Inconvenient Indian, The

King, Thomas

  8 Reviews

Pesky Redskins or Inconvenient Indians? Academic Thomas King weighed up both titles settling on the latter to better convey his perspective on the relationship, past and present, between ''‘Indians' and 'Whites' in North America. With land at the heart of the matter, the author delves into the history of the colonisation of Canada and the United States to examine the dysfunctional relationship that eventuated.

Rounded out with the story of indigenous resistance and the place of Indians in popular culture and tempered with wry humour and insight, this is a forthright and thought-provoking account that will resonate with New Zealand readers.

Comments from Groups

The author's writing style made a challenging topic accessible. Our discussion was wide ranging - and we learnt much we didn't know from reading this book. Wellington 194

This was not an easy book to read - far too much detail, and rather too full of negativity - though we supposed that there wasn't much about colonization to be positive or cheerful about, for indigenous people! Whangarei 004

A scholarly account of Indians and their history in Canada and the US. While being enlightened by many aspects and appalled by white abrogation of treaties and agreements, we appreciated his individual style of telling history, tongue in cheek. His humour managed to bring some levity into the narratives and add to our geographical knowledge as well. Picton 002

A challenging book for many members, and made us angry and sad. Many parallels with New Zealand. Most were pleased we had read it, but would not recommend it to others...Wanaka 013

Very diverse views! A good robust discussion. Some found the book too negative, sarcastic and text-book like, but others enjoyed the ironic approach, the humour and informative insights!! Educational and provocative. Geraldine 006

The book generated brisk discussion and heaps of further insights into possible occurences. Compelling! One we were hugely motivated to complete. Brilliant author! Picton 002



Our group found this book hard going, so much so that only one member managed to properly finish it. We all felt that it was a story that deserved to be told, a sadly familiar story of the harm done to indigenous people through colonisation, but it deserved to be told in a more interesting, less flippant, less repetitive way. Our dicussion focussed more on what we disliked about the style of writing than on the important themes raised in the book, and so we can only conclude that it failed in its mission.
A very thought-provoking book which engendered a wide ranging discussion about minority peoples worldwide.
NAP 007
We all found this quite a difficult read, but some enjoyed it more than others. Led to lots of discussion regarding treatment of native people in various countries.
NELS 044
Not our easiest book of the year, but we ALL agreed that we needed to read it. In fact everyone should - Thomas King makes a very difficult subject palatable; he carries the horrendous facts with humour.
It was interesting to read a personalised account of how indigenous people were treated by the imperialist settlers to the Americas. How the law was 'avoided' and overlooked was shameful.
CHCH 099
An amazing work of compassionate scholarship detailing the effects of colonisation on indigenous people since the 18th century. There are parallels with the way the English Crown and settlers have treated Maori people - deceitful treaties, land grabs, disease and wars. A shocking story, told with wit and satire...
We had a great discussion about the effects of colonisation in Canada/Us, and here in NZ. We found King's style easy to read and engaging, but all the facts, shocking as they are, were hard going after a while.
NELS 009
We made strong connections between the histories and challenges of this book, and the current situation in Christchurch and the rising of 'white supremacy".