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The Farmer's Daughter

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  851 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
In these three stories Harrison writes about a home-schooled fifteen-year-old girl in rural Montana, in another his beloved recurring character Brown Dog escapes from Canada on the tour bus of an Indian rock band, and finally, he tells about a retired werewolf prone to outbursts of violence under the full moon.
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published December 15th 2009 by Grove Press
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Sep 16, 2013 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: u-s-lit, jim-harrison
I tend to always have a book with me. And not just where expected like a beach or an airplane, but also at solo restaurant breakfasts and places where authority makes us common folk wait, like doctor's offices, courtrooms and automobile service shops. What I've never understood though is how anyone could come upon me in rapt, public attention to my book and interpret that as an invitation to chat. Such encounters typically end with my new best friend leaving me with a literary recommendation. Bu ...more
Jan 22, 2010 A.J. added it
Shelves: fiction, literary
Jim Harrison is one of those love-'em or hate-'em kind of writers, the love or hate coalescing around a question that's followed him from the get-go: is he "too macho?"

"Macho" is a label he vehemently rejects, pointing out that in Mexico, this word is reserved for men who express their dominance through gratuitous violence. Fine; the question is, then, is he too masculine?

What are we to make of the extraordinary, unearned sexual success of his male protagonists? Or of the precocious, preternatu
Jan 30, 2010 Mercedes rated it it was amazing
Jim Harrison is now officially my favorite contemporary writer. His latest, The Farmers Daughter includes three brilliant novellas. In trying to describe Harrison I can't beat a line I read in an interview. They called him a Falstaffian figure; part wild man, part cultivated literary lion. In the first story, The Farmers Daughter, an intelligent isolated homeschooled girl raised on a ranch in Montana deals with her need for revenge after a rape. I was impressed how Harrison captures the voice of ...more
Stephen Durrant
Oct 03, 2010 Stephen Durrant rated it liked it
I would give this 3.5 stars if a half star were available. I have always liked Jim Harrison. And I've always felt slightly guilty about that. Let's face it, he's a muscular writer whose male characters are always filled with lots and lots of whiskey and ready for lots and lots of sex, while his best female characters, like the "the farmer's daughter" can shoot and dress down a deer in one paragraph and discuss Stendhal in the next. It's a little embarrassing to like this kind of thing in a post- ...more
Jan 07, 2011 Isabelle rated it really liked it
It was so nice to read some of the reviews of this book prior to writing my own; nice and also quite reassuring inasmuch as I am not the only one who has become a slavish fan of Jim Harrison's since the first book of his I read: "Legends of the Fall" (before the movie was made, rest assured!).
Here he is, so macho as to be totally incorrect in a post-modern feminist construct, so ribald that you have to laugh in spite of yourself, so incredibly gifted that he can pen female characters in an utter
May 08, 2013 Jamie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-wild-west
“When you lifted the lid a bit the natural world, including ourselves, offered as much darkness in human terms as light. To look at it with any clarity you certainly had to attempt to look at it through the perceptions of a million-plus other species.”

Take what you will from the fact that it’s Jim Harrison who writes a fifteen-year-old girl (Sarah in “The Farmer’s Daughter”) that feels more like myself at fifteen than any teenage girl I’ve read. Scared, solitary, badass, lonesome. She loves The
Nov 04, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing
It had been a while since I'd read a Harrison story. I loved the title story and thought the characters read true. The Farmer's Daughter is a young girl,15, who lives in Montana, and is finding her way. She definitely underrates herself yet has the confidence to be true to herself in so many ways. She's kind enough to treat her best friend, a man in his seventies, to glimpses of her own scantily clad self from time to time. Her first lover, though, will be a man only 20 years her senior once she ...more
Bruce Roderick
Jan 04, 2013 Bruce Roderick rated it really liked it
I haven't read anything by Jim Harrison that I didn't like; so before I continue, it is only fair for me to say that I might not be the most objective critic of his writing. This particular collection includes yet another tale of Brown Dog who has returned from Harrison's earlier body of work. Despite a new setting and supporting cast of characters Brown Dog hasn't changed a bit. Immoral, broke, and abstractly unconcerned about his own situation, Brown Dog still makes for yet another great read ...more
Jan 11, 2010 Tony rated it really liked it
9. Harrison, Jim. THE FARMER’S DAUGHTER. (2009). ****. This latest book from Harrison, one of our best living writers, is a collection of three novellas. The title piece, “The Farmer’s Daughter,” is about Sarah, a fifteen-year old, home schooled free thinker who has been transplanted to rural Montana. She is growing up fast, and is soon learning more about the world than her mother would like her to know. She lives for playing her music on the piano, riding her horse, and visiting with an old ma ...more
Ashley Collins
Nov 07, 2011 Ashley Collins rated it liked it
The Farmer’s Daughter Review
A teenage girl, a luckless half-Indian, and a boy turned werewolf. In Jim Harrison’s The Farmer’s Daughter, it’s remarkable to see how three completely different stories can coincide together in one novel, and how each of these character’s stories has a common thread that binds them together in a very unconventional, but ironic way.
The Farmer’s Daughter was the first story about a teenager named Sarah, who is forced, in the rough country of Montana, quickly into wo
Cbricephd brice
Dec 23, 2009 Cbricephd brice rated it it was amazing
It's hard to imagine, and extremely gratifying, to watch Jim Harrison get better with every effort. "The Farmer's Daughter," is his most recent contribution and it's another collection of novellas. It's important to pause, for a second, and realize that Harrison is one of the few authers who writes in this format today, and he is a clear master of it.
The first story, The Farmer's Daughter, presents the tale of a very strong young woman, Sarah, who my psychiatric colleagues would say has lived a
Sep 24, 2011 wally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: harrison
there are three stories inside, the farmer's daughter, brown dog redux, and the games of night.

