Black Hills by Dan Simmons
A Novel

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Synopsis

When Paha Sapa, a young Sioux warrior, "counts coup" on General George Armstrong Custer as Custer lies dying on the battlefield at the Little Bighorn, the legendary general's ghost enters him - and his voice will speak to him for the rest of his event-filled life.

Seamlessly weaving together the stories of Paha Sapa, Custer, and the American West, Dan Simmons depicts a tumultuous time in the history of both Native and white Americans. Haunted by Custer's ghost, and also by his ability to see into the memories and futures of legendary men like Sioux war-chief Crazy Horse, Paha Sapa's long life is driven by a dramatic vision he experienced as a boy in his people's sacred Black Hills. In August of 1936, a dynamite worker on the massive Mount Rushmore project, Paha Sapa plans to silence his ghost forever and reclaim his people's legacy-on the very day FDR comes to Mount Rushmore to dedicate the Jefferson face.
 

About Dan Simmons

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In his twenty years of publication, DAN SIMMONS has won more than 50 major American and international awards for his fiction. He lives in Colorado.
 
Published April 1, 2010 by Reagan Arthur Books. 511 pages
Genres: History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Black Hills

Kirkus Reviews

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Among the Lakota (Sioux), conventional wisdom has always held that Paha Sapa’s life experience was likely to be unconventional.

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BC Books

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In 1876 Paha Sapa, a young boy of 10 is at Little Bighorn, during the massacre and carnage of Custer’s Last Stand.

Feb 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Black Hills: A Novel

Book Reporter

In particular, there is one very telling passage when Paha Sapa meets with Henry Adams, the American journalist who seems to be able to see through Paha Sapa’s façade and recognizes the ghost rider he is carrying along with his own soul.

Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Black Hills: A Novel

AV Club

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The mountain is sacred to Paha’s people, and after a long, discouraging life, Paha has determined to destroy the sculptured visages of Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson.

Mar 04 2010 | Read Full Review of Black Hills: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Paha Sapa is a 10-year- old Sioux boy who inherits the ghost of George Armstrong Custer when he touches the general's body — or "counts coup," as it's called — at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.

Feb 17 2010 | Read Full Review of Black Hills: A Novel

Dallas News

All the monologues are addressed to Custer's beloved wife, Elizabeth "Libbie" Bacon, and by the time she dies in 1933, after 57 years a widow, Paha Sapa, now nearing age 70 and himself dying, has determined to be rid of the onus of the white man's ghost.

Mar 07 2010 | Read Full Review of Black Hills: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Justin Moyer Critical Summary Simmons's previous novels The Terror (2007) and Drood (2009) meld historical figures and events to occult phenomena, and Black Hills follows a similar pattern.

Feb 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Black Hills: A Novel

Large Print Reviews

Through Paha Sapa's eyes, and his visions, we see the interactions that occurred between the white colonialist and the native peoples, and the various ways in which the sensibilities and feelings of the native population where trampled upon in the name of progress - and greed.

Mar 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Black Hills: A Novel

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