Smoke Signals: A Screenplay

ISBN: 0786883928
ISBN 13: 9780786883929
By: Sherman Alexie

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About this book

Set in Arizona, Smoke Signals is the story of two Native American boys on a journey. Victor is the stoic, handsome son of an alcoholic father who has abandoned his family. Thomas is a gregarious, goofy young man who lost both his parents in a fire at a very young age. Through storytelling, Thomas makes every effort to connect with the people around him: Victor, in contrast, uses his quiet countenance to gain strength and confidence.When Victor's estranged father dies, the two men embark on an adventure to Phoenix to collect the ashes. Along the way, Smoke Signals illustrates the ties that bind these two very different young men and embraces the lessons they learn from one another.

Reader's Thoughts


Read this with my class every year. They love it and I love it.


This is a screenplay, so it was interesting to read from that perspective. I love Sherman Alexie's writing but I feel like a lot of the beauty gets lost in the stage directions. This is basically a film made up of the short stories included in "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" so I would recommend just reading the short stories.The book does include a description of which scenes were changed in the movie and why. So I imagine if you were really into film makeing, or just a fan of behind the scenes information it would be really great. As I am not really either I only found it mildly interesting and only read about 1/3 of the commentary at the end.


LOL, I loved the native humor :)

Jay Michael

one of the best


This screenplay is pretty funny, but not my favorite Native American piece I have read.

Dakota Lane

what a brilliant darling funny one this is.


Love Sherman Alexie. An American Indian writer's voice all it's own. Honest, brave, and full of reality. Wake-up and listen--important insights.


I actually have not read this screenplay but if you have not seen the movie, rent it. It truly is an excellent movie and the dialogue is superb.


I really liked this movie. I should read this.


ok, I didn't read it but the movie was great!

Nicole Crocker

The story is good, I just wish it was longer! :)

Elizabeth Long

I really did like the story line and the fact that this story was written by, co-produced, and acted out all by Native American Indians. I am not a fan of reading screen plays at all, but did find the book very emotional and entertaining

H.M. Jones

Hey, Victor!


This is a great example of a revisionist western from the American Indian perspective. In addition to focusing on reservation life, the characters in the story are handling a difficult family drama in which a son must go on a journey to see to his father's burial. This father, a severe alcoholic, abandoned the family in an attempt to escape his guilt from a terrible accident.It is, surprisingly, very funny. The main character is the lone wolf type, but he is forced to go on the journey with his dorky, annoying, and incredibly endearing acquaintance. Both men grow as the journey progresses. It's a great screenplay and an excellent movie.


This story/film was taken from Alexie's book "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfighting in Heaven". If you haven't seen the movie, RUN TO THE VIDEO STORE, RENT IT, and WATCH IT! EXCELLENT!!!!

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