The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and I really do want to read more of his work. What would you consider a must-read?

    Great excerpt!

  • Post Author
    Posted February 12, 2015 at 16:54

    I’m still reading through his work (I bought The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, but I haven’t had the chance to read it yet), but so far, I love Reservation Blues.

    I also love his two films, especially The Business of Fancydancing 🙂

  • Margo Kelly
    Posted February 13, 2015 at 02:35

    I’ve not heard of this author before – but I loved the quoted section! Very intriguing. 🙂

  • Post Author
    Posted February 13, 2015 at 07:10

    Hi Margo, and thanks for stopping by.
    If you want to try Alexis’ storytelling, there is a vast array to choose from. He’s written poetry, short stories, novels and film scripts. He’s truly a fantastic author.

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