[Read] ➪ Three Day Road Author Joseph Boyden – Transportjobsite.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Three Day Road

  1. says:

    My body hums with Nephew s pain and with the realization that he has come home only to die Xavier Bird has returned to northern Ontario after living through the hell of the fighting and trenches of WWI He is wounded, dispirited, and addicted to morphine The one soul who still cares for him in this world will journey several days to meet him at the train station and bring him home Niska, or Auntie , is the last of the Ojibwa Cree awawatuks, those that have rejected the ways of the white man by living apart from the ways of civilization She also has the power of visions, of divining, a gift that has been passed down to her from her father It is a three day journey back down the river, and as Xavier s supply of morphine dwindles away, Niska has little time to save this broken young man from the three day road and certain death Their morphine eats men It has fed on me for the last months, and when it is all gone I will be the one to starve to death I will not be able to live without it What struck me about this novel was that the Native American tradition of storytelling is very compelling here Author Joseph Boyden weaves together the first person narratives of both Niska and Xavier Xavier s story is unfolded through a series of flashbacks during his drug induced state Niska s history is shared with us as she recounts to Xavier the stories of her childhood and of her life as an isolated woman We learn of Xavier s best friend, Elijah Whiskeyjack Growing up together and learning from one another, these two later set out for the European front Here the horror and violence of the war is brutally but honestly depicted War will change a man You are forced to make choices that will ensure your survival But even in wartime, is there not a line that should not be crossed Can one go too far At what point does the instinct for survival turn to something worse perhaps savagery, madness Memories haunt and torment Xavier A striking similarity is made between the killing fields of war with Niska s stories of the windigo A windigo is one that has turned to consuming human flesh in order to satisfy his or her hunger as a result of desperation followed by insanity Can the absurdity of war be likened to the windigo Niska shares a vision she once had I knew even as a young woman that destruction bred on the horizon In my early visions, numbers of men, higher than any of us could count, were cut down They lived in the mud like rats and lived only to think of new ways to kill one another No one is safe in such times, not even the Cree of Mushkegowuk War touches everyone, and windigos spring from the earth We are left to consider where that line exists between survival and madness, senselessness Boyden will not necessarily give you the answers instead he will leave you with much to ponder I found this to be very powerfully written, with the strength being in the shared storytelling If anything was lacking for me personally, it was in the writing style itself The prose is fairly straightforward, which is fine and will suit many readers I did not find myself reflecting on the beauty of the language in this book Naturally, a war story depicting atrocities and what is worst in mankind may not necessarily be beautifully expressed But it could be Case in point All Quiet on the Western Front It is probably not fair to compare this book to that one, but having read the classic WW1 novel this past summer, I certainly could not help it I use this only to illustrate a point, however, and would not at all hesitate to recommend Three Day Road In fact, I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in learning about a piece of The Great War that is rarely covered in literature that of the Canadian Native American contribution to that war In his acknowledgements, the author indicates that this book was written to honor those Native American soldiers In particular, he references what he considers one of the most important heroes of the time, Francis Pegahmagabow, sniper, scout, and later chief of Wasauksing First Nation This is not an easy book to read but I am very glad to have done so From what I understand, this is Boyden s debut novel, although he did publish a group of short stories prior to this I can only imagine that his skill will shine even in later works, and I can t wait to read of those on my list I realized then that sadness was at the heart of the windigo, a sadness so pure that it shriveled the human heart and let something else grow in its place


  2. says:

    I found Three Day Road when a notoriously late friend was than an hour late to meet me and I had time to browse a local bookstore I didn t pick the book up that day, but i noted it Later, while near the bookstore I went back in and grabbed it The idea of the book crossed a number of vectors of interest for me War history wait, don t stop reading yet , snipers please, keep reading , and early 20th century Natives I expected it to at least titillate my love of snipers, and war and the romantic ideal of Canada s native people What happened in fact is I was reminded that the medium of the novel is meant for many things, but of all those things, first is and always will be story telling There are always messages, and lessons, and commentary in all human thought, and likely all stories But its so easy to become consumed by the desire to share an ideal, an idea, a view of the world we lose sight of the greater need.That greater need is to be captivated, carried, led into another world entirely To be entertained and touched To be free of our reality and it s annoyances, stresses and even sometimes joys And, in very rare cases, we need to find a safe place to feel fully than the concrete world might permit And it is through great story telling we are reminded how we can love characters in books Be stirred and impassioned by simple words be felt fully human confusingly through our emotional range and capacity to feel This book while not the benchmark upon which to measure storytelling, was still strong enough to remind me of this need It s the first book I can recall in some time where I could turn off my analytical mind and just go with the characters perhaps the last was A Fine Balance Even if you care nothing for war history, snipers, or native idealism you should read this book for its great characters and ability to bring you somewhere else for 400 pages.


