• Neither Wolf nor Dog

  • On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder
  • By: Kent Nerburn
  • Narrated by: Tim Connor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (593 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The 1996 Minnesota Book Award winner - a Native American work.

The heart of the Native American experience: In this 1996 Minnesota Book Award winner, Kent Nerburn draws the listener deep into the world of an Indian elder known only as Dan. It’s a world of Indian towns, white roadside cafes, and abandoned roads that swirl with the memories of the Ghost Dance and Sitting Bull. Listeners meet vivid characters like Jumbo, a 400-pound mechanic, and Annie, an 80-year-old Lakota woman living in a log cabin. Threading through the audiobook is the story of two men struggling to find a common voice. 

Neither Wolf nor Dog takes listeners to the heart of the Native American experience. As the story unfolds, Dan speaks eloquently on the difference between land and property, the power of silence, and the selling of sacred ceremonies. This edition features a new introduction by the author, Kent Nerburn.

“This is a sobering, humbling, cleansing, loving book, one that every American should read.” (Yoga Journal)

If you enjoyed Empire of the Summer Moon, Heart Berries, or You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, you’ll love owning and listening to Neither Wolf nor Dog by Kent Nerburn.

©1994 New World Library (P)2018 Novel Audio Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Neither Wolf nor Dog

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Spell checked stories as told by Dan

First I must comment on one of the only negative reviews. Someone who mentions "white shaming" or my ancestors didnt kill or fight. It's about the land. By living on this land you must recognize you share a responsibility with the very people who destroyed this culture.

The book is very well written, and the audio book performance is outstanding. This book is the spoken words of an elder indian, merely written, spell checked and cleaned up by the author. The content could be considered sacred, as we are receiving a gift of wisdom from a man who has seen the plight of his people, over several generations. While some of what he shares is heartbreaking, he gives stories normally reserved for his people so that they can be heard, and hopefully inspire change. He speaks his mind and offers his perspective on both the present and the past. It offers an insightful understanding of the differences between our cultures.

If you bought this book with the hope's of finding some mystical power or expectations of taking some anti dotel wisdom to apply to your life.. consider that people today wish to become like the first people, or indians for a reason.. listen for those reasons.

14 people found this helpful

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Powerful

This is a story that is rich with perspectives on so many topics of the past, present, and future; it should be including in reading lists for students and adults who have been either knowingly or unknowingly deprived of this knowledge and understanding. I wish politicians and policy-makers would be required to read it.
The Audible version added a layer of understanding that I would have missed by reading alone. Well-done. Recommended.

12 people found this helpful

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The Old Ways

Being a Native American myself, this book was a great representation of our elders' thoughts, mindset, insight and stories of the old ways. A good read! Makes me want to sit down and record my father's thoughts also, he's 80.

9 people found this helpful

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good read

this book was a good, real story. I can identity with all the content. I am full blooded Lakota. the information in the stories hits me at the heart. thank you

9 people found this helpful

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I was left speechless....

I was expecting to be left with the looming feeling of frustration and shame with the history of our country as the book guides through its entirety. But instead my heart felt full, and understanding washed through me. What an amazing opportunity that the author can share his experience and the gift that he was givin by this elder. If you are interested in Indian history and identify as a Native American Ally it's is a no brainer must read.

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I feel that Kent Nerburn would not approve.

Audible has ruined the experience of reading this wonderful book. At the very end of the book, the time you would close the book and think about it, audible comes in with its blurb, requesting a review, etc. I couldn’t see a place on the screen to make it stop, a place to shut it off to ponder the book that I just completed. How irritating! They really ruined it and I doubt the author would approve.

4 people found this helpful

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A lot of food for thought

I must admit: I got tired of being beat up as a white person. But if you can survive the beating, there is a lot of good information, a really great story line and a wonderful performance. The author made it really easy to enter into the story. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to really stretch and grow. There is a lot of food for thought.

4 people found this helpful

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Embrace honor and community, let go the mysticism

There's a lot here to like, though in the years since its first release, I'd have to say there have been more compelling books expressing the same ideas. Despite an early promise not to present Indians (the inaccuracy of that term is sufficiently acknowledged and reluctantly accepted) as either pathetic drunkards or wise mystics attuned to the cosmos, the book tends to stumble into the latter trope. Partially pulling the leg of the wasi'chu chronicler, and partially channeling truly held mythology, Dan the elder shares oral history, equal parts legitimate Lakota history, stinging personal grudges, and magical Native wisdom. It's the last part where the book gets wobbly. Communing with nature and honoring community are all aspirational goals. But it gets a bit too (to use modern parlance) woo-woo in its Great Spirit and Jesus narratives, assigning mysticism an importance not entirely deserved. After all, the supposed spirituality of "listening to the birds and rocks", at the end of the day, is really just scientific inquiry, as prosaic and un-Indian as that may seem. Dan doesn't like being called a wise old Indian, but it he knows enough to use it to his advantage.

As mentioned, there's a lot to like in the book, and if I'd first encountered it when initially released nearly 30 years ago, it very well may have had a larger impact. But thankfully, with that time and a slight bit of wisdom of my own, I can more rationally separate the wheat from the chaff. Native people have a lot to teach about how to live, and that is a blessing. It isn't mystical or magical, an sometimes flawed. But that makes it all the more human.

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Road Trip

This was a perfect choice to listen to as we road tripped ourselves through North Dakota and South Dakota.

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Neither Great nor Horrible.

The voice of the audio book is by far the best aspect of this experience. Although the book does have some kernels of inspiration and moments that allow the reader to reflect and admire the rich and wonderful history of the American Indian (and the horrendous treatment at the hands of the white man) the road-trip rantings of one aging Lakota Indian make for an experience that leaves you wanting to exit the car. At first I was a willing passenger; but after the driver veers off course, retraces the same pot-holed road several times and never stops to ask directions - I cannot help but think more highly of the “Serenity Prayer”: “god grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.”

1 person found this helpful

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  • KK
  • 06-07-20

Both the book and the narrator are brilliant

The book was both moving and interesting.
It is a true story, taking the form of a real-life journey and joined, metaphorically, by the reader. The Indian Elder and the writer are exceptionally eloquent, and the other characters come to life well, too. The narrator is also outstanding, making the audiobook a good choice. In addition, it's easy to follow and always clear who is speaking yet without any feeling that the accents are put on.

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  • Rachele
  • 07-26-22

One of the worst book I ever read!

Boring, without direction. Trust me avoid it if you can. I don't understand how can this book became a best seller.

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  • Helen K
  • 05-23-20

Surprising

I had no idea what to expect but Neither Wolf Nor Dog delivered so much more. A good listen it is also thought provoking, challenging ways of thinking about and understanding history, values and “modern” life. A happy chance to have stumbled across it, I’m now contemplating listening to another of Kent Nerburn’s books on Dan

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  • LaneyB
  • 07-02-20

Interesting

I found this book interesting but did not finish it. it was not what I was expecting. I sympathize with the natives in their plight and apologize for the greediness of the interlopers of the time.

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  • Philip Winter- G E M | P L U S
  • 06-04-20

Worth the read? Yes!

A simple but worthy story about a man who is tasked with translating a belief and morals from another culture. A nice recount of a man’s journey whilst out “learning “.
There’s not much I didn’t like of this tale except that I could have listened to a bit more.
This book could perhaps open one’s eyes a little bit wider than they are now.

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