New York Times best-selling author Jim Harrison is one of America's most beloved writers, and of all his creations, Brown Dog - a bawdy, reckless, down-on-his-luck Michigan Indian - has earned cult status with readers in the more than two decades since his first appearance. For the first time, Brown Dog gathers all the Brown Dog novellas, including one never before published, into one volume - the ideal introduction (or reintroduction) to Harrison's irresistible Everyman.
In these novellas, BD rescues the preserved body of an Indian from Lake Superior's cold waters; overindulges in food, drink, and women while just scraping by in Michigan's Upper Peninsula; wanders Los Angeles in search of an ersatz Native activist who stole his bearskin; adopts two Native children; and flees the authorities then returns across the Canadian borderaboard an Indian rock band's tour bus.
©2013 Jim Harrison (P)2013 Blackstone Audio
I downloaded this story simply because of the title"Brown Dog". Call me crazy but by the time I finished listening to the story of the hapless, hopeless, gentle, unaffected man, I was in love. Such a wonderful depiction of North American wilderness added immensely to this sometimes very funny, sometimes excruciatingly poignant story. Some overtly 'scenic' reflections of BD's sex life made me laugh out loud and/or cry.
What a deeply "human" man, is Brown Dog.
I had never heard of Harrison or Brown Dog before this collection came out. I am so glad I took a chance on something new! Brown Dog is a rascal who drinks too much, womanizes too much, and works too little. Although not politically correct, I identified with him and laughed out loud as he found a way to make ends meet in the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan).
Although many will be turned off by this simple and self centered man, he is also thoughtful, soulful, and loyal. He takes care of and helps out those he comes in contact with and doesn't exploit those who are down on their luck. Happy and content to fish, and able to survive on very little, I delighted in his full on hedonism and acceptance of life as he found it.
What a hoot!
I was a bit startled with some of the activities BD got up to but as the novellas progressed I started to care about this man and how his life was progressing, (not always the most appropriate word to describe his passing years), not a good man or a bad one, just one who loved his part of the world. A worthy listen.
Well, the performers were pretty marginal. The first reader either couldn't read, or was trying to give the impression that Brown Dog, the main character was learning disabled, (BD certainly is not!) One of the later readers was so ignorant of rural life that he pronounced "mow", as in "The hay mow in the barn" as "moe", like "mow the grass". Are there no editors?
I enjoyed the sedately paced story of a free man dealing with the modern world. It is set in the same country, rivers and woods as Hemingway's "Nick Adams" short stories, but several generations later and from a very different, but oddly sympathetic viewpoint. The stories did nice job of taking me to the deep woods of the Upper Peninsula, with their natural beauty and the idiosyncratic characters who inhabit them, and showing me the world through the eyes of a man with far fewer inhibitions than I. Because I found Brown Dog"s view rather appealing, I'd be a little wary of recommending this as a good read to my very feminist wife. I might well get in trouble for even identifying with, much less, rather liking Brown Dog. A good, if not great book. Well worth the time and money.
There are 3 novellas here. The story is great in all three. However, the first 2 are narrated by the same person who does a great job, while the last one is narrated by a different narrator who makes BD sound like a simpleton. Couldn't finish the third one.
Jim Harrison is one of the best writers I have ever listened to. Brown Dog will forever be in my memory as one of the most unique individuals ever created in literature. How a writer could create such a detailed three dimensional character as BD is nothing short of genius. This is also a wonderfully engaging book with many unique characters, both human and animal, and upstate Michigan rural adventure. Lots of trout fishing, hunting and bawdy sex. Listen to this book!!!
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