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

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"...

Karen Critchley

This book has made me want to read more of Native Americans. I'm not sure I will read this one again. It's left me with a sad feeling.

Saad Rehman Shah

I started with the movie, but the movie wasn't engaging enough so I went for the book. And the book was great! It told all those little details which mattered so much, which though were shown in the movie, but somehow never got the attention. The book was very entertaining without being too dramatic, the characters were very human, yet very remarkable. Though the author didn't pull me in like I was there, but that's something one can't expect from every author. All in all, a very accessible, entertaining, catchy book. I finished that in three sittings. A very good recommendation for a weekend that you don't want to waste watching a movie, but want to be entertained nonetheless. But I never really found anything that I could quote, or a dialogue that would imprint itself on the reader's memory, the way the bits usually found in Twain's or Hemingway's writings do.

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.


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.

Keith Slade

OK novel about white man among Indians and adopting their culture. The movie is not bad too, but in the book it's Comanches not the Lakota or Sioux.


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.

Jane Sadek

Though I usually read a book before I watch the movie, I saw the movie first with this one. In fact, I didn't get around to it until years later,when a friend drug me to a reading by Michael Blake. WOW! The movie was a faint memory by then and I was able to start fresh - almost. Kevin Costner was indelibly marked in my mind as John Dunbar. Perfect casting and an incredible job of acting.Most of the book was faithfully followed in the movie, except for the end, it takes another tack - a more natural, believable tack. I won't spoil it so you can enjoy it.This is an amazing read. Everyone needs to know John Dunbar. I felt like I was with him as he suffered alone in the wilderness and came to be a part of the Indian tribe.The reason I got to hear Blake read was another book that goodreads doesn't have about a wild horse: twelve, THE KING. That my reading friend is a good book. It's a small beautifully published paperback with gorgeous photographs. Keep an eye out for it.

Devin 6th

I really liked the book it was good in the begining but in the end I didn't like it because it's when the white man tryed to kill the idains but they didn't I would recimend this book to any one because it was really good it was about a guy named John dunbar he was in army and his legs got cut up really bad and they were going to cut his leg off but he got up when they weren't looking and he healed and one of the sargents sent him off to a post and he was suposte to stay there until the rest of them came and they didn't come so he when to make friends with the idians and on the way he saw a girl cutting her self and he took her back and he talked to them and then he left the they came and he gave them stuff but know won came to see John so he moved in whith the idains and he got married to a girl that use to speek english but her family got killed and the cheaf took her in and they were about to move there camp and John went back to his post and the army was there and they saw him and he was deressed in the idains clothes and they shot at him and hit his horse and killed it then they capsherd him and they were taking him to a place and the idains came and killed the guys and and John when back home and him amd his wife left and they lived on by them selfs for the rest of there life and thats all I had to say about that book.

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.


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.


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 ^^


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.


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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