Hailed by The New York Times Book Review as a master who makes the ordinary extraordinary, the unnamable unforgettable, beloved author Jim Harrison returns with a masterpiece a tender, profound, and magnificent novel about life, death, and finding redemption in unlikely places Slowly dying of Lou Gehrig s Disease, Donald, a middle aged Chippewa Finnish man, begins diHailed by The New York Times Book Review as a master who makes the ordinary extraordinary, the unnamable unforgettable, beloved author Jim Harrison returns with a masterpiece a tender, profound, and magnificent novel about life, death, and finding redemption in unlikely places Slowly dying of Lou Gehrig s Disease, Donald, a middle aged Chippewa Finnish man, begins dictating family stories he has never shared with anyone, hoping to preserve history for his children The dignity of Donald s death and his legacy encourages his loved ones to find a way to redeem and let go of the past, whether through his daughter s emersion in Chippewa religious ideas or his mourning wife s attempt to escape the malevolent influence of her own father A deeply moving book about origins and endings, and how to live with honor for the dead, Returning to Earth is one of the finest novels of Harrison s long, storied career, and will confirm his standing as one of the most important American writers now working.
Returning to Earth Hailed by The New York Times Book Review as a master who makes the ordinary extraordinary the unnamable unforgettable beloved author Jim Harrison returns with a masterpiece a tender profound and m
A very satisfying read of an extended family in the Michigan Upper Peninsula finding their way through woods of life Harrison is among a handful of American novelists I most appreciate for a capacity to elucidate the interplay of the individual and collective sources of meaning in existence Likely many potential readers have encountered Harrison through the movie version of his novella Legends of the Fall Common elements here include a big focus on evoking a sense of a particular place and our r [...]
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The I think about this book, the I like it Ever since my Mom passed away last year I consistently hear comments like, she s looking down and smiling, which I can t stand It s so refreshing to read a novel that has a non Christian view of grief As it turns out, being part of a family is as amorphous as grief, and Harrison s stream of consciousness writing style allowed the characters to shape their stories one mosaic tile at a time There are plenty of well written passages, and I especially lik [...]
Middle aged man dying of Lou Gehrig s disease wants his family to help him end his life The consequences of that decision for his family and assorted relatives take up most of the book Broken into four sections, the novel reads like a series of linked novellas not surprising, given Harrison s great success with that form Though lyrically written and poignant at times, overall I found this book to be somewhat disappointing I ve read several other of Harrison s books Farmer, Warlock, Legends of th [...]
I just finished this book and so many different thoughts are racing through my mind My first action will be to pick it up and read it again At the crux of the book is a character, Donald, who is dying and trying to depart his story on to his future generations It is told in four parts each by a different charachter and this only adds to the depth and vision of the circumstances of Donald s life It is a poignant reminder that we do not live on the earth alone and with joy comes pain but it is wor [...]
Lyrical and at times dark I put this book aside a few times just to let the story gel a bit, then I d resume it Harrison was a gift to readers I will keep this one in my library for a long time.
This was the first read of my recent vacation, and while it s not exactly a beach read for sure, as the novel centers around the assisted suicide of a man suffering from Lou Gehrig s disease, the quirky characters kept me interested enough to stay engrossed despite the soft sand and blue skies and water Wait, is this a review of the book or of my fabulous vacation The novel is told from the inside perspective of 4 characters the dying man, his nephew, his brother in law and finally, his widow an [...]
This book wasn t life changing, but was a great, quick read The writing style was different very stream of consciousness and I enjoyed it I grew to love the family in the book and didn t want to leave them at the end
A passionate earthy man orchestrates his own poetic death The first half of the book is perfect A character named Flower is barely part of the story yet her shrewd, mystical, semi feral lifestyle haunts my imagination.
Wonderful Another classic from the great Jim Harrison.
Wonderful and made me sad that Jim Harrison is no longer with us writing books that are seemingly simple but majestic and filled with truths.
