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Brown Dog

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,855 ratings  ·  241 reviews
New York Times best-selling author Jim Harrison is one of America’s most beloved writers, and of all his creations, Brown Dog, a bawdy, reckless, down-on-his-luck Michigan Indian, has earned cult status with readers in the more than two decades since his first appearance. For the first time, Brown Dog gathers all the Brown Dog novellas, including one never-published one, i ...more
Hardcover, 525 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Grove Press
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I loved this new collection of novellas from one of my favorite writers. Harrison’s character Brown Dog is one of those unforgettable creations in literature, an outrageous womanizer with a good heart and a guy who makes the concept of “live one day at a time” really come alive. The set of Brown Dog adventures is a powerful fix within one set of covers, spanning his first appearance in 1990’s “Women Lit by Fireflies” and his latest incarnation in 2010’s “The Farmer’s Daughter.”

What opens my hea
Stephanie *Extremely Stable Genius*
Brown Dog, or B.D., is a simple man of simple needs and simple pleasures. These are in no particular order, sex, alcohol, cooking, sex, nature, sex, menial work, alcohol, fishing, sex, alcohol....etc.

The 'Dog' part of B.D.'s name is supposedly because it's his spirit animal being a dog, but I think he lives up to it in other ways.

This book is a series of novellas about B.D., part white and part Chippewa, who lives in the U.P. of Michigan(I hear it's lovely.) He is a man who has mastered the art
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: u-s-lit, jim-harrison
I have been accused recently of not taking things seriously, by a fictional character no less. I did not dwell on that, figuring I'd wait for more specific charges. I suppose I could file a request for a Bill of Particulars - some things? all things? - but then I'd be taking it seriously, and why ruin someone's week.

Maybe that's why Brown Dog is one of my favorite characters. Brown Dog doesn't take anything seriously; except, of course, when he does.

This book is a compilation of all the previous
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Jim Harrison probably isn't for everybody, but I really like most of his stuff. BROWN DOG is a wonderful grouping of stories involving the Upper Peninsula Native American character, Brown Dog. I liked this guy, warts and all, and the chapters here ring both funny and familiar. I don't mean to offend anyone, but men may enjoy this book more than women. Just a hunch. R.I.P. Jim Harrison, and thank you for your great body of work...
These are six or seven little novellas about a guy named Brown Dog, or B.D., who may or may not be part Indian, he doesn't  know.  The stories are full of petty crimes and sex all around the northern parts of Michigan mostly,  first published separately over several years and then collected here into chronological  order.  For some reason I, a female, like this kind of a manly book on occasion --  like I enjoy Lansdale or Russo or Coben.  This one, unfortunately, went on way too long and repeate ...more
Sal Glynn
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Brown Dog, B.D. to his friends and some law officers, is a man of great heart and few needs in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He lives in deer shacks out of season in exchange for repairs, wets a line for brown trout, and generally sticks to the land except for when his taste for beer and women get the best of him. This may not seem like much to the general reader, but Harrison follows Stendahl's definition of the novel (or in his case, novellas) as "a mirror, taking a walk down a big road." Brown
Paul Ataua
Aug 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Came to this on the recommendations of two friends, both individually assuring me that this would just knock me off my feet. I am totally embarrassed by the fact that it did absolutely nothing for me. Yes, the writing was good, but great writing does not necessarily mean great content. I was left puzzled over why so many people, friends and other reviewers, felt so strongly positive about it. Finished the first novella, but am not inclined to venture further.
Andy Weston
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories, humour
Brown Dog, or BD, is the sort of character that epitomises Harrison’s writing. He is a Michigandan who may or may not have Chippewa Indian blood in him. With his home a hunting shack, he is a lazy amoral layabout who only does the bare minimum to keep a roof over his head so that he can spend the rest of his time fishing, hunting, drinking and womanising. Harrison breathes life into an exceptionally funny character, who becomes a type of anti-hero, when at the outset that would seem far from pos ...more
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brown Dog or BD as he's known to his friends and family, is almost the perfect anti-hero. Almost, because if he were any more perfect he would be unbelievable and he is very believable. I know this man; I know the country he comes from and I know his people. He's the real deal. Raised by his white grandfather but growing up among mostly Chippewa in Michigan's upper peninsula he assumes he may be part Chippewa himself but he can't be certain because, orphaned at an early age, he never knew his pa ...more
Larry Bassett
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, kindle
This book is a collection of several Novelas by Jim Harrison. The main character brown dog is called BD in the books. He likes the woods Women and whiskey. I experience this book in the audible version and it was quite enjoyable to listen to.

