Reader reviews and comments on Museum of Human Beings, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Museum of Human Beings

By Colin Sargent

Museum of Human Beings
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Dec 2008,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Nov 2009,
    352 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 1 of 1
There is 1 reader review for Museum of Human Beings
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

John Michael Cummings, author of The Night I Freed John Brown (06/16/09)

A Wonderful Work of Fiction--Rooted in America’s Legendary Past
In Museum of Human Beings, author Colin Sargent focuses on the life of a relatively little known character associated with one of the most famous American sagas —the Lewis and Clark expedition—spinning a wondrous tale spanning more than six decades. In this well-paced debut novel, we experience the new and old world through the eyes of Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, the half-breed son of Sacagawea, the expedition’s Shoshone guide to the Pacific Ocean.

Raised by William Clark after Sacagewea’s death, Jean-Baptiste, affectionately nicknamed “Pomp,” desperately seeks his white foster father’s approval and acceptance – a piercing desire thwarted throughout his lifetime despite Pomp’s eager willingness to abandon his mother’s Indian ways and immerse himself in learning the white man’s culture. But despite his keen aptitude for learning, Clark instead sends him away to Europe to be educated under the tutelage of the debauched Duke Paul of Germany. Trained by the Duke as a concert pianist, Jean-Baptiste tours Europe, but finds little more acceptance in the old world, where he is viewed by almost all as nothing more than an entertaining American oddity – a savage “dancing bear.”

Disillusioned by his experiences in the supposed civilized world, Baptiste, upon his return to America, enters a new phase of his life, one more attuned to his Indian heritage, spending many years living in the wilderness as a fur trapper. Eventually, he becomes an Indian guide for the U.S. Army, leading an expedition to the Pacific, where his story began so many years earlier.

Sargent skillfully lays out these historical details without sacrificing the pacing of the story and while presenting Baptiste as an engaging though deeply troubled character. Indeed, this novel would succeed as a pure work of fiction, even if Baptiste were not the son of a famous Indian woman rooted in America’s legendary past.

Sargent’s command of language is remarkable, undoubtedly owing to his background as a poet. He writes with an obvious appreciation of the nuances inherent in the words heard and spoken by someone like Baptiste, who, apparently like the author, is a man who never ceases to be amazed by “language’s power to be either a wall or a way to move between worlds.”
  • Page
  • 1
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...
  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin
  2.  170The Weight of Blood:
    Laura McHugh

All Discussions

Who Said...

Children are not the people of tomorrow, but people today.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.