"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. Read more...
"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-published one, 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 border aboard an Indian rock band s tour bus. The collection culminates with He Dog, never before published, which finds BD marginally employed and still looking for love (or sometimes just a few beers and a roll in the hay), as he goes on a road trip from Michigan to Montana and back, arriving home to the prospect of family stability and, perhaps, a chance at redemption.
"Brown Dog" underscores Harrison s place as one of America s most irrepressible writers, and one of the finest practitioners of the novella form.
Praise for Jim Harrison s Brown Dog:
There is broad comedy in the writing, but also tenderness, and never a moment when the reader isn t rooting for Brown Dog to get it right. . . . We would all be the poorer if deprived of Jim Harrison s first-rate stories. "The New York Times Book Review" on "The Summer He Didn t Die"
Brown Dog, an old friend to fans of Harrison, . . . boasts the rare ability to reject the frills and artificial complexities of modern life and keep to the basics. . . . Like reading a book describing dear friends. "Miami Herald" on "The Farmer s Daughter"
A 21st-century version of Huck Finn. "The Charleston Gazette" on "The Farmer s Daughter"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-09-23
- Reviewer: Staff
This essential collection of six novellas (including the never-before-published “He Dog”) offers an omnibus look at Brown Dog, a pure Harrison creation and a glorious character who will make readers howl with delight. From his first scuffling introduction in The Woman Lit by Fireflies, this boozy, backwoods, tree-cutting, snow-shoveling part–Native American from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wins over his audience with a bawdy, sometimes thoughtful tone. In these stories, he shambles from a day-to-day set of misadventures arising from some illegal salvage diving to a loopy picaresque jaunt through Los Angeles (“I just want my bearskin back,” he says), to something much more profound and redemptive, standing in as a father figure to several vulnerable Indian and partially Indian children, despite the absence of much paternal influence in his own life. When a girlfriend tells him he’s “involved in failure as a habit,” Brown Dog says, “I never felt I did all that badly at life.” He mentions a youth spent as a bare-knuckle fighter, but his greatest successes are usually horizontal, as he manages a string of unlikely, often alcohol-fueled sexual conquests, from Shelley the anthropologist, who schemes to get him to reveal the location of an ancient Indian burial mound, to a lonely Jewish dentist who wants to “go at it like canines unmindful of the noise they made.” Often moving, frequently funny, these 500 pages offer the best way to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with one of literature’s great characters. (Dec.)