Dances with Wolves

ISBN: 0972475303
ISBN 13: 9780972475303
By: Michael Blake

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About this book

Ordered to hold an abandoned army post, John Dunbar found himself alone, beyond the edge of civilization. Thievery and survival soon forced him into the Indian camp, where he began a dangerous adventure that changed his life forever. Relive the adventure and beauty of the incredible movie, DANCES WITH WOLVES.

Reader's Thoughts


Que deciros de ésta magnífica obra de arte... nada más y nada menos que mi libro favorito. Éste libro sin duda alguna marcó definitivamente mi vida, haciendo que me enamorara más aún de la lectura. En este libro te embarcas en los sentimientos de soledad del teniente, y, como poco a poco, sus sueños y su vida van cambiando, de tal manera que empieza a sentir una gran fascinación por los indios y su modo de vida. Dunbar aprende que en la vida no solo es preocupación por el tiempo y la guerra, si no que hay cosas más importantes como la amistad, la alimentación, el respeto y el amor... Con esta cautivadora historia, Michael Blake nos hace sentir como el propio teniente y sabe combinar la acción con la tranquilidad, a la vez que nos deja imáginarnos la pacífica vida del poblado. Tampoco me olvidaré de mencionar a "Dos Calcetines" el lobo por el cuál el teniente recibe su apodo, y que deberéis descubrir vosotros mismos. Os recomiendo fervientemente este libro, y si no habéis leido ningún western, tal vez sea hora de empezar ^^


Next is Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake. John Dunbar is assigned to an abandoned frontier army fort, with a wolf and a horse and himself. Alone. And no one alive knows he is there. Kicking Bird and Wind in His Hair, Comanche Indians, try to steal his horse, but it escapes and returns to him. They become fascinated with him, the Man as White as Snow, and often visit him, smoking and drinking coffee. He tries to learn their language, as they all wait for the buffalo. Slowly, he becomes Indian, even falling in love. Essentially, it's the story of how he becomes an Indian. I really enjoyed it. It reminded me of The Red Badge of Courage, which I read last year. The characters were interesting, and I had no problem with this novel, except that two animals die. I am waiting for the movie to arrive so I can watch that.


After watching the movie many times (beautiful visuals, great story, wonderful score by John Barry), I read this book after managing to get my hands on a copy.The story of Dancing with Wovles is engrossing. Lt. John Dunbar is a likeable character, and he symbolizes the ideal representative of the white culture interacting with the Native plains people. One improvement upon the movie is that Blake provides multiple characters' motivations by changing the point of view frequently.The book was an easy, quick read, and it proved very enjoyable. The movie version actually deviated very little from Blake's plot, and so I remain with a positive opinion of both the book and the movie.

James Lotshaw

I have always been a fan of the movie version, and while reading it, my mind kept referencing back to the events of the film adaptation, which is why when I ever got the chance to read the book the first chance I got.On the whole, the movie does pay a faithful tribute to the book, which really astonished me; however, the writing style is much to be left desired, because in almost every sentence begins with a particular character and what they are doing (ie. Lieutenant Dunbar...., and so on), which made this book very dull; however, it did provide some material not covered in the film adaptation. If the more adult material was removed from this book, then I would say it would be an excellent reader for primary school children.This is a book that deals with more with the emotional aspects and journey of the characters in Dances with Wolves, and the conversations that are alluded to at some points in the book are only expanded in the film adaptation (ie. Dunbar's and the Indian's attempts at conversation are greatly clarified and expanded in the film adaptation). In fact, there are entire parts of the book that have no dialogue at all, instead just allude to the conversation at large. Dances with Wolves is by no means a great book; however, it is a good novel to read.


Off course I saw the movie and it's one of my favorites of all-time. I had this book on my shelve for a while and with the theme I have this month I finally had the perfect reason to read it. We follow John Dunbar in his journey to discovering the Comache. The great thing about this book is that the American soldiers aren't depicted as heroes and the Comache as bad guys. I got a lot of respect for the Comache and disrespect for the American soldiers. They acted really cowardly and it really broke my heart when they killed Two Sox. The strenght of this books is that it isn't very spectacular but it doesn't bore you for one minute. And I love the change that Dunbar goes through, from being a Settler to joining a Native American tribe and eventually becoming Dances with Wolves. And the lovestory between him and Stands with a Fist doesn't dominate. There is a good balance between drama and romance. A fantastic start for my challenge of 2012.


Fortunately I had well forgotten the movie I saw years ago, without a shred of memory as to it's content, other then based in the west with Indians. I just happened to stumble onto this book for .50cents in a European book shop. English books are rare enough, for sale even rarer, so I scooped it up. That was only a couple days ago and I gobbled up this small novel in my very scare free-time. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The freedom the man felt time and again, brought me to tears on occasion. I wouldn't say it was the most fantastic work, but it was well written, simple and pure. The beauty of each thoughtful, pondering sentiment John had was well depicted and the story really resonated with me.

