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De Marquette À Veracruz ( True North #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,200 ratings  ·  113 reviews
David Burkett, quatrième du nom, est l'héritier d'une famille lourde à porter, responsable du déboisage sauvage du Michigan. Entre une mère alcoolique et un père cynique, prédateur sexuel, David s'exile, en quête d'expiation. Dans le décor lyrique des grandes plaines, son parcours initiatique est marqué par la tragédie familiale et la beauté des femmes...

« Un roman magistr
Littérature Etrangère, 485 pages
Published January 5th 2006 by 10/18 (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,864)
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Robert Vander
I read this at the perfect time which is to say after having read several volumes of his novellas, it was helpful to have a meaningful understanding of the themes that seem to concern Mr. harrison. Harrison strikes me as a special writer in terms of a particular kindness to his readers. He always intends delivers the goods to his readers in the form of a dynamic narrative. His stories are variously entertaining, his characters I certainly find endearing. Supporting his narrative is a lot of hard ...more
Colleen O'Neill Conlan
So good! I find myself very drawn to Harrison's writing and storytelling. This is different from the three novellas in Legends of the Fall. With those there was a beautiful remote distance in the telling, while this first-person narration feels more intimate.

Here, young David Burkett IV, coming from a family with great wealth on both sides, takes it as his life's mission to understand and fully examine how his forbears, land barons who logged and mined in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, exploi
Carl Brush
I’ve done it again, I think. I’ve probably missed out and misjudged. Jim Harrison seems to be an author of some note and some longevity. His books have been responsible for a couple of movies, one of which (Legends of the Fall) I’ve heard of, though not seen. However, I’d never heard of either True North, nor of Jim Harrison till my neighbor dropped the novel on my porch. What’s more, judging by this book, I’m not inclined to explore the his work further.
We join our protagonist, David Burkett
This was a great story, a little gloomy, but so well told, that I just loved it. Its so interesting not only the things we choose to take on in this life, but our ways of going about it as well. Sometimes we take on burdens that aren't ours because we feel like we have to or we actually believe they are ours. And we get so accustomed to being the way we are that it's extremely difficult to change.

The characterization was wonderful, though I would certainly hope to not be any of the characters i
"My father had closed the windows to the world and I was spending my life struggling to open them." So goes the story of David Burkett, a U.P. native struggling to come to terms with his family's history, his father's perverted transgressions, and his own place in the big picture.

True North begins with a three-quarters page italicized prologue that feels right away like an (the?) ending. Occurring in the dawn hours after an awful act of violence, the short scene is sad, disturbing, and quite pos
A disturbing yet satisfying read. As with all Harrison fiction (this is my sixth), you are immersed in the painful moral struggles of his protagonist, in this case the life long journey of David to come to terms with the evils of his ancestors and father. They made their money clearcutting vast areas of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and his father became an alcoholic and sexual predator. David has a good heart, but finds no clear pathway to make amends or forge a healthy family of his own. Instead ...more
Tim Lepczyk
Writing is about making choices. We choose what to write about, from whose perspective to tell a story, and what we want our audience to take away from the narrative. In looking at, True North, let's examine the choices Harrison made. He chose this novel to be in the first person. The events are narrated by, David Burkett, the wealthy son from a family that logged and mined the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for three generations. Why use first person for this novel? What does it achieve?

First pers
This was the first book that I read of Harrison's, back when I was 24 (I bought it for the title as I'm a native of Northern Michigan). It took a while to get used to the writing but was a literary watershed for me; Harrison is now, by far, my favorite author. I agree that a lot of the plot elements occur early but the plot is secondary to how it affects Burkett. If some of those elements occurred later, we couldn't see how fully they integrate themselves into his life and perception of life. I' ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

"True North," says the Boston Globe, "has its moments," which sums up general reaction to this novel. Almost everyone found something to like, be it the passionate narration or the novel's strong sense of place. However, most reviewers also found serious flaws. While some praised Harrison's writing, a few pointed out its sloppiness. And nearly all were frustrated with the novel's structure, complaining that Harrison reveals key events too early and allows the story to founder as Burkett painstak