If I had known that this book centered around the death of a loved one, I would not have picked it up As it was, I only chose it because it was the only thing on the shelf by Harrison and I was looking for Legends of the Fall The book is about Donald s death and the way it affects the lives of his wife, daughter, and other family members For me, it was beyond mundane at some points I mean, I know death has every day repercussions, but some of it was just a bit too tedious for me There were other [...]
Sometimes the right book falls into your hands at the right time This book is one long musing on death One of the characters I hesitate to call him the main character, though his spirit dominates , dies from a terminal illness His family deals with the loss, but in not necessarily typical ways I also have a family member who has a terminal illness I hesitated to read this Glad I did The straightforward approach to death and the possibilities of an after life were refreshing As always, Harrison s [...]
I ve heretofore been skeptical of authors writing than one novel with the same set of characters, but no longer That s what Jim Harrison does sometimes This time included Returning to Earth is sublime It is in four parts, each part narrated from a different perspective At the end of each part, you strongly regret leaving the character who is narrating, and 10 pages into the next part, you have forgotten all about it Most writers can t come up with one attractive and realistic voice per book Har [...]
okay, i m going to come clean about a very un PC trait of mine i have an aesthetic aversion to native american culture it just rubs me the wrong way in film, book, what have you i m officially sorry and, officially, i can t help itat made this book all the surprising this sensitive and absorbing story of a father s death and the impact it has on those close to him is ingeniously told from the point of view of five of the story s characters in separate, discrete sections that move the story alon [...]
A respected regional writer tells the story of an extended family in Upper Michigan, some of them Indian or mixed blood, dealing with the dying death of Lou Gehrig s Disease the death itself occurs at exactly the midpoint of the novel of a beloved family member The story is narrated by four different characters, but their voices, all but the first, the one who dies, sound very much the same There is a sort of narrative arc to the whole not a story, really but the randomness of the details the na [...]
This book got a glowing review in the New York Times book review, so I didn t think I could go too far wrong Once I started it I almost abandoned it, but since it was summer and I had the time, I finished it I respect this book but I didn t like it Can t say exactly what was off it just didn t sing.
One of those books with all the literary flourishes that make you feel guilty for having to force yourself to finish it I mean, there are multiple narrators, and one of them is a American Indian b a gruff old man with a heart of gold who c has ALS I clearly have no soul, but I was really relieved when I finished this.
This is the second story in a two part saga about the Upper Peninsula of Michigan Patterson has a great affection for Native Americans and a clear grasp of the dynamics of well to do dysfunctional families He intertwines these themes expertly in this work
Audio was a little hard to follow, so I got the hard copy to read along I don t think I would have made it through the hard copy without the audio either, but an interesting book I m glad to have read.
Very good This is a well written book with complex characters and a sense of spirituality that flows well.
Returning to Earth revolves around the death of a middle aged, Chippewa Finnish man from Lou Gehrig s Disease and its effects on his family The title is a reference to Donald s view of death, but it also applies in a figurative sense to the other voices that narrate this tale, a step cousin K for Kenneth , Donald s brother David and his wife widow Cynthia.Quickly declining from his disease, Donald chooses the means, place and time of his death These choices reveal his religious beliefs which hi [...]
I think I m hooked on Jim Harrison author who can write an incredible book on food but also a moving novel written about death from four perspectives I could have read novel length book s by Donald, K, David, or Cynthia and been extremely pleased by the end of them I am left wishing I could hear from each of their voices, but isn t that one of the many effects of death, no longer being able to hear from them any longer I can t wait to read my next Jim Harrison novel This is a fitting first nove [...]
Harrison is a master This was my least favorite of his I have read so far which is to say I liked it The only problem was it was quite depressing Harrison is a giant Read all of him you can Also R.I.P.
This was my first Harrison read Written about real life, real pain of death and loss and dealing with the after effects Very well written Looking forward to exploring of Harrison s talent.
I have read most of Harrison s work He frequently based his stories in towns in the UP This book deals with loss, death and the healing of emotional wounds.
Loved this book So beautifully written The world seemed unacceptably temporary including love As The NY Times book review said this book is quietly magnificent.
amazing I cried reading the last paragraph.