all 3 were a joy to read. someone on the cover says, 'ribald, vigorous, and intelligent'.....i'd add at times vulgar, brutally honest, and simple. but it's all relative, isn't it? subjective? it was funny, reading about towns i'm familiar with, home to me is the upper peninsula...and yeah, sue me, but this is only the second harrison i've read, the other being the english major, another good yarn.

Feb 04, 2010 Jonathan rated it it was ok
I wasn't overly thrilled with this collection of short stories, mostly because I could not sympathize, or even empathize with any of the lead characters - and partially because some of the tales are just depressing. The strongest piece by far was the title story, which gave us a protagonist to root for. The second tale features Brown Dog, who is an interesting character (with an insatiable sexual appetite)- but the tale seemed to ramble along nowhere and ended with leaving me feel like I had fin ...more
Mar 06, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it
This is something I would have never picked out for myself (my mother in law kindly passed it along) but despite the wildnerness-hunting-fishing background in the novellas I found the writing haunting and beautiful. The characters were complex and interesting, and I found myself sympathizing with them even as they were hunting deer. Out of the three, I liked the first best, by far. (Probably b/c it was the only one narrated by a girl, and she liked to hide in the barn reading Willa Cather and ot ...more
Jun 15, 2011 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
Man, do I love this guy. This is one of Harrison's best collections, I'd say. All three novellas nail it, with that signature ease that makes reading Harrison so reflective and so enriching. Aside from a strange (and I'd say forced) repeated mention of Patsy Cline's "The Last Word in Lonesome is Me" and the phrase "braless titty" in all three stories, this is a flawless collection. All three are completely engaging while maintaining that wandering quality; all three just sort of end unceremoniou ...more
Apr 26, 2010 Laura rated it it was ok
I was thrilled and excitedly telling my husband that Jim Harrison is an old guy but he writes young girls pretty well...until Sarah moves and then has a sweet (but really creepy in the end) relationship with a man sixty years older than her. And after finishing the first story, I started the second, realized the main character was little more than a walking erection, and moved on to the last one, with another insatiable male. Wtf. Also, the use of the terms "weenie" and "wanger" really disgusted ...more
Feb 23, 2010 Savvy rated it it was amazing
Few authors master the art of the Novella with the innate skill and ingenuity of Jim Harrison!

Yes... he is macho!...testosterone driven, dark and lusty...but writes with such is shiveringly stunning!
He at once repels and then lures the reader back with jolting language and lucid descriptions.