As of late, I've been noticing a strange sight in NYC—the appearance of many bushily-bearded men, clad in woolen plaid lumberjack shirts, their pants held up by suspenders as they saunter through the urban wilderness that is Brooklyn waiting to fell a tree or, perhaps, to whittle a trinket for a lovely lady, should the mood strike them. They can often be found in the local watering hole that specializes in artisanal beers or attempting to start a campfire in the park while simultaneously being h ...more
Another fantastic, meditative book from probably my favorite living writer. The novel begins with a crazy italicized intro, then launches into the story of a young boy's quest to make sense of his crazy family. The first hundred-fifty pages or so are the best, until David, the protagonist, goes off on his own and we get the typical meandering, near-plotless Harrison stuff, aside from David's "project," a purported manuscript about evils of his father/grandfather/etc. It's all great, though David ...more
Jim Harrison is one of my favorite writers, but this novel seemed to explore territory that was all too familiar from his other works——not a bad thing, but not a good sign of what's to come as Jim gets into the later innings of his life. This book is about an old-money family in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, sex, food, travel, history, and nature, all of which are familiar elements of Harrison's work. I'll next be reading "Returning To Earth," which is a sequel of sorts to this book and repor ...more
A good book by what I hope to be the first of my readings from Harrison. The ending was dissapointing, however upon thinking about it I realized it was this dissapointment that made it so conclusive and really added another aspect to the story overall.
There was too much sex in the story, and the authors view on religion was neither bad nor good but rather tossed aside as an after thought which bugged me. Religion is necessary, either the hate or love of God drives most lives- apathy is short liv
I just couldn't relate to this book or to its seeminly self-obsessed main character. I read that Harrison considers Americans obscenely plot-obsessed (or something like that)and for me, the repetition of plot as David moves from place to place in the UP and woman to woman, made finishing it a chore. The only reason I didn't quit was that, being "plot obsessed," I wanted to find out how the ending, which Harrison reveals at the beginning of the book (why?) fit with the story. I will admit that th ...more
Ex Libris
True North but kind of went South

OK, so I will admit that I read Returning To Earth first and so that may have put an expectation in me when I began True North. David Burkett, the narrator is the son in a well to do family who seems more at odds with his fortune than with reality. Hetends to come across as a rich and spoiled wayward kid with no compass despite his ability to navigate the UP. As well as Jim Harrison writes and does make me chuckle at times, I can't say this novel had the depth an
Lauren Albert
This didn't quite cohere for me. The character didn't cohere for me either. The relationships between the characters, the obsession of the narrator with his family's past, the ending--none of these quite worked for me (didn't feel "true" somehow). The writing wasn't as good as in Harrison's other books that I've read.
Elly Wendy
3# Not as annoying as "The River Swimmer." Some passages are worth reflecting on, though not worth listening to the whole book again to find them. I’m not impressed with the overall solidity as compared to the writing of many other authors, and indeed it lacks the redeeming charm of Harrison's own "Brown Dog." There was too much unfulfilled foreshadowing. Also, I find it irritating to find very specific quirks and phrases used for different characters in different novels. But there were some thi ...more
True North is the story of a family torn apart and a man engaged in profound reckoning with the damage scarred into the American soil. The scion of a family of wealthy timber barons, David Burkett has grown up with a father who is a malevolent force more than a father, and a mother made vague and numb by alcohol and pills. He and his sister, Cynthia, a firecracker who scandalizes the family at fourteen by taking up with the son of their Finnish-Native American gardener, are mostly left to make t ...more
Read this a couple of years ago and it took a while....maybe if I had read it faster....rather dark. Different from other Harrison books....main character is obsessed with introspection:
from Goodreads
True North is the story of a family torn apart and a man engaged in profound reckoning with the damage scarred into the American soil. The scion of a family of wealthy timber barons, David Burkett has grown up with a father who is a malevolent force more than a father, and a mother made vague and n
Melanie Griffin
I hate to say it because Harrison has come highly recommended, but not my cup of tea. I'm going to try another one by him to see if it's just his protagonist I don't like. I suspect that Harrison is just a guy's author. Although there are plenty of male authors I like, the sexual obsession in True North is just a bit much. Granted, the sexual obsession is part of the story, which is why I'll try another one by him to see if it's chronic. It certainly is acute!

