Legends of the Fall

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
25
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“[Legends of the Fall] may well be the best set of novellas to appear in this country during the last quarter century.” —Robert Houston, New York Times Book Review

New York Times bestselling author Jim Harrison is one of America’s most beloved and critically acclaimed writers. Now available in eBook for the first time, the classic Legends of the Fall is Harrison at his most memorable: a striking collection of novellas written with exceptional brilliance and a ferocious love of life.

The title novella, “Legends of the Fall”—which was made into the film of the same name—is an epic, moving tale of three brothers fighting for justice in a world gone mad. Moving from the raw landscape of early twentieth-century Montana to the blood-drenched European battlefields of World War I and back again to Montana, Harrison’s powerful story explores the theme of revenge and the actions to which people resort when their lives or goals are threatened, painting an unforgettable portrait of the twentieth-century man.

Also including the novellas “Revenge” and “The Man Who Gave Up His Name,” Legends of the Fall confirms Jim Harrison’s reputation as one of the finest American voices of his generation.
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About the author

James Thomas Harrison was born on December 11, 1937 in Grayling, Michigan. After receiving a B.A. in comparative literature from Michigan State University in 1960 and a M.A. in comparative literature from the same school in 1964, he briefly taught English at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. During his lifetime, he wrote 14 collections of poetry, 21 volumes of fiction, two books of essays, a memoir, and a children's book. His collections of poetry included Plain Song, The Theory and Practice of Rivers, Songs of Unreason, and Dead Man's Float. He received a Guggenheim fellowship for his poetry in 1969. His essays on food, much of which first appeared in Esquire, was collected in the 2001 book, The Raw and the Cooked. His memoir, Off to the Side, was published in 2002. His first novel, Wolf, was published in 1971. His other works of fiction included A Good Day to Die, Farmer, The Road Home, Julip, and The Ancient Minstrel. His novel, Legends of the Fall, was adapted into a feature film starring Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt. Harrison wrote the screenplay for the movie. His novel, Dalva, was adapted as a made-for-television movie starring Rod Steiger and Farrah Fawcett. He died on March 26, 2016 at the age of 78.

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3.8
25 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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Published on
Dec 20, 2013
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Pages
999
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ISBN
9780802192219
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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“Among the most indelible American novelists of the last hundred years . . . [Harrison] remains at the height of his powers.” —Dwight Garner, The New York Times on The River Swimmer

New York Times bestselling author Jim Harrison is one of our most beloved and acclaimed writers, adored by both readers and critics. In The Ancient Minstrel, Harrison delivers three novellas that highlight his phenomenal range as a writer, shot through with his trademark wit and keen insight into the human condition.

Harrison has tremendous fun with his own reputation in the title novella, about an aging writer in Montana who spars with his estranged wife, with whom he still shares a home, weathers the slings and arrows of literary success, and tries to cope with the sow he buys on a whim and the unplanned litter of piglets that follow soon after. In Eggs, a Montana woman reminisces about staying in London with her grandparents, and collecting eggs at their country house. Years later, having never had a child, she attempts to do so. And in The Case of the Howling Buddhas, retired Detective Sunderson—a recurring character from Harrison’s New York Times bestseller The Great Leader and The Big Seven—is hired as a private investigator to look into a bizarre cult that achieves satori by howling along with howler monkeys at the zoo.

Fresh, incisive, and endlessly entertaining, with moments of both profound wisdom and sublime humor, The Ancient Minstrel is an exceptional reminder of why Jim Harrison is one of the most cherished and important writers at work today.
The title novella of The Farmer's Daughter opens in the unforgettable voice of Sarah, a fifteen-year-old girl living a life of solitude in rural Montana, where she has recently moved with her father Frank and mother, Peppy, a strict Evangelical Christian. Peppy and Frank home-school Sarah but don’t fully understand her, and her only escape is in the rapture of playing music on her piano, riding around the gorgeous countryside on her horse with her dog in tow, and spending time with several important mentors, including Tim, a grizzled old cowboy. They teach her that there’s more to life than her fundamentalist mother wants her to know, and Sarah relishes the heartland education -- and the sexual awareness that comes with her budding womanhood. But then a swift series of events shatters Sarah's quiet existence; her mother runs off with another man, Tim dies of an untreated tumor, and, soon thereafter, while she is attending a local fair and rodeo, Sarah is roofied and sexually assaulted by a fiddler from Wyoming named Karl. The assault poisons her longed-for entry into normal teenage life, and throws Sarah into a downward spiral. Her once joyous sexuality gives way to a general disgust with humanity, and she is bent on revenge, determined to track down Karl and shoot him. On a college trip down to the University of Arizona, she intends "to investigate Karl’s environs," but ends up finding companionship and support in her aunt Rebecca and a Mexican botanist named Alfredo, both professors at the university. As she practices music with Alfredo and their relationship becomes more intimate, Sarah begins to question her revenge fantasies about Karl. The more she weights the consequences with the gratification the act