Reading Harrison is like a jeopardous journey...he takes the reader to places unknown, but that feel uncomfortably and vaguely familiar.
The 'animal within' human nature is prodded out and laid
Mar 02, 2011 Sue rated it it was amazing
I love Jim Harrison's writing; booze, sex, & the people in small towns - these short stories made for perfect vacation reading. The girls in the first story could have been raised in my small hometown and the Indian in the second could have been my prom date! The last story in particular had me laughing out loud and reading lines to my daughter. Harrison writes a believable story about a young kid that is bitten by a hummingbird, then a wolf pup and develops some type of blood disorder which ...more
David Guy
Mar 26, 2013 David Guy rated it really liked it
I then moved on to this book of three novellas, which also entranced me. The title piece is about a resourceful young woman who is brutalized and takes revenge; "Brown Dog Redux" is another story about BD, in which he becomes satisfied with a new home for his stepdaughter; and The Games of Night, a credible tale about a werewolf. There's nobody like Harrison for giving you the feeling of everyday life, and of living it fully. Sometimes I think I'd be happy reading nothing but his books for the r ...more
Jan 09, 2010 MattA rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, michigan
The title novella of this collection is definitely the best of the three. It's an intriguing character study of a young girl coming of age. "Brown Dog Redux" was less interesting in general, as I wasn't a huge fan of B.D. the first time round. But having spent not a little time in the U.P., I got a kick out of recognizing specific locations, some of which I visited as recently this past summer. "The Games of the Night" I would love to see expanded to a full novel. Lot of potential there.

Feb 21, 2010 Amy rated it it was ok
This was on my to-read list for so long that when I sat down to read it I had forgotten it was three novellas. Which was disappointing when I became invested in the first story and its characters and then it ended--and was even more disappointing when I found the other two stories offputting. In both of the latter cases the protagonists were sex-obsessed men with minor stories circling around them. Um...great.
Nov 28, 2010 Linda rated it really liked it
There are 3 different, unconnected novellas in this. Farmer's daughter is the first and what caught my eye (as a farmer's daughter). I connected with this story and appreciated it. The other 2 stories had male central characters with one being an alcoholic Native American and the other a male with werewolf tendencies. They share a belief that connecting with nature is the way to be your true self. Montana is also a locale used in all three stories.
Tim Penning
Aug 14, 2012 Tim Penning rated it really liked it
I'm a long time Harrison fan, not just because he's from Michigan. He gets inside people and describes places so well you want to savor the prose like a finely prepared meal.
Hannah Messler
Nov 23, 2009 Hannah Messler rated it really liked it
I love the shit outta Jim Harrison! He makes me want to move to the woods even more than I already do. Goddamn.
Feb 28, 2011 Kathy rated it it was ok
Felt as though it were written in a community writing workshop where all the men put sex in their stories and claim it's "erotic".
Derek Ithen
Nov 26, 2016 Derek Ithen rated it really liked it
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
My Rating: 4/5

The Farmer’s Daughter is a collection of novellas written by Jim Harrison in 2010, late in his career. Harrison was definitely the last of an old guard, a super-macho, straight, white male writer. One of Harrison’s main themes is the dualities of being male, but he does it without sacrificing a subtle tones of progressivism and feminism in his work.

The title novella follows Sarah Holcomb as she grows up into a young woman, and her plot to get revenge on a musi
Bill Bridges
Sep 30, 2011 Bill Bridges rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big Jim Harrison fan, so no big surprise that I liked this collection of three novellas. I always like checking in on Brown Dog, and here he continues his role as father to a wild child.

"The Games of Night" has to be the oddest werewolf story I've read yet, in that most people would not consider it a werewolf story and might even think I'm reading too much into it, given my background (see Werewolf: the Apocalypse). But it's clear that the narrator is struggling with some form of what tra
Deniz Kuypers
Aug 15, 2016 Deniz Kuypers rated it liked it
Jim Harrison secured his place as one of my all-time favorite authors with the novels DALVA, THE ROAD HOME, TRUE NORTH, and RETURNING TO EARTH. The fact that, after years and years of reading Harrison, I still haven't gotten through all his books is because I keep revisiting those four novels. But every now and then I dip into the rest of his oeuvre.

Besides novels, Harrison is best known for his poetry and novellas -- he has written nine collections of novellas. THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER is one such
Feb 07, 2012 Conrad rated it really liked it
This was my first Jim Harrison read and I really wasn't sure quite what to expect from this "authentic American voice". I was quite pleasantly surprised with the writing in spite of the emphasis he places on his characters preoccupation with sex. It is, for the most part, erotic but certainly not without its crass and crude parts too - in fact Harrison seems to glory in being crass at times.
It is interesting to see how other reviewers have linked the stories together. From my perspective I saw a
Nov 29, 2012 Janelle rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
This is a collection of three novellas. I quite enjoyed the first one ("The Farmer's Daughter") - it was set mostly in Montana and successfully evoked that difficult but spectacular terrain. And by "terrain," I mean both physical and mental territories.

The second novella, "Brown Dog Redux," completely lost me and I stopped reading partway into it.

I skipped ahead to "The Games of Night" and had a mixed reading experience. I was sort of intrigued by the magical-real werewolf motif, but I didn't re
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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...

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