  3. says:

    A novel that begins at the end, and ends with a beginning Three Day Road is a stunning debut from one of Canada s foremost writers, Joseph Boyden When Xavier Bird returns from WWI addicted to morphine and wounded, his aunt Niska embarks with him on a three day journey towards their home in the Northern Ontario bush As Niska paddles along towards their home, the reader slides seamlessly between Xavier s remembrances of his time at war and Niska s account of Xavier as a boy Central to the novel is the uncertain fate of Xavier s childhood friend and fellow soldier, Elijah Whiskeyjack As Xavier and Niska make their way closer to their home, so too does a stunning revelation about Elijah and Xavier s acts creep closer From its opening chapter, Three Day Road sets itself up as a book that would put me through the wringer The novel s descriptive passages are evocative and powerful As Elijah and Xavier traipse through the mud, muck, and murder of various WWI killing fields, I could vividly imagine their struggles and the horrific scope of the world in which they were forced to survive This is sharply contrasted with the expressive and majestic way in which Boyden paints the wild of Northern Ontario As alluded to earlier, scenes in which Xavier shoots morphine in the canoe allow for him to slip seamlessly back to the past The experience was much the same for me as there are never any hiccups as the novel shifts between alternate stories The book also resonates with authenticity the aboriginal themes, thoughts, and practices ring true and never feel forced Indeed, the three Cree leads are strong, fully developed and interesting characters whose cultural experiences deeply influence their world view Elijah and Xavier both fall victim to the torrid world of residential schools, and are enticed up by the promise of glory and adventure that the war will provide As Niska details her own life, we also see how government has smothered her culture as she clings on to her way of life Cree mythology also plays a central part in the structure of the novel and the Bird family legacy returns time and again to drive home a powerful theme There is so much contained in this novel that it is impossible to do it justice in a 500 word review The story swept me away, and though it does read slowly, it never felt as if I was putting in work to finish Xavier s childhood innocence, his devolution in Europe, and his attempted rehabilitation by his aunt are all told in tandem to make for a staggeringly ambitious first novel The writing is rich and illustrative, the story neatly tucked into place at its conclusion, and the characters are all compelling Though a challenging read in content, writing, and emotion, Three Day Road is essential reading for those in Canada and beyond.


  4. says:

    This seemed like a serendipitous discovery when I stumbled on it in an Ontario bookshop last week Not literally stumbled although, come to think of it, there were several piles of books on the floor there which gave browsing something of a parkour flavour But I had negotiated those hazards successfully No, I meant stumbled on in the metaphorical sense that I found it by chance Anyway, can we move on I have a review to write.So yes, I hadn t heard of Boyden before, but clearly he s something of a literary darling north of the 49th parallel in Canada less sure about Kazakhstan and this novel, his first, begins with what seems to be an entire chapter s worth of adulatory press cuttings to whet your appetite for what follows Apparently every critic and literary prize in Canada welcomed this one with open arms and legs By the time you have crawled out of Roman numerals and made it to the start of the story at page 1, you have been primed to be disappointed by anything less than a new Ulysses written on the Stone Tablets of Sinai, with jokes by the ghost of Lenny Bruce.It is easy to see why critics got excited about it This story of two Cree boys from northern Ontario who become snipers in the First World War shines a light on an aspect of 1914 18 that most readers will know little about, and it does so in the uncomplicated, present tense, flashback heavy style that is so wildly popular these days.Sure enough, there was a lot here I responded to and that filled a gap untouched by my other First World War reading It is inspired in part by the real life Ojibwe sniper Francis Pegahmagabow, the most lethal sniper of the war and one of Canada s most decorated who, as Peggy , hovers just off stage at several points in the novel But the scenes of chaos and misery from the Western Front are never allowed to take over, and they are always interspersed with chapters describing Elijah and Xavier s Cree childhood and family, juxtapositions that offer the reader a range of unusual and productive comparisons that can be made at his or her leisure This cross cutting between industrialised slaughter in Europe and the very different ritualised violence of native communities reminded me of what Pat Barker attempted with Melanesian islanders in The Ghost Road, though here the conceit is built much fundamentally into the book s structure.This is one of those books that goes for full on immersive storytelling it is all about spending plenty of time with these characters, seeing the trenches and the carnage of Ypres and Passchendaele through their eyes, learning, through Xavier s medicine woman aunt, about how the boys ended up in this place so far away from home.Perhaps the overriding motif is the windigo, that figure of Algonquian mythology associated with cannibalism and insanity Just as First Nations communities sometimes suffered outbreaks of internal violence that saw people turning in desperation to eating human flesh, so too we are encouraged to consider have developed nations in 1914 begun to cannibalise their own population through what seems to be nothing other than collective madness.I realized then that sadness was at the heart of the windigo, a sadness so pure that it shrivelled the human heart and let something else grow in its place To know that you have desecrated the ones you love, that you have done something so damning out of a greed for life that you have been exiled from your people forever is a hard meal to swallow, much harder to swallow than that first bite of human flesh.Much as I enjoyed the story and the general idea, I must admit there was something about the prose style that stopped me from ever loving this book the way I m sure many others will love it The prose isn t bad it just doesn t display much intelligence or wit there s a kind of flat, undemonstrative quality to it that, perhaps, is appropriate given its narrators but that left me slightly cold I couldn t shake off a vague sense of Creative Writing courses, reinforced not only by the present tense narration but by the alternating narrators in different chapters, and the metaphors that tried, I thought, a little too hard to show off their cultural background His skin is the colour of cedar ash in the setting sun There is also a certain amount of magic Indian stuff going on a face value acceptance of some of the Cree mythology and ritual that sits very uneasily with me.Still, this is a book I d recommend If you want to know about Canada s involvement in the war, and First Nations participation in particular, it s a brilliant introduction and you d have to be a hard hearted reader indeed to resist the melodrama of violence and insanity that Boyden skilfully builds up for his climax.