In addition to the over-the-top lust
Ember DeBoer
Sep 15, 2008 Ember DeBoer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rachel
I don't even know how to begin writing a review for this book. I guess I'll give it a whirl, anyway...I wanted to read it, first and foremost, because of the Upper Peninsula setting and storyline. And I think that is what kept me reading in the early chapters, when I struggled through Harrison's prose. Reading his writing definitely takes some getting used to. There is a definite lack of punctuation, which leads to long, run-on sentences that can be hard to digest all at once. At the beginning, ...more
Paul Aslanian
This is my first book by Jim Harrison. He is a highly decorated contemporary writer having won many national prises, but I had never heard for him.

This book is about a third or fourth genration family which since the grandfathers have not had to do a stich of work. The family make their killing on both lumber and mining in Upper Michigan in the 19 and early 20th century. The main charater is the son, DAvid, who at the beginning of the story is about 14. This kid is being raised (or merely exists
Gregg Sapp
In his Wikipedia entry, the renowned Jim Harrison is referred to as a poet, first, and a novelist by second choice. Based upon this book, I would have thought it was the other way around. There is little of the kinds of economy and resonance of language that characterizes good poetry in "True North." Instead, it tracks a desultory, first person narrative that might well represent the mental processes of the main character, but doesn't seem to lead him anywhere. The protagonist, David Burkett, is ...more
Jan 17, 2014 Neesha rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jim Harrison fans but not most others
I really wanted to love this book because it takes place in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (a place I love) and I had heard good things about the author. But I just couldn't give it more than three stars...and here's the main reasons why this book gets an average rating.

1. The character development is superb, and Harrison writes people so well without even trying. The main character describes himself as a more self-aware, mature Holden Caulfield at one point, and I was thinking the same thing l
Susan Coleman
Something I really liked about this book, beyond the really lovely descriptions of Michigan's Upper Peninsula's natural landscape, was the first person voice. So often I found myself thinking, "This character is divulging more about who he really is through his lack of understanding of himself than I would get if this were a third-person narration." Harrison did an amazing job of creating a character, whose search for a sense of self is made more clear to the reader through his utter lack of suc ...more
Andy Miller
A novel whose narrator was born into an old money family and spends his life coming to grips with his belief that the family money was based on exploitation of both the environment and the people who worked for the company.

One device I like was that each section started with a chapter that described where he was in his life and the remaining chapters in that section told of how he got there.

I enjoyed the different characters and the complexities of each with the exception of the father, who is
I was loaned "True North" by an anthropologist friend of mine. The book is outside my "comfort zone" when compared to what I normally read. It's the story of a man that is struggling with his personal as well as family history as near as I can tell. I'm only a handful of pages in. I'll fill you in more when I finish.

I have just finished the book and I am not sure how I feel about it. I was a good book, at least I didn't tire of reading it, but I never found myself truly liking the protagonist (D
True North is a beautiful and moving novel that speaks to the territory in our hearts that calls us back to our roots. The scion of a family of wealthy timber barons, David Burkett has grown up with a father who is a malevolent force, and a mother made vague and numb by alcohol and pills. He and his sister Cynthia, a firecracker who scandalizes the family at fourteen by taking up with the son of their Finnish-Native American gardener, are mostly left to make their own way. As David comes to adul ...more
Although Jim Harrison is not one of my favorite authors, I enjoyed reading this book because the main character examines his family's rapacious logging of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as they built their fortune. I love the UP and so found the story compelling. Harrison's treatment of women still disturbs me.
Interesting picture of the thoughts, feelings, dreams, and obsessions of a David Burkett, a young man whose father and 2 previous generations were instrumental in the removal of huge forests in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is guilt ridden by this and his father's numerous rapes of young girls among other major mistreatment of the people who work for him. David spends many years investigating the loss of all the trees and how and what his family's involvement had been. He is close with his ...more
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True North 2 9 Aug 03, 2011 09:04AM  
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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 about Jim Harrison...

Other Books in the Series

True North (2 books)
  • Returning to Earth
Legends of the Fall Dalva The English Major Returning to Earth The Woman Lit By Fireflies

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