Sherman Alexie, "The Toughest Indian In The World"

A Native American newspaper reporter picks up a tough guy hitchhiker who reminds him of the Indian warriors of old.

(from The Toughest Indian In The World)

Just when you think things are going one way, things go another. The ending is one possibile culmination of the tension built up in the story. Surprising, yes, but it never comes off like some cheap artsy literary device.

Some of the best scenes are the smaller moments. Things so sneakily poignant, you have to smile despite yourself. Like this one:

Inside the room, in a generic watercolor hanging above the bed, the U.S. Cavalry was kicking the crap out of a band of renegade Indians.

“What tribe you think they are?” I asked the fighter.

“All of them,” he said.

I found the story here, if you’re interested.

Hope nobody minds me going on a Sherman Alexie kick. I know I said I’d shoot for a new author each day. I’m doing research, here (for a tiny, tiny article). Also, I simply had to read this story because I had the book with me when I found myself with a lot of time to kill between bands at the Bright Eyes concert this evening. I was already feeling old, so just reading at a rock show (albeit one at the Academy of Music) seemed like a logical leap.

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