This is a deeply moving book about origins and endings, about honoring life, honoring the dead, and finding redemption in unlikely places.
©2007 Jim Harrison; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Harrison's characters speak with a gripping frankness and intimacy about their own shortcomings and delve into their grief with keen sympathy." (Publishers Weekly)
"Harrison sounds the themes he has been working out over the course of his long and prolific career, including the healing power of nature and the deep connection between the sensual and the spiritual....Harrison displays a seemingly effortless ability to present abstract issues in earthy, muscular prose." (Booklist)
I joined mission Audible in April 1997, contributed in some small way to its growth and maturity, and left at the end of 2012.
Jim Harrison's novels are great American stories filled with richly drawn characters. His writing is deeply literate and honest. He writes about fundamental truths. "Returning to Earth" is a beautiful story set at the end of one man's life. It focus's with Harrison's usual poetic brilliance on how he and his extended family choose to deal with that ending. It has profound life lessons for all. Highly recommended.
The main character's reader is not cast well, and the voice is too professional-voice-over-ish to work. It's way too radio announcer-ish for me to believe he was an Indian. Additionally, the unexpected interjection of the wife's comments in a female voice are odd. I'll try this in paperback, but didn't love it in audio.
After "True North" this is one of Jim Harrison's best books. I would suggest reading True North first to become familiar with the characters. His writing style is a thick "stream of consciousness" woven into the lives of both eclectic and everyday people. similar to the narration of true north.
As a Michiganian and big Jim Harrison fan,I was a little irritated that the readers don't sound like they're from Michigan, and they mispronounce some of the place names. Maybe it's too much to expect that the narrators are thoroughly familiar with the story and characters, but it was especially irritating when a girl from Chicago was given a Hispanic accent just because the scene took place in Mexico.
Despite these few criticisms, I wish more Harrison books were narrated, as it's a great way to "reread" my favorites.
Jim Harrison is one of the greatest writers of our time. If you have not read Jim Harrison, True North, to which this is the sequel, is a good place to start. I give the performance only four stars because the first-person narrators should be from the Upper Peninsula and speak in a manner appropriate to their characters. It is unfortunate that, with most narration of fiction and autobiography, so little insight is used in casting narrators. The narrators of this book are all good; they just are not quite right for the characters.
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