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The River Swimmer: Novellas (Anglais) Relié – 17 janvier 2013

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3,9 étoiles sur 5 108 commentaires provenant des USA

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Now in paperback, the�New York Times�bestseller from beloved master Jim Harrison,�The River Swimmeris a portrait of two men confronting aging, inconvenient loves, and the encroachment of urbanity on nature, shot through with Harrison's trademark wit and insight into the human condition.� --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

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Amazon.com: 3.9 étoiles sur 5 108 commentaires
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Always a good read! 18 mars 2013
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Disclosure: I live in Michigan, I've read most of Jim Harrison's fiction and essays, and I've heard him read several times. Basically, I keep coming back to his writing because I very much like it. Why? I think that his protagonists seem very honest. They are not supermen, but people created to be as complex as someone you'd meet on a northern Michigan street, men who are bright, articulate, and introspective, but who sometimes make very human mistakes. More specifically, his heroes are typically (but not always) middle-aged men who love food, art, travel, nature, and women. Harrison can, in one paragraph, beautifully discuss French cuisine and the Impressionists; in the next, he can have his protagonist guiltily and graphically lusting after a long-ago love. Simply, any writer who has his main character dissecting and reviling a bullying, two-faced, materialistic "giant of capitalism," and (in an earlier book) flushing his own cell phone down the toilet, resonates with me. Harrison--as befitting a writer who has endured poverty in his earlier years--is sensitive to inequalities of economic class, or the "haves" and the "have-nots,"--a dichotomy well-represented in northern Michigan.
More to the point, the first novella in this collection is absorbing, well-paced, and good. The second, "The River Swimmer," contains some of the best Harrison writing I've read: The story is detailed, well-paced, "builds" steadily, and is written in something, I think, like "magical realism." I think Harrison takes some chances in this narration, and it pays off with a story I'll not soon forget. Like it and want to read something else by Jim Harrison? I suggest A Woman lit by Fireflies (novella), The English Major (a recent novel), and Off to the Side (essays). Good luck and welcome to the club!
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Hard To Put Down 8 octobre 2014
Par Earnstone - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
A good book is always hard to put down but Jim Harrison books seen particularly so. These two long short stories (novellas) work well together in that the latter looks at life from the beginning of adulthood in the person of the 17 year old title character while the former is a 60 year old painter & art expert not so much looking back as deciding to live in the now. I found the first story much more compelling & readable and not just because I'm closer to 60 than 17. Its prose was simpler, the vividness of memory and the everyday not as strained as the magic realism & timid conjecture of the younger man. In either case, sex seems easy to come by whether one is 17 or sixty with willing partners down the road or across the beach. And the author writes about fish & fowl with equal passion, with the older character's mother an avid birder even post sight and the younger enthralled by magical water babies in the river depths. Food fares well in both stories with a cherished pickled bologna conjuring the same sense in the first story that a liver sausage & onion sandwich does in the second. Simple pleasures for the men of the upper Great Lakes. What's fun in both stories is also the fish out of water journeys of rural Michiganders to the bright lights of Chicago & Paris. If you've made that journey, much of the detail rings true. If you only read one story, make it the first. But if you can't put the book down after that, there's enjoyment to be had in continuing on.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Harrison, at his most mesmerizing 23 mai 2013
Par Kindle Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Jim Harrison writes. I read what he writes. That's been our relationship.

Of late, it seems to me, his writing has become outsized - more crude than comic and preoccupied more and more with geezer hood, its lusty appetites for food, wine and women bloated and out of control. I've been enjoying his work not as much as I had.

Up until I picked up the "River Swimmer." He's gotten his unbridled enthusiasms and lustiness a little bit in check. And his writing is better for it. The novella that gives his latest book its title is as dreamy and mesmerizing as anything Harrison has written.

Thad, the farm boy swimmer of this picaresque story, is drawn to water the way a magnet attracts metal. Water, mainly water flowing between the banks of a river, is his obsession. He swims at every chance, Midwestern winters included. He dreams of swimming the Nile, risking being bitten in half by a hippo. He fantasizes about slicing through Gulf Stream currents. When the opportunity presents itself, he navigates the rivers on a swim south from Upper Michigan to Chicago.

But it's in a deep pool in a river near his home that Thad encounters the "water babies," the magical underwater infants who just may be the souls of lost children. These mystical cherubs present Thad with a world of wonderment that shapes his experience and view of humanity. The aquatic creatures, which only he encounters, knock his sensibility off kilter and leave the farm boy feeling "victimized by the miraculous."

Narrative drive isn't what gives Harrison's stories their buzz. Action, for Harrison, is never as important as the reaction his characters have to the natural world around them, the adventures they face and how they fit in with their environment.

The opening story in the book, "The Land of Unlikeness," concerns an old duffer, an Ivy League professor, 60-year-old Clive. He is an unaccomplished artist who turns away from his academic career to return home to the family farm in Upper Michigan to care for and abide by the instructions and demands of his zany mother. Half blind but a keen observer of birds and acutely tuned into the rich variety of sounds they make, she is among Harrison's array of memorable characters, a person who never stops offering her son the advice she feels he still needs.

Using the homecoming to his best advantage, Clive loses his sense of self-importance. Soon after, he oddly feels his dead soul begin to come back to life. The visit home then becomes an opportunity to take a road trip and renew his relationship with his estranged daughter.

Best of all, the trip home gives Clive the chance to once again ogle his high-school girlfriend Laurette, now 60, with a very pleasurable though "fleeting glance at her admirable bottom." Laurette fuels Clive's libido and he finds himself ordering painting supplies for a nude study of Laurette, a painting he's had in his mind for decades. Like Thad, Clive is awakened to what it means to be human.

I'm Harrison's age and yet I rely on him as I would a father to give me my life's lessons, and not incidentally for having reminded me of the benefits to body and soul of trout fishing. Harrison has Clive say at one point that everyone has to do something while they're awake and with his new-found pragmatism Clive thinks "so why not paint?" I've broadened that notion and applied it to Harrison's body of work. Like all of us, I have to do something while I'm awake and as far as I'm concerned, I'm planning to continue reading whatever Harrison cares to write.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great novella 17 avril 2015
Par Lena D - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The title novella, The River Swimmer, is Jim Harrison beyond his best. It's a great story written like a fast moving river. The matter of fact introduction of the water babies is a welcome addition to the story. The first novella is good, but The River Swimmer novella is the reason to buy this book.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 It's Harrison 29 janvier 2013
Par Alee - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Having read all of Harrison's work, I was not surprised by the first of the two novellas that comprise this book, but was both surprised and charmed by the second. The first is a fairly predictable account of a failed late middle aged artist who drinks too much and can't (and won't) quite figure out what went wrong with his life. The second is a wonder, a virtual fairy tale of a young man solidly grounded in midwestern life,but really not of this world. The story conveys the main character's separation from normal human connection,while emphasizing his desire to connect in the most basic way (lots of sex). All in all, a most satisfying read for both. Harrison really is one of the best writiers we have.
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