  5. says:

    edit it s been about a month since i ve read this and i m increasing my rating to 5 stars the plot of this book and the main character s thoughts have just stuck with me so much, and after finishing an 8 page paper about this book it just made me fully comprehend how genius it all flows together highly recommend.4.5 Stars.My war literature professor is just out here trying to make me cry, huh This book was beautiful It s gruesome and explicit, and at times highly uncomfortable, but it s not just a book about raw killing with no message The main character has such a fleshed out backstory and inner conflict and I was rooting for him throughout the entire book and just had so much empathy for him even though we re two completely different ethnicities and I ve never had to be in a war I m usually not a fan of a book being told through flashbacks, but this integrated it nicely and kept me interested enough in knowing what was going on in the past so that they end up where they are It s a tragic book, but I totally guessed the ending The reason I took off half a star is because I think I wanted finality in the ending, and there s still a few things I have questions about that went under explained Also, there were so many different flashbacks that sometimes the locations and experiences got muddled since all the trenches were very similar Also, almost every character in this that I liked died, so it s fINE.


  6. says:

    The gold standard for novels about combat in World War I has always been All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, first published in 1929 I first read it many years ago and have since re read it a couple of times.There are a number of fabulous goodreads reviews of this classic novel, reviews by Ted, Kemper, Larry Bassett, and Diane Barnes If you haven t read the book, you should read these reviews and then you may want to But I also wish to express my gratitude to several goodreads friends, who, through their outstanding reviews, led me to two WWI novels of which I was not aware.Fear A Novel of World War I by Gabriel Chevalier was originally published in 1930 It was the fascinating reviews of Mike and Sue that led me to a book that I was not aware of, but should have been It deserves to have the kind of recognition and praise that is accorded All Quiet on the Western Front It is that good.And so is Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden, published in 2005 Thanks to the great I m running out of superlatives reviews of this book by Michael and Tony I might not have found it otherwise.The interesting thing for me about the three books is that the authors are writing from three perspectives in that the first is German, the second is French, and the third is Canadian And yet, the stories they tell about young men from three different nations fighting in the trenches in France are almost interchangeable.The leadership, civilian and military, might have differed in the three countries, but the soldiers who did the fighting were much alike than they differed.There is a moral there.


  7. says:

    Book Review Three Day Road Joseph Boyden Viking Canada Penguin 2005 ISBN 0 670 06362 2 Once in a long while one reads a book that you cannot put down and the overall beauty of it leaves one gasping Three Day Road, is such a book It tells the story of Two Cree young men who find themselves in WW I fighting in the trenches of France as snipers using their hunting and shooting skills they learned in the bush growing up near James Bay The story begins with the protagonist, Xavier Bird, has returned from the war minus his leg and addicted to morphine Aunt Niska, Xavier s only living relative has paddled five days against the river current to bring him home Niska is a Cree woman who has lived in traditional ways alone in the bush much of her life except for a brief stay in a residential school as a child The story takes place during their three day return to James Bay Flashbacks to the battlefields of France, vividly told, and to each of their childhoods occur during times when Xavier is asleep, or drugged by the morphine that controls the phantom pain in his leg We learn Xavier is on borrowed time as his morphine cache is nearly gone The title Three Day Road has a truly layered meaning in the story We learn a lot about the traditional native way of life as well as the isolation natives must endure in the world of the wemistikoshiw the Cree word for white man We gain a certain insight into a residential school where Cree children are taken from their homes and fat Nuns abuse little boys and punish them severely if they speak in native tongues The historically accurate description of life in the trenches in France is excellent on par with the likes of Pierre Berton s Vimy Boyden s descriptive and narrative skill is terrific and a lot is included in the books 350 pages The book is a Writers Trust Award winner and one can easily see why I give it five stars but would give six if I could Malcolm Watts BA MSW Novelist Reflections from Shadow www.authorsden.com malcolmwatts


