Black Hills Paha Sapa is a 10-year- old Sioux boy who inherits the ghost of George Armstrong Custer when he touches the general's body — or "counts… Black Hills Paha Sapa is a 10-year- old Sioux boy who inherits the ghost of George Armstrong Custer when he touches the general's body — or "counts… 2010-02-24 Fiction History Reagan Arthur Books
Book Review

Black Hills (2010)

Dan Simmons, Black Hills | Black Hills by Dan Simmons
Black Hills by Dan Simmons
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Feb 24, 2010; Writer: Dan Simmons; Genres: Fiction, History; Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books

Paha Sapa is a 10-year-
old Sioux boy who inherits the ghost of George 
Armstrong Custer when he touches the general's body — or "counts coup," 
as it's called — at the Battle of the Little 
Bighorn in 1876. The spirit communes with Paha Sapa up until 1936, when the elderly man plots to demolish Mount Rushmore, built on a holy Sioux site. Paha Sapa, who works there as a stonecutter, emerges as a complex figure struggling with a disappearing nationality and a shifting sense of self — not to mention the yammering id of the general's lingering spectre. Though some passages of Black Hills sink into tourist-pamphlet minutiae, Simmons (Drood) keeps the tale buoyant with his evocative prose and storytelling muscle. B+

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Originally posted Feb 17, 2010 Published in issue #1091 Feb 26, 2010 Order article reprints