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Brown Dog: Novellas Hardcover – December 3, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; 1St Edition edition (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802120113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802120113
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, December 2013:
Brown Dog is a maddeningly simple man. As long as he’s got a few crumpled dollars, or a dog by his side, or a bottle at hand, or a woman in his bed, he’s just fine. Ever since I was introduced to Harrison’s part-Native American alter ego twenty-plus years ago (in The Woman Lit By Fireflies), B.D. has felt familiar. He reminds me of my brother, of high school friends, of an alternate version of myself. B.D. is universal, a likeable doofus, an Everyman skirt-and-booze chaser, all id all the time. So why does he feel like one of the more complex characters in modern literature? Maybe it’s got something to do with the leavening offset of strong female characters, one of whom scolds B.D.: “You think each day is a fresh start, which it isn’t.” Or maybe it’s the looming breadth and beauty of Harrison’s playground, the dark and piney Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a version of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County. Across numerous books and many years, Harrrison has rarely veered far from the life of B.D., who can display “the warrior’s courage of four beers” one moment and weep at the memory of a childhood dog the next. In these six novellas--one never before published--Harrison reminds us that he’s still vibrant, still a voice for the underdog, still a true literary original. Writers like this just don't come around very often. And enduring characters like Brown Dog--a little bit Huck Finn, a little bit Don Quixote--come around even less frequently. --Neal Thompson

Review

Praise for Brown Dog:

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2013


“What Harrison does on every page of Brown Dog is have fun . . . not simply for the sake of delight but because he believes delight is as close to sublimity as humans can get. . . . The great project of life, he reminds us, is to sit still long enough to appreciate it.” —Anthony Doerr, The New York Times Book Review

“Brown Dog is . . . an everyman on the most fundamental level . . . vividly, evocatively, alive. . . . These novellas read like a nuanced conversation between author and character. . . . Masterful.” —David Ulin, Los Angeles Times

“Harrison’s writing is funny, generous, and bittersweet, with an unexpected, plain-speaking poetry.” —Andrea Denhoed, New Yorker (Online—“Books to Watch Out For”)

“There’s no mistaking Harrison’s signature style. . . . Brown Dog is rich in character and incident, rude humor and melancholy. It is both heartfelt and ruefully real.” —William S. Kowinski, The San Francisco Chronicle

“The delightful and maddening character of Brown Dog . . . [is] one of Harrison’s best-loved creations. . . . [Brown Dog] stands among Harrison’s best work.” —Tim McNulty, The Seattle Times

“Harrison’s [prose] is exuberant. . . . I can’t think of a better writer on the clash of humans and the natural world. He’s a force of nature on the page.” —Porter Shreve, The Washington Post

“Lovable . . . Brown Dog . . . is a big-hearted rascal who is always getting into deep trouble with the ladies, and often with the law. . . . Strong and spirited, and there is some great storytelling here.” —Jim Carmin, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Is there another novelist in the last hundred years who has developed a character as vivid as Brown Dog? . . . Mr. Harrison’s . . . skill at developing and fleshing out characters into breathing beings—people you know or once knew—is remarkable.” —Jonathan Rickard, New York Journal of Books

“B.D.’s adventures are quirky, sometimes humorous, sometimes illegal. . . . But his simplicity is all on the surface. As Harrison artfully shows, inside B.D. roil the complexities of his past, a past that dances in ancient choreography with his present—and his future.” —Daniel Dyer, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“One of literature’s great characters. . . . An essential collection from an American legend.” —Publishers Weekly (Best of 2013)

“One of America’s greatest writers . . . An indelible character . . . Brown Dog is a robust, ribald, and irreverent tribute to the idea and ideal of maximum life.” —David Masciotra, The Daily Beast

“Rollicking comic novellas . . . Brown Dog is very much an American hero—not the macho blowhard kind but the picaresque variety, a la Huck Finn.” —Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times

“Deeply magnetic . . . [Brown Dog] leaps off the page with the same comedy and verve that Ignatius J. Reilly does in . . . A Confederacy of Dunces.” —Dimitri Nasrallah, Toronto Star (Canada)

“One of the great characters in American literature—as American as Twain’s Huck Finn or Hemingway’s Nick Adams.” —Bruce Jacobs, Shelf Awareness

“Pity poor Brown Dog, the Everyman of the North Woods, whose luck would be nonexistent were it not bad. Still, Brown Dog’s countenance is as cheerful as Don Quixote’s was woeful. . . . Rollicking, expertly observed, beautifully written. Any new book by Harrison is cause for joy, and having all the Brown Dog stories in one place is no exception.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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Customer Reviews

Beautiful writing and character development.
Coral Williams
If you’re new to B.D. or to Harrison, you’re in for a special treat if you read this book.
Stephen T. Hopkins
I can't figure out where this story is going to go!
DH

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Sal Glynn on November 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Brown Dog, B.D. to his friends and some law officers, is a man of great heart and few needs in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He lives in deer shacks out of season in exchange for repairs, wets a line for brown trout, and generally sticks to the land except for when his taste for beer and women get the best of him. This may not seem like much to the general reader, but Harrison follows Stendahl's definition of the novel (or in his case, novellas) as "a mirror, taking a walk down a big road." Brown Dog's stories have appeared in other collections and this is the first time B.D.'s mishaps have been gathered under one cover, with a new story so Harrison's fans can catch up with what the motherless and fatherless and possibly Native American has been doing. Every reader, and that means you, who cares about literature should buy multiple copies of the this book. BROWN DOG is so American it needs to sit on bookshelves between Emerson and Thoreau. What Harrison has done is unprecedented in our dumb and ugly times: got down in print what this country and its people could be without sermonizing or sacrificing any fun. When I grow up I want to be just like Brown Dog, heroic in his pursuit of this wonderful living.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Robert Steven Thomas TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Never having read anything by Jim Harrison prior to this book like some of the other reviewers, I was able to judge this novella solely on its content and impact without prejudice. I rated it 5-star because it contains highly original thinking and writing style. Kind of like a modern-day Mark Twain novel. The messages and philosophy are simple and elegant. Frequently I found myself setting the book down after many passages and quietly reflecting on what I had just read. What more could you ask from a great author? I believe his work has the potential to ultimately become American classic. I'm glad I first read this author and his main character in the format provided in this printing. I just ordered one of his major novels.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Paul Hepner on November 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Jim Harrison's since 1982 and believe I've read everything. I have hoped for a brand new Brown Dog story for years and thought I'd hit the jackpot with the release of this book. Not so. Unless I've missed something, the write up on Amazon is does not clearly identify this as a collection of previously published work. 4 stars because even in disappointment I love them all - I mean every page of every book. Thank you, Jim Harrison for years of enjoyment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Gibson on March 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Harrison presents Brown Dog in some reintroduced material and some that is new. It is hard to imagine liking Harrison's work in general if one does not have deep affection for this impossible mix of goodness and id and for the unspoiled natural world in which he finds his only harmony. For some, such as those friends of mine who (impossibly to me) find misogyny in the Brown Dog stories, they are merely about what is wrong with folks at the first rung of society's ladder. But for myself, and others who adore Brown Dog, each paragraph is re-read for a second chuckle for its odd mix of raw humor and incisive philosophy. These are stories engage the reader in a dream of how one might have lived absent the programming of contemporary culture; to encounter life with innocence, awareness and honor, and a light foot on the brake. Authority finds little respect here. These are elaborately twisted, delightful tales told with pathos, warmth, and humor about the incompatibility of the rules of modern conduct with integrity of character, and about the wonders lost when we step from the woods to the tarmac. Brown dog's persona shows the id and ego in unlikely harmony, and Harrison shows the inevitable misadventures and opprobrium that ensue for such a happy solution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike Vanderploeg on January 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jim Harrison out did himself in Brown Dog.
He is an amazing author and your never surprised how he keeps coming up with STUFF.
If you like northern Mi. you will love this book.

Mike Vander Ploeg
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian C McCarthy on January 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't read a lot of fiction; however, I love the UP of Michigan, the geography, people, and environment. If you share that you will connect well with the storyline.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DT on January 11, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved this book! Beautifully written and you can't help but fall in love with this tragic character. Poignant and funny!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joseph B. on December 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Enjoyed these stories though not to be taken as serious literature. Found them to be funny though with a hard edge of poverty and quite a bit of male sexual fantasy (BD never seems to meet any woman between ages of 18 and 70 who does not excite him and they all seem to appreciate his advances). Well written, reminded me of Carl Hiaasen comedy novels of crazies in South Florida.
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