  8. says:

    5 starsI m not sure I ve read any other books inspired by the First World War, but I am sure Joseph s story is different than anything else ever written Agreed, I was slow to get TO it heard him read first chapter in Whistler 2007 , and to really get into it, but oh when I did, I couldn t turn the pages fast enough I read this, for the most part, on the beach while vacationing in Mexico I couldn t help but react out loud his battle scenes, e.g., are so vivid, chilling But saying that simplifies what is really a gripping, epic tale storytelling at its best.It won the 2005 McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year was shortlisted for the Governor General s Literary Award, and went on to become a 1 National Bestseller.I don t want to spoil the story, so I will simply say highly recommended But, if you plan to read Through Black Spruce Winner of the ScotiaGiller Prize , hold off, and read this book first You ll be glad you did.


  9. says:

    I m a huge fan of Boyden s work I was really impressed by The Orenda and Through Black Spruce, and loved his stories in Born with a Tooth When I finally got around to his debut novel, I think it proved to be a bit underwhelming.Stylistically, Boyden is as strong as ever in this one his writing is sharp, observant, and transportive The ways in which he weaves together both Niska and Xavier s stories is excellent And the tension that builds throughout between Elijah and Xavier is palpable I thought all the elements where there for a fantastic story, but it just didn t quite reach its full potential Maybe it s one of those it s not you, it s me stories Admittedly I m not the biggest fan of WWI narratives I thought many of the battle sequences and depictions of the European frontlines were redundant and did little to move the story forward I was most fascinated hearing about Xavier s childhood and Niska s recollection of the boys friendship.Nonetheless, I love Boyden s ability to write from multiple perspectives as he does in most of his books and create vivid settings If only it hadn t dragged so much in the middle this would ve been a better book for me.


  10. says:

    Xavier Bird struggles on crutches as he descends from the train in northern Canada in 1919 He is in terrible pain and addicted to morphine since a war injury resulted in the amputation of his leg The relentless horror in the trenches of the Western Front have also taken their toll emotionally His aunt Niska, an Oji Cree medicine woman, takes Kavier home in a three day journey in her canoe.The Canadian government had a forced residential education program, attempting to eradicate the First Nation s culture, but Niska had escaped into the bush as a teenager She later rescued her nephew Xavier, and his friend Elijah from the harsh environment of the school They were taught the skills of tracking and hunting game, and both became skilled marksmen The two young men volunteered for service in the Canadian Army, mostly because Elijah had a taste for adventure Their skill with rifles is soon recognized, and they become an expert sniper and scout team The taking of lives has a different cumulative effect on each of the two friends While one becomes repelled by the bloodshed, the other turns into an obsessive killer.The First Nation has a long tradition of storytelling As Niska paddles her canoe, she tells Xavier stories from her youth to distract him from his pain In flashbacks, Xavier relives the years on the Western Front in morphine induced memories Xavier s supply of morphine is running low Will Niska be able to heal her troubled, broken nephew The Canadian Second Division fought bravely in Flanders, the Nord Pas de Calais, and the Somme Joseph Boyden has melded history, First Nation culture, and good storytelling to create an absorbing tale The author s family background is part Ojibwa, and includes military men Boyden s World War I story pulled me down into the trenches, and into the sniper s nest I m looking forward to the next two books in the trilogy.


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Three Day Road download Three Day Road, read online Three Day Road, kindle ebook Three Day Road, Three Day Road c2ed9b990832 It Is , And Niska, The Last Oji Cree Woman To Live Off The Land, Has Received Word That One Of The Two Boys She Saw Off To The Great War Has Returned Xavier Bird, Her Sole Living Relation, Is Gravely Wounded And Addicted To Morphine As Niska Slowly Paddles Her Canoe On The Three Day Journey To Bring Xavier Home, Travelling Through The Stark But Stunning Landscape Of Northern Ontario, Their Respective Stories Emerge Stories Of Niska S Life Among Her Kin And Of Xavier S Horrifying Experiences In The Killing Fields Of Ypres And The Somme