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Extended Audio Sample True North Audiobook, by Jim Harrison Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.35 out of 53.35 out of 53.35 out of 53.35 out of 53.35 out of 5 3.35 (31 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jim Harrison Narrator: Christopher Lane Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2005 ISBN: 9781455181063
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An epic tale that pits a son against the legacy of his family’s desecration of the earth, as well as his father’s more personal violations, Jim Harrison’s True North is a beautiful and moving novel that speaks to the territory in our hearts that calls us back to our roots.

The scion of a family of wealthy timber barons, David Burkett has grown up with a malevolent father and a mother made vague and numb by alcohol and pills. He and his sister Cynthia, a firecracker who scandalizes the family by taking up with the son of their half-Native American gardener, are mostly left to make their own way. As David comes into to adulthood enlightened by three unforgettably intoxicating women, he realizes he must come to terms with his forefathers’ rapacious destruction of the wood of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, as well as with the working people who made their wealth possible. With thirty years of searching for the truth of what his family has done while trying to make amends, David looks closely at the root of his father’s evil—and threatens, like Icarus, to destroy himself.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Harrison consistently commands our attention for his humanity and his tenderness…True North [is] a great achievement.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “His descriptions of flora and fauna stand at the head of the line of American writers. True North is no exception. When Harrison writes about a blizzard, you shiver. When he describes a thunderstorm, you see lightning.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “The many pleasures embedded within make True North another necessary installment in the work of one of the finest writers working today.”

    Seattle Times

  • True North, with its tensions, tenderness, wisdom, violence and salvation, is a truly American novel.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Harrison’s forte is plumbing the depths of the human psyche, and in True North, he goes off the high dive, knifing toward the bottom of the deep end...[Christopher Lane] is pitch-perfect in this, moving with ease through Harrison’s lovely sentences. He never wallows in Burkett’s despair, but neither does he fail to take it seriously. He comes across as being as reflective and sensitive as Burkett.”

    Houston Chronicle

  • “Harrison combines a love of nature and life in the wild, which he describes in splendid, soaring prose, with a rich and troubled conscience tortured by the ambiguities of modern life…[Harrison] bursts through with splashes of true brilliance.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Lane succeeds in creating a sympathetic take on the young man as he navigates through making amends for his own comfort at the expense of the great woods around him…Both his humanity and his narration of Harrison’s beautiful nature prose make this an audiobook worth exploring.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michelle | 2/16/2014

    " Oh man. I'm surprised I made it through to the end. It was almost too much - listening (book on CD) to the narrator's whiny self-absorbed obsession with nothing. I'm not usually this callous, but truly - this man had a wasted life. He just took up space on this planet and I'm glad it was fiction. Why in the world am I giving this 2 stars? Because it somehow held my attention to the end and that's more than I can say for some (even when the narrator was beyond irritating). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 2/3/2014

    " It takes place in the UP! How could I not love it? Actually, Jim Harrison really writes the people and land well. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kathy Swanger | 2/3/2014

    " Well, the first page was a grabber, let you know later... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 2/1/2014

    " An epic work about a rich family in the upper penninsula and one man's search for redemption. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Drew | 1/24/2014

    " 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've re-read this book multiple times and find something new with each reading. It's not an easy read: it isn't meant to be. It challenges the reader to keep a mental map of the events in the life of the book and I think it is the more rewarding read for it. I'm tempted to say that it's fun to spend some time in Harrison's world but he stays firmly rooted in the earth; like truly great writers, he forces the reader to consider this world with a more specific vitality. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine | 1/18/2014

    " Gritty... youth finding himself in the northern peninsula of Michigan "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly Pickerill | 1/18/2014

    " My first Jim Harrison novel; it was amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenna | 12/16/2013

    " Read this for the story line or read it for the historical research. Just read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Tolen | 11/22/2013

    " Great read! Strong environmental stance concerning the clear-cutting of forests in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha | 11/11/2013

    " I like Jim Harrison's writing. In this novel a man spends his whole life trying to understand the greed and basic evil influences of his ancestors. And obviously, that has a major impact on his life and relationships. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 10/21/2013

    " Total Northern Gothic. Good writing, pretty manly though. Fishing and sex. Sex and fishing. But not totally alienating. By the end I was kind of slogging through it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 8/3/2013

    " A truly engrossing novel that reads more like a memoir than like fiction, the characters are fascinating and resonant. I sped through this book in just days and am looking forward to the sequel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Summer | 6/27/2013

    " Jim Harrison is a fabulous writer "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bridget | 3/15/2013

    " A book about the homeland, that is, the UP. Narcissistic is one word I would use to describe this book - a sexual/life fantasy of the author? Somewhat autobiographical? Particularly interesting to me because I live just this side of the UP and hail from Michigan. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lynne | 2/8/2013

    " I've spent lots of time camping and backpacking in this part of Michigan so I did enjoy the scenery of the book. I guess I would describe it as Holden Caulfield as a young adult. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barry | 2/3/2013

    " read this awhile ago and don't remember much of it. pretty telling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 6/17/2012

    " Wow,I really enjoyed this audio book, although it was very different from what I normally read/listen to. :-) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marc | 6/14/2012

    " Not sure how in tandem this and Returning to Earth are. It seem JH either split the story in two, or suddenly took off on an odd tangent. This did provide some extra detail to RTE, but the characters in RTE are clearer to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 1/22/2012

    " I absolutely love this mans writing. I love reading about the great woods of Michigan, fly fishing, dogs, and crazy families. I read this novel after reading it's sequel, and that worked just fine for me. Gorgeous prose, great characters, good story telling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 9/18/2011

    " The culture in rural Canada could be as told in this non-fiction book "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Emily | 5/21/2011

    " Liked the Michigan stuff. Harrison makes me cranky because he never has anything good to say about women. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 4/10/2011

    " An epic work about a rich family in the upper penninsula and one man's search for redemption. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 3/23/2011

    " Very good, although I thought the end was contrived. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 2/26/2011

    " The son of a wealthy family who has destroyed much of the north woods of Michigan seeks the source of "evil" in his ancestors. David Burkett's life seems life seems like a waste. Only at the conclusion does he seem to mature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mereke | 2/4/2011

    " It was a long journey. I appreciated the Michigan landscapes and culture (being a Michigander myself). But some of the self-centered philosophizing of the main character got repetitive and boring. Still, a decent read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben | 2/1/2011

    " I had no idea Yoopers could have that much angst. "

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

    " I absolutely love this mans writing. I love reading about the great woods of Michigan, fly fishing, dogs, and crazy families. I read this novel after reading it's sequel, and that worked just fine for me. Gorgeous prose, great characters, good story telling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barry | 11/26/2010

    " read this awhile ago and don't remember much of it. pretty telling. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Emily | 6/24/2010

    " Liked the Michigan stuff. Harrison makes me cranky because he never has anything good to say about women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nanette | 5/5/2010

    " Enjoyed the historical aspects of this book. A bit long on description at times, but Harrison does it beautifully. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bridget | 1/14/2010

    " A book about the homeland, that is, the UP. Narcissistic is one word I would use to describe this book - a sexual/life fantasy of the author? Somewhat autobiographical? Particularly interesting to me because I live just this side of the UP and hail from Michigan. "

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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.

About the Narrator

Christopher Lane is an award-winning actor, director, and narrator. He is a three-time winner of the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration and recipient of ten AudioFile Earphones Awards.