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De Marquette à Veracruz ( True North #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  1,586 Ratings  ·  152 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
Paperback, 485 pages
Published January 5th 2006 by 10/18 (first published 2004)
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May 03, 2011 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 01, 2012 Colleen O'Neill Conlan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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 R.
May 08, 2012 Carl R. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 04, 2016 Nancee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
True North is a young man's search for answers regarding the destruction of thousands of acres of White Pines in Northern Michigan, and his ancestors' greed. Mining was another ruthless endeavor of greed throughout the Burkett ancestors. David Burkett's life reveals a deep and complicated story of overwhelming circumstances, both in his family, and his personal life. Alcoholism and rape are examples of sinister situations included in this account of the Burkett family.

I'm impressed with Jim Harr
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
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
Apr 22, 2012 Alene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Jan 12, 2010 Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

Dec 03, 2010 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
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
Linda Robinson
Dec 14, 2015 Linda Robinson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"Making money is never very pretty." David Burkett's father said, who as near as I can make out never made the money he spends lasciviously. He inherited it. David Burkett inherited the guilt that goes along with pater familias scarring the land on both sides of his ancestry. I thought this was a new Harrison novel, finding it on the new book shelf, but it was published in 2004, so I am a little relieved to offload some of the machismo rife in the book. Harrison is older now, and a little more m ...more
Mar 30, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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
Jan 03, 2008 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 16, 2008 Bryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 11, 2013 itpdx rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is told from the point of view of a young "trust fund" man. He is the fourth generation of a family that made a fortune logging and mining the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. His father is unapologetically generationally privileged. This David is driven to fight his way clear of the attitude and cocoon that his father lives and acts in. The father acts badly and gets off with light or little punishment because of his name and money. The protagonist finds a path researching the history of ...more
Jul 04, 2008 Kaarin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 02, 2015 Adjustablewrench rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Niiiiiiice. Yup. Grew up in Northern Mi and appreciated the understanding of the the atmosphere (logging / post logging culture). It is part of who you are if you spent time there. You'd hike and see remnants of logging camps, etc. The opening and closing had very different perspectives based on where you were as a reader - clearly the point. Enjoyable.
Lauren Albert
Feb 22, 2010 Lauren Albert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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.
Apr 04, 2016 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's rare that the first page of a book catches me so completely off guard.

I'm going soon to visit my friend in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) of Michigan and she said, "I recommend Jim Harrison's True North for some pre-vacation reading" so of course I picked it up from the library. Not knowing what to expect I just settled on the idea that perhaps it was some vaguely madcap lightweight fiction piece that happened to be set up there and, I don't know, maybe mentioned the city in which she lives or
Jun 25, 2017 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I found this really disappointing. I love northern Michigan and had heard that Jim Harrison was a good writer. I could NOT get into this story-not the plot or the characters and for such a scenic place, I had little sense of scenery. I may try some of his other writing, but not soon. Was hoping he would be a new favorite.
May 28, 2017 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good. I like how complex yet real Harrison makes his main characters.
Lindsay Masek
Jan 17, 2017 Lindsay Masek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved this book til the very end and it goes and disappoints me
Paul Aslanian
Feb 07, 2010 Paul Aslanian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 09, 2015 Jake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suspect this book contains more and a few errors that will prevent it from ever being considered a classic. Yet, for the first 150 some pages, it is an engaging and insightful meditation on life as a young man. One who happens to be wracked with doubt and pursued by the urge to follow the questions that this doubt births to their conclusion. As other reviewers will note, perhaps this book is not for everyone: it is not a story in the traditional sense, and the flaws mentioned above may be foun ...more
Dec 25, 2016 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books ever!
May 08, 2008 Neesha rated it liked it  ·  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
Ember DeBoer
Jun 14, 2008 Ember DeBoer rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
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True North 2 10 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

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