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The Raw and the Cooked: Adventures of a Roving Gourmand
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The Raw and the Cooked: Adventures of a Roving Gourmand

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  421 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Jim Harrison is one of this country's most beloved writers, a muscular, brilliantly economic stylist with a salty wisdom. For more than twenty years, he has also been writing some of the best essays on food around, now collected in a volume that caused the Santa Fe New Mexican to exclaim: "To read this book is to come away convinced that Harrison is a flat-out genius -- on...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 17th 2002 by Grove Press (first published 2001)
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I had read an excerpt of this book for a class assignment and the macho food talk was oddly enjoyable. It reflected a certain gusto for just living life that resonated with me. I picked up The Raw and the Cooked so I might see what else Harrison’s writing had to offer, and I wasn’t disappointed. His food porn descriptions had my stomach rumbling like I’d been reading one of Brian Jacques’ Redwallian feast passages. His style isn’t flowery or ambling, Harrison talks frankly about food, sex, and h...more
Harrison has a voracious appetite for three things: the outdoors (ie. hunting), poetry, and cooking and eating obscene amounts of fatty, rich food (mostly of the wild game, organs, and head cheese variety). His writing is assertive and manly -- think Hemingway on the Food Network.

I've known people who can't stand Harrison's books and think he's a pompous arrogant lout. I, on the other hand, love this book and am fascinated by the way Harrison approaches life (and his food) with a profound, unap...more
I'm a Jim Harrison fan, more of his poetry than fiction, more of his fiction than his food writing. With that said, there are some absolute howlers in this collection of his magazine articles over a multi-year period. I can see him hunting wit Guy de la Valdene, cooking the birds, digging the potatoes, and enjoying it all with a magnum of fine wine. It truly urges me race to the kitchen and begin cooking...or go hunting. He is a very masculine writer, pithy sentences, strong words, and truly fun...more
I like Jim Harrison and i like the fact that he embraces his appetites (food, wine nature hunting poetry etc ) with such immediacy. His collection of food oriented articles roams around a lot and would probably have been more enjoyable if taken in small bites-rather then by gorging on its 288 pages in less then a week. However Harrison applauds intelligent excess and so do I. Goodreads demands productivity and I continue to meet my marks in consuming books-many of which qualify as literature. Th...more

Absolutely passionate! As a true French woman, I love my butcher . The street markets with live animals to kill. It is all a mixture of our basic instincts. To enjoy life, sex, to cook, to wallow in La Grosse Bouffe ! Very fun! A book I will keep out to glance into for a good read.
brilliant! if john thorne is the best living writer of american everyday cookbooks, then jim harrison is the best living writer of american everyday eating. except it's not everyday eating. cannot recommend it highly enough
Victor Corral
One of my favorite new writers, whose writing has no doubt influenced Anthony Bourdain, Hunter S. Thompson, Mario Batali, and Michael Pollan. He's a poet and novelist by trade, a hunter in spirit, and a gouty gourmand. His essays on cooking, drinking, and hunting are some of the finest and humorous that I've read. A self-proclaimed "cookbook addict," Jim's essays span a 10-15 year period, most of them meditative tales about roving the Montana, Michigan, and Arizona landscapes with his two bird d...more
Overall I liked the book. I usually read fiction, but about every 5th book is non-fiction.

What I liked about the book was the political commentary that took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s was strangely apropos with political changes in 2008, 2010, and now. The comments on the S&L debacle was similar to the busts of 2008.

The food was fun, but very focused on French and not much else (maybe reference to game birds was also in the forefront). Poked fun at American food, which granted...more
Jan 19, 2008 JH rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to JH by: ccccurt
Having never read anything by Jim Harrison I didn't know what to expect going into this tome but have always enjoyed books in the essay style, especially about food. Do not expect this book to shower you with new recipes to try in the traditional sense of a cookbook, although the descriptions of the dishes and preparation should suffice for most folks capable in the kitchen of replicating the dish without too much trouble.

The book is divided up into sections linked by themes of the essays, altho...more
I just don't know about this one. Bits of this were hilarious and intensely quotable. Jim Harrison's attitude toward food and life is admirable and very entertaining. But the name-dropping...the Hunter S. Thompson-meets-Jim Morrison levels of white male pseudo-rebellion and self-importance...Jim Harrison has some wildly valuable insights into the nature of living, but he also says fucked up things like, "Maybe I made up all these fibs because no one asked me to be headmaster of a home for dysfun...more
I don’t think I learned much about cuisine or wine from reading this, but I did learn that Harrison is very concerned with metaphysical question of what it means to be a big man with big appetites.