I just finished this book for the second time. Once again with the Audible with the addition of following along via Kindle so there are a lot of paragraphs that I copied.

I spent the first 35 years of my life so the fact that this takes place in the upper pen
Washington Post
Dec 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Harrison is arguably America’s foremost master of the novella and this volume collects his works. Harrison’s work is about the transcendence of wildness. Many of his characters don’t care what society thinks. They want freedom, outside the mainstream, unburdened by the responsibilities of modern life.

Porter Shreve reviewed the book for us:
Dec 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Tall-tales of B.D. continue. He has no SS# and does not pay taxes. Money comes by morning (little or windfall) and is gone by night. His favorite temperature and miles per hour speed are both 49. His style and thought patterns were more enjoyable to me when I was much younger, as now he is late 40's, early 50's in these- I find it incredible that he could still float through any structure or steady work as he still does at those ages.. He is a low life Michigan redneck, by his own definition, an ...more
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of short stories about a native upper Michigan dweller who survives with the help of his friends. You can learn about some of the Native American culture and northern winters. Stories flow into each other but are readable as individual stories.
M. Sarki

...hangover thoughts are real long thoughts…This is the fourth dawn and I didn’t even have a drink yesterday, an act which was made easier because I didn’t have any booze left...The most exhilarating aspect of living in the Upper Peninsula, unlike Ann Arbor, was discovering how slow the people were to complain about life’s brutal vagaries. The working class didn’t complain about hangovers because if you had enough money to get drunk in the first place you
Mark Feltskog
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Over the years, I have harbored an ill-conceived prejudice against Jim Harrison. On the basis of a viewing of the film "Legends of the Fall," which I loathed, I perceived him as a he-man novelist, writing for an audience I felt no part of and consequently could not join. Nota bene that I didn't actually read the Legends of the Fall, so you see why I designate this prejudice ill-conceived; not-at-all-conceived may be a more honest way to put this, because that's what my view of Mr. Harrison repre ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Flat out good reading experience once I caught to his hyperbole of stereotypes. You can tell that he is trained in his craft.
Kathleen Brown
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I saw an old interview with Jim Harrison that peaked my interest. Brown Dog came into my hands a few days later. This group of novellas was my introduction to a fine writer and the crazy character Brown Dog. Some parts were hilarious while other parts reached deep into my nature loving spirit. Hard to admit I became fond of this down-on-his-luck, heavy drinking, Michigan Indian with a big heart and a lusty libido. BD's reasoning, observations, and carefree ways serve up a good dose of humor and ...more
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't rate books five stars very often, but Jim Harrison's Brown Dog novellas are simply wonderful. I am in love with B.D. He's half in the bag, interested in fishing and women pretty much to the exclusion of all else, but what he really represents is the natural man. A naif. A gentle soul living a zen life. Wanting nothing except the most primal things: food, booze and sex. He never holds anyone else responsible for his failings. He partakes of nature as deliberately as a bear, using but not ...more
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Carola by: New Yorker review
Shelves: short-stories
I put this on my list after it was eviewed in the New Yorker. I enjoyed the first novella, but two-thirds into the second one, I was uncertain about whether or not the character had anything else to tell me. I'm glad I kept going...Brown Dog did grow on me, despite his many character flaws. In the end, the subtle and incomplete changes in his personality are very realistic. Despite the chaos that Harrison has written into Brown Dog's life, and without wrangling some unbelievable change of fortun ...more
Sep 24, 2013 marked it as to-read
Jim Harrison is one of my favorite all-time writers. Really looking forward to a new Brown Dog.
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
The national anthem of the Upper Peninsula.
Susan (aka Just My Op)
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
4 ½ out of 5 stars
Brown Dog, B. D., may or may not be Indian. He may or may not have found his father's body at the bottom of Lake Superior. His main goals in life seem to be having sex with every woman possible, and get overly drunk as often as possible. He really likes women and he really likes drinking and he's not too concerned with legalities or political correctness.

And I love this guy. I'm a fairly new Jim Harrison reader, but I'm a fan. This series of novellas is a bit repetitive because
Matt Brown
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
brown dog 5/5
the seven-ounce man 5/5
westward ho 4.5/5
the summer he didn't die 4/5
brown dog redux 4/5
he dog 4/5
hilarious, melancholy, and beautiful all at the same time. brown dog is an all-time great character. the first two novellas are possibly my favorite thing i've read this year, while even the lesser stories and moments are still incredibly enjoyable.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting at times, but nothing special about it. Not sure if I would read it again.
Mar 18, 2014 rated it liked it
“Brown Dog” (Grove Press, 1013) by Jim Harrison is a compilation of the six novellas he wrote centered on the namesake main character, all showing this personality working his way through a number of everyday life events. This book collects the first five novellas, which were written between 1990 and 2010, into one continuous story and adds a new sixth and probably final chapter.

When I started in on Brown Dog I was immediately puzzled … probably because I looked for a set-up and a denouement … b
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brown Dog is a complicated simpleton, a feminist womanizer, a charming loser, and a tender-hearted tough guy. Still, none of these paradoxical descriptions can do justice to Harrison's writing, which is at times hilarious, at times poetic, and always profoundly readable.

Harrison is known for his evocation of nature and man's place therein. The cover image shows some cows at pasture (which, to be honest, was a pretty lame choice.) Sure, there's plenty of nature to be found in the Brown Dog novell
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'd never read any of the BROWN DOG novellas, so it was a treat to read them all in one go (honestly, I can't even imagine waiting for twenty years to get them all... and I thought George R. R. Martin took a long time...).

Many others have attempted to describe this series of novellas and have done a much better job than I can, but suffice it to say that this is a "picaresque" novel in the classic tradition -- Brown Dog, the main character, begins the series as nothing much more than a human ID,
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
A few months ago I read A Woman Lit By Fireflies. I loved the novella Brown Dog. I loved the writing. I made a pledge to read the rest of the novellas. Then I saw this collection of BD novellas, and I bought it figuring I probably won't live long enough to honor all my pledges. Plus I like cake.

I see a lot of myself in BD and even more in a friend who likes fishing, baseball and drinking. I see a lot of BD in many men I know who are experts at some arcane male pastime but know next to nothing
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Ok, I should own up that "read" in this case means about a third of the book, and I considered just removing it from my lists, but the truth of the matter is that I was enjoying the book and its main character, but I just can't see it being any more than it already is. Originally presented in serial form, I am told, these novellas would be wonderful digested over a long period, kind of like hearing the latest stories of an office friend as he recounts his regular adventures, but when all of the ...more
Jennifer Doyle
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Well that was completely unexpected. Enjoyed this far more than I ever expected to. There wasn't much available to check out from my online audiobook library so I downloaded this series of novellas about Brown Dog. He loves women, sex, beer, schnapps, and the outdoors. He lives life on the fringes of society in the UP, with side adventures that take him to Canada and California. He even has a criminal record. But this man has a huge heart and is the most sensitive man character I've ever had the ...more
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Brews & Books: August Meetup 1 6 Jul 19, 2016 12:58PM  
Harrison's Uneven Effort 3 19 Aug 28, 2014 06:17PM  

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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

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