Birupakhya Dash

** spoiler alert ** Ah... the journey of Loo-ten-nant Dunbar from being the lone man guarding an abandoned outpost to being a Comanche warrior, is a treat of senses. The narration of the subtle details in such meticulous expertise has made me an ardent fan of this man - Michael Blake. In fact, the truth is that I always wanted to write, the way he does. I don't know how far I am in achieving it, but all I know is that the book is an awesome collection of emotions, and truly a treat to read. However, he has missed out in certain places. He (the author) mentions in the starting phase how much the girl - the milady of captain dunbar - longed for the blood of the Indians who killed her family, but she never gets to fight the Indians till the end. To be frank, I was waiting for a fight with the Indians, more than the English. The skew of Dunbar's opinion against the English, was something I had very much anticipated, and was almost obvious. Anyways, now that I am done with the book, I want to see the movie.

Rudolph Pascucci

I took this book with me on a paleontology expedition to North and South Dakota figuring what a better place to read it than in the area in which the story is set, the land of the Sioux. Surprise to me! The Native Americans portrayed are the Comanche, Lords of the Southern Plains as they were known. I last recall meeting the Comanche when I had occasion to cram myself into the tornado shelter on their reservation down in Oklahoma near Ft. Sill. But that's for a different review. Regardless of the switch in venue I enjoyed this book. Blake's writing is simple and straightforward, if you have seen the movie, it read's like Kevin Costner's delivery. The dialogue is very limited and if you are looking for all the wonderful Native American language references or translations forget it. And as I mentioned, it's the Comanche not the Sioux, so no "Shumani Tutanka Owachi". Sorry folks. Regarding the plot it pretty much follows the movie with a few different twists. As with any book vs film comparison you get a deep look into the motivations and thoughts of the characters via the text. In this case the book builds at a slower pace than the film and I kept noting my place in the book and wondering how Blake was going to wrap up the story (me thinking of the events in the film) with so few pages remaining in my right hand. He eventually does but in my opinion this is one of those rare instances where the film is better than the book!

Michael Stephens

I think that this book has a lot of interesting insights into the American Indian tribes culture and traditions. As well as having a very explosive and exciting story line that is constantly leaving you in cliff hangers not wanting to put the book down. I found the overall story of what happened to Lt. Dunbar to be highly intriguing, this was because in the beginning he was all about serving the military and being on the frontier expanding the U.S.'s reach all the way to the west. Then there's the exciting twist that you do not see coming. This book has many themes, but the main theme within this story is that you should not judge a book by its cover. Even though everyone in society was saying that the American Indians were savages and were below people. Once Dunbar got to know them, he saw that, that was not true at all. They were very civilized and a lot nicer than people in the white man society. I would definitely suggest this book, it is a good read and good story.

Tommy /|

As I had seen (and fell completely in love with the storyline) the movie - I had a fairly good idea of what I was getting into by reading the book. However, there were small changes in various places -- include tow huge plot changes that made the novel a nearly fresh experience for me towards the end. In the final notes, the author noted that he wrote this more as a depiction of daily life among the Plains Indians, and less of a story about how an American Union soldier changed his manner of thinking and believing by living among a tribe of Indians. As such, the novel captured this sense of living in perfect coordination with the land and one's environment in a very deep way. There were times I felt I was nearly experiencing Shamanic trance states through the marvelous depictions in several passages. I cannot recommend this book highly enough -- even if you have seen the movie.


One of my all time favourites. This book I recommend for almost anyone. it really gives the reader a feel of how the world used to be before all modern technology.

Tea Jovanović

Ples s vukovima je jedna od retkih knjiga koja je pretočena u film gde bukvalno nije promenjena nijedna reč iz knjige... Knjiga je ostavila dubok utisak na mene iako nije "my cup of tea"...


This was a great read---I had seen the movie and was familiar with the story, but the book gave me an enhanced appreciation of the characters and era in question. Blake is a good descriptive writer and made the story come alive for me. I admire him for taking on such a potentially sensitive topic, and found the book dealt well with any potential landmines. Not much else to say about it. A good read, and highly recommended.

Aaron Milavec

#2 Dances with Wolves is a 1988 novel written by Michael Blake. It was written as a possible source for a screenplay, and was later adapted by the author, and was produced as a film of the same name in 1990 by Kevin Costner, although there were many differences between the novel and film. The novel is set during the American Civil War. The protagonist of the novel, Lt. John Dunbar, is a white man who ends up in the wilderness and comes to live with a tribe of American Natives, eventually taking on the name Dances with Wolves.   Roger Ebert, a recently decease movie critic whom I always trusted, writes: The movie is a simple story, magnificently told. It has the epic sweep and clarity of a Western by John Ford, and it abandons the contrivances of ordinary plotting to look, in detail, at the way strangers get to know one another. The film is seen from the point of view of Dunbar (Costner), a lieutenant in the Union Army, who runs away from a field hospital as his foot is about to be amputated, and invites death by riding his horse in a suicidal charge at the Confederate lines. When he miraculously survives, he is decorated and given his choice of any posting, and he chooses the frontier, because "I want to see it before it's gone."  [The year is 1866 and the hunt for buffalo and wolves is in full swing.] He draws an isolated outpost in the Dakotas, where he is the only white man for miles around. He is alone, but at first not lonely; he keeps a journal and writes of his daily routine, and after the first contact with the Sioux [and with a lone wolf] he documents the way they slowly get to know one another. Dunbar possesses the one quality he needs to cut through the entrenched racism of his time: He is able to look another man in the eye, and see the man, rather than his attitudes about the man. As Dunbar discovers the culture of the Sioux [and of the wolf], so do we. The Indians know the white man is coming, and they want to learn more about his plans. They have seen other invaders in these parts: the Spanish, the Mexicans, but they always left. Now the Indians fear the white man is here to stay. They want Dunbar to share his knowledge, but at first he holds back. He does not wish to discourage them. And when he finally tells how many whites will be coming ("As many as the stars in the sky"), the words fall like a death knell. . . The movie makes amends, of a sort, for hundreds of racist and small-minded Westerns that went before it. By allowing the Sioux to speak in their own tongue, by entering their villages and observing their ways, it sees them as people, not as whooping savages in the sights of an Army rifle. . . . (source) This novel and film presents a whole new way of creating a “Western.” In the classical Westerns, there are clean lines drawn between the good and the bad, and, no matter how much the good are trampled upon and beaten down by the bad men, they rise in the end to wreck vengeance upon their adversaries. In these classic Westerns, however, every Indian [Native American] is a bad man raiding wagon trains or army forts in order to steal what they are unable to work for or to make for themselves. In Blake’s novel, however, for the first time an army officer has something very important to learn from the Sioux warriors that he periodically meets at his isolated post. The lines between good and bad are smudged. Now the white man is learning from the red man—a reversal of things. The film that matches this theme in my mind is “Avatar” (2009). In this high-tech film the industrial miners from planet Earth are ruthless in their drive to steal the raw resources that a local tribe of Na'vi – a humanoid species indigenous to Pandora—has inadvertently concentrated just under their ancient sacred tree. The film's title refers to a genetically engineered Na'vi body that can be animated by the mind of a remotely located human. The use of “avatars” was originally intended to facilitate contact with the Na’vi and to win their cooperation. But the military types are just as anxious to have this experiment at dialogue fail so that they can unleash their firepower and to get to do what comes naturally—search and destroy.  Roger Ebert says: The Na'vi survive on this planet by knowing it well, living in harmony with nature, and being wise about the creatures they share with. In this and countless other ways they resemble Native Americans. Like them, they tame another species to carry them around--not horses, but graceful flying dragon-like creatures. Then one single person, Jake Sully, a paraplegic former marine, makes a breakthrough. He is befriended by a female Na’vi warrior who decides that Jake has shown promise for coming to understand and appreciate the life and culture of the Na’vi. At a critical point, the spiritual Mother of the Na’vi bluntly asks Jake, “What makes you think that you can succeed where so many others have failed [to understand us]?” His response: “I am empty [of selfish aims and of prejudices]. Hence, I might be able to succeed where others have failed.”  This is the magic frame-of-mind that is needed. And this is exactly where this film meets Dancing with Wolves. Jake Sully and Dunbar are both wounded soldiers whose whole view of life has been pushed to the limits and is breaking up. Hence, they are open to a new start and a new understanding. Both soldiers no longer trust the solutions that come at the end of a rifle. They are empty . . . and ready to move into the unknown. . . . The encounter will surely change the future for both sides of the equation. [See my review of The Loop for more details.]


Absolutely lovely book- definitely worth reading even if you've seen the movie. There's a bit of backstory here that fleshes out the plot in a much more satisfying way, especially with Stands With a Fist and her late husband. I wondered why Hollywood swapped out the Comanches for the Sioux in the movie, and now I know why (though not from this book) If you care to read something more historical (but defintely less lyrical), pick up the book "Empire of the Summer Moon." The likihood of John Dunbar being anything more than tortured and killed is a pretty fanciful notion. The relations between the Native Americans and the whites is far more complicated than "Dances With Wolves" might have you believe.

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