There is a certain superiority in all food writing I guess, but I have never seen it presented with so much, um, testosterone. Food writing is often food bragging, which I don't mind. I like hearing war stories about crazy meals eaten, but Harrison takes this to a new metaphysical level where hunting,...more
A collection of several short pieces of food writing from the author, a novelist, poet, screenwriter, and hunter. The writing is more than just that genre label, however. Like Hunter Thompson, Harrison the take-no-prisoners and no-bullshit writer embarks on stream of consciousness reminisces and expounds on his own frontier spirit philosophy. Harrison loves dogs, wine, shooting, walking, and food; he sneers at vegetarians, New Agers, spandex-clad health nuts, and assumes as a given that what he...more
can't wait to start, jim harrison talking about food, sounds excellent

Finished and it was absolutely amazing, if you have a love of food, and a zest for life, then this is your book. A history of a life of decadence, and good times. Harrison describes meals as some people would describe a religious experience or a family holiday. Good food means something to him and it should mean something to everyone since we only get this one go around. He delves into some life lessons but mainly wants you th...more
One of the best books I've read in a long time. To be enjoyed, it should be read slowly to take in every word. Lots of subtle, dry, and wry humor that is worth taking in. I laughed out loud several times, which is rare for me reading a book. Jim Harrison has a way of putting things into perspective. "In geologic time everyone now present on earth will be dead in a few milliseconds. What a toll! Only through the diligent use of sex and, you guessed it, food can we further ourselves."

He is truly a...more
Anne Holcomb
Aug 06, 2007 Anne Holcomb rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: foodies, michiganians, nature lovers
This book was what got me simultaneously interested in food writing and the writings of Jim Harrison. All of Jim Harrison's writing manages to perfectly evoke the spirit of places such as Northern Michigan and the desert Southwest, along with his sometimes over-the-top descriptions of earthly pleasures of all kinds. This book of course focuses on his food writing, and it's a tasty treat. I definitely recommend this for people who are trying to get into Harrison's writing, it's much more accessib...more
A great find put right smack in my hand by the lovely man Michael Siedenberg at the snug and impossible oasis that is Brazenhead Books. It's about cooking, and books, and eating, and more eating, and sneaking cocaine in the bathroom while having dinner with Orson Welles. I thought I'd read most of Harrison, but I'd never even heard of this one. And now it's one of my favorites because of lines like this: "Luckily, we eat in the present tense, else we might travel further into madness..."

Jun 10, 2008 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Stephanie, Chris, Karen
Recommended to Jennifer by: Beth
I don't have it in front of me, so this isn't an exact quote, but my favorite bit of this book is where Harrison says that if you don't have an hour to cook yourself a good dinner every night, you need to quit your job. The collected essays in the book can be repetitive, but you feel like you are hanging out with Hemingway as you read this discussion of the pleasures of the table and where they intersect with the pleasures of nature.
Nadia Daniel
This was recommended reading in Max Watman's excellent "Harvest" I'm already chuckling with lines like this one "it pushes a man to the wall if he stands there in the buff and looks straight down and can't even see his own weenie"
Patrice Sartor
This is my Food For Thought book club selection for February. Granted, I probably didn't give it a fair shake. I only read a few chapters, after all. But this was enough to recognize that the writing wasn't to my taste, forgive the pun. Harrison certainly can turn a phrase, and applies a poet's love of language to his food tales. Still, it wasn't my thing.
Andrew Lutz
Jim Harrison is the more romantique and gluttonous Anthony Bourdain...minus the cynicism. He makes gout seem humorous, and being a marrow sucking ogre seem classy. I could go for a couple of bottles of Valpolicella just thinking of him. Sorry, it's all for me. Get your own drink.
Ron Patch
A culinary adventure with twists and turns.
I've always loved cooking (and eating) and I've always loved Jim Harrison; that being said, this is a wonderful book. Jim Harrison is an unapologetic gourmand, a societal misfit who appreciates delicious food and scorns bland health foods that seems so prevalent.
Christian Bauman
Read this last week while in France. Incorporated review (and expressed extreme displeasure with the copy on the back cover) into this blog post:
This is not only a book about food, but a book about eating. In fact, more the latter than the former. Harrison explores his passion for preparing and consuming enormous meals in a book that is rollicking and deceptively provocative.
Some real moments of joy splattered in among too much hunting and gluttony. All of a sudden woodcocks are everywhere. Quite a bit of name dropping as well, names of authors and older hollywood types that I really like as well.
Toujours le même plaisir, cette écriture truculente et colorée, ce verbe généreux. Et drôle! Pour passer un vrai bon moment et se marrer tout seul dans le métro, avec les autres autour qui font la gueule.
Nov 07, 2008 Magi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys food and travel
I'm planning to start this book again once I finish it so that I can note all the places he mentions, especially in Michigan, Nebraska, California and Texas. Harrison's writing is personal and poetic.
Funny short articles about ridiculous meals eaten by screenplay writer who lives in Michigan. Excellent for a quick chapter when you are between books.
Nice collection of essays. I don't think his food writing is as strong as his fiction, but enjoyable none the less.
Dick Cass
Collection of Harrison's columns for Esquire documenting a prodigious appetite for food, wine, and good company.
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Jim Harrison was born in Grayling, Michigan, to Winfield Sprague Harrison, a county agricultural agent, and Norma Olivia (Wahlgren) Harrison, both avid readers. He married Linda King in 1959 with whom he has two daughters.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

His awards include National Academy of Arts grants...more
More about Jim Harrison...
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