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Download Returning to Earth Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Returning to Earth Audiobook, by Jim Harrison Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (856 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jim Harrison Narrator: A Full Cast Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455185528
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In this sequel to Harrison’s True North, Donald Burkett, a middle-aged Chippewa-Finnish man, is dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease. While his wife, Cynthia, transcribes, Donald begins dictating his family history for the benefit of their children, stories that he never before has shared.

As old crimes, dreams, wounds, and sacred moments are revived for the members of Donald’s family, each is affected in different and profound ways. Each will describe in his or her own voice the inner journey catalyzed by Donald’s death and legacy.

This is a deeply moving book about origins and endings, about honoring life, honoring the dead, and finding redemption in unlikely places.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Harrison’s characters speak with a gripping frankness and intimacy about their own shortcomings and delve into their grief with keen sympathy.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The exceptional cast…presents [Donald’s] story, sometimes harshly, sometimes tenderly, but always unsentimentally and truthfully…In this beautiful, spiritual book, the narrators offer impressive performances, bringing a welcome clarity to each human moment.”

    AudioFile

  • “Harrison sounds the themes he has been working out over the course of his long and prolific career, including the healing power of nature and the deep connection between the sensual and the spiritual…Harrison displays a seemingly effortless ability to present abstract issues in earthy, muscular prose.”

    Booklist

  • “Gracefully moving…Living a good life and dying a good death are big themes but Harrison comes at these subjects with a unique storytelling subtlety.”

    Bookpage

  • “The structure of the book lends itself well to a spoken version, and Blackstone Audio has splurged in its production, using a different narrator for each of the four parts/characters of the work.”

    ForeWord

  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2007

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Howard | 2/15/2014

    " I have read a handful of Harrison's work and love his wit...this book was OK....a dying mans life and effect are viewed through the eyes of those around him...a few too many characters...drags in the middle "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 2/14/2014

    " This is a story about living and dying from many points of view. The Native American perspective was insightful. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alisa | 2/12/2014

    " I may have been happier with this book if I hadn't read in it short 15 minute pre-bedtime chunks. It's slow going and it took me a long time to get into it. I just didn't really care about any of the characters or narrators, though the voices were certainly distinct. Meh. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 MattA | 2/1/2014

    " Highly recommend reading True North before this book. I wouldn't necessarily call this a sequel to True North but some of the characters carry over. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisa | 1/27/2014

    " Only read about 25% of this book club book. I could not stand stream of conscience style. English teachers would love it though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 1/25/2014

    " The main strength of this book - in my opinion - is Harrison's characterization. I liked having the different voices/characters telling this story, and I especially liked that they didn't just repeat the exact same incident from each of their viewpoints. Rather, each speaker extended the story, telling the reader more about their unique reality - rather than just 'rehashing' the pivotal incident in the book. Granted, some of the characters were what we'd call a tad 'unstable,'yet all seemed vey REAL. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 1/19/2014

    " A lot of characters and Harrison's typical sparse writing style. I liked it,but it would take a certain kind of reader for me to recommend it to. I think fans of Bonnie Jo Campbell would like it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary Ann | 12/29/2013

    " So boring, so repetitive. The climax of the book was actually great. Emotional. Overall, not worth it-- sorry! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bill Alexander | 11/22/2013

    " Dragged on and on "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 11/21/2013

    " less funny than his other books, but still one of my favorite authors. His newest book is on Times best 100 for this year "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keri-Dawn | 11/20/2013

    " Great so far... a little confusing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley | 11/12/2013

    " IMHO, some of the characters in this book will live on like a ghost tapping on your subconscious mind. I am always intrigued by Mr. Harrison's development of characters that embrace Native American culture and spiritual beliefs and this book doesn't disappoint in that vein. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erica | 9/4/2013

    " Details how different characters deal with loss (including the character who is dying). Very much a downer, and not terribly memorable. ... eh "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gavin | 8/20/2013

    " Good but not great. Harrison's dialogue is wordy, and doesn't feel natural to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 6/21/2013

    " One of the best meditations I've found on mortality, nature, and the ethos of the best of the working class. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 12/19/2012

    " Read this for book group. I didn't like it much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerrie | 6/17/2012

    " Book Club: first book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 2/16/2012

    " Harrison's writing is beautiful, and this was an enjoyable, quick read. Nice stuff to get your mind off the detritus in your own life, and to get you thinking about what really matters to us all in the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 1/31/2012

    " The simplicity and directness of this book is beautiful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adam | 12/11/2011

    " Brilliant, sad, and thoughtful. A heartbreaking look at the dignity one and one's loved ones exhibit at the end of life. Also has one of my favorite lines of any book ever: "Moment by moment it was lilacs." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Luckyfrgg | 11/6/2011

    " A beautiful and haunting book about preparing to die. I don't cry often, and this one got me. But it also is peaceful and meditative at the same time that it's heart-wrenching. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan Smith | 7/15/2011

    " Liked it, but realized through this book that I'm a plot addict, and straight character books like this just don't do it for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 4/20/2011

    " Harrison has continued to put out one good book after another. This was very insightful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rodica | 3/1/2011

    " My second favorite Harrison (after Dalva)... Lovely, lyrical, all-American. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 1/3/2011

    " pretty gruesome in spots, also very depressing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 1/3/2011

    " Liked it, but realized through this book that I'm a plot addict, and straight character books like this just don't do it for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Guyla | 11/8/2010

    " One of the best books I've read in a long time! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trina | 11/8/2010

    " I always like the rural and wild settings in Harrison's novels, and I loved the beginning of this. Although all the characters are full and interesting and the writing is captivating, I didn't think it added up to enough of a story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keri-Dawn | 11/1/2010

    " Great so far... a little confusing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 10/22/2010

    " Harrison's writing is beautiful, and this was an enjoyable, quick read. Nice stuff to get your mind off the detritus in your own life, and to get you thinking about what really matters to us all in the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 9/29/2010

    " Honest portrayal of people dealing with life's inevitable twists and turns. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 RH | 6/28/2010

    " A passionate earthy man orchestrates his own poetic death. The first half of the book is perfect. A character named Flower is barely part of the story yet her shrewd, mystical, semi-feral lifestyle haunts my imagination. "

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About the Author
Author Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison (1937–2016) was the author of over thirty-five books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including Legends of the Fall, The Road Home, The English Major, and The Farmer’s Daughter. His writing appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Playboy, and the New York Times. He earned a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Spirit of the West Award from the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association. His work has been recognized worldwide and published in twenty-two languages.