Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Off to the Side: A Memoir Paperback – August 8, 2003
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
The solace Harrison finds in the natural world is most compelling, and it could be said he, too, shares Frost's "lover's quarrel with the world." After losing an eye at an early age and sinking into melancholy, Harrison's father advised that "curiosity will get you through hard times when nothing else will. Your curiosity had to be strong enough to lift you out of your self-sunken mudbath, the violent mixture of hormones, injuries, melancholy, and dreams of a future you not only couldn't touch but could scarcely see." These words were not lost on Harrison. With "no expertise outside of [his] own imagination" Harrison plays to his strengths in Off to the Side by setting down the events, experiences, thoughts, and feelings that have shaped his quite literate, truly American life. --Michael Ferch --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Then, as the book settled in a bit, I began to realize that this was probably a relatively candid look at the man's professional life (I don't know him - I'm only guessing). True to his persona, he didn't fall into politically correct pressure - this time by not being modest about who he knows. Maybe this reveals just another one of his addicitons. The only difference is that the other addictions he talks about have a mythological romance to them, evoking endearment in job-shackled readers and probably selling a lot of books for him. This particular vice repels people.
Nevertheless, whether he intended it or not, I felt the book revealed a man constantly torn between the seduction of Hollywood's powerful, fast pace and his cheap cars and favorite dogs rolling out to a fishing spot before hitting the local northern Michigan watering hole. I can relate.
His language is, as always, poetically beautiful and you can truly feel the passion of somebody who seems fascinated by the simple fact that he's alive.
Out of morbid curiosity, I would have liked to understand more how he maintained his family life with so much wild and carefree excess. But, then again, that's really none of my business.
The difference is that Harrison never lost touch with the land, much preferring to repair to his favorite hunting and fishing spots, and drink with the locals back home in Michigan, rather than toil away in the studios. Oh, he did lose his church unbringing, and G. K. Chesterton would surely call Harrison's idea of a private religion mere weakmindedness, but Harrison has undoubtedly consumed an adult portion of life, and he's here to tell us all about it.
As a biographical account of his life and career, this is much too misty. The reader must swim open seas of random impressions, interesting anecdotes, and barstool wisdom to get from one fact to the next. And they are not especially sequential, either. I guess that job will have to wait for a professional biographer.
But taken for what it is, this book is enjoyable. There's too much name-dropping in the Hollywood phase, though he is sincerely grateful to Jack Nicholson for his help breaking into pictures. But really--eating sandwiches with Art Garfunkel while betting on which skiers on a slope are going to wipe out? And there are dozens such little passing mentions. Maybe I'm just jealous...
His love of the land, of the countryside, of his hunting dogs, and his unsparing accounts of his own shortcomings and addictions and mistakes make this book one to respect. It may be a mishmash, it may not be the whole or unadulterated truth, but it is visibly a labor of love.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As the title suggests the book rambles from one subject to another with no central narrative. Jim Harrison is a great author and only dedicated Harrison fans could enjoy this bookPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Fantastic writing by a fantastic man. A great memoir by someone who loved life and lived it fully. A book to savor and reread. Read morePublished 2 months ago by D. Mason
Jim Harrison is one our generation's greatest writers. Introspective without being maudlin, he's as comfortable and revelatory writing about his `hunting for food' experiences as... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Michael Heath