The narrator lives on a Montana reservation with his outspoken mother Teresa, her new husband Lame Bull, and memories of his father and brother Mose -- the latter killed at fourteen in an automobile accident so meaningless it permeates his life with its own kind of symbolism. He dreams about the woman people thought his wife -- a worthless Cree who stole his gun and an electric razor he couldn't use anyway because there's no electricity in his house. He helps his stepfather with the harvest. When he finally does get to town, a long car and bus ride away, it is to get drunk, walk in and out of strange bedrooms with women whose faces he doesn't remember, get beaten up for no good reason, and to accept drinks from white men whose lies are no more real than his own life. It is a world in which time passes in odd jerks -- the world of a drunk in which minutes stand out with stunning clarity but the days disappear -- all of which he accepts as naturally as the lack of money, discrimination, and the copped-out Indians who accept the governance of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the rigged tribal elections. A laconic, extremely naturalistic dialogue fits oddly well with a prose so spare it emerges on the far side of poetry. A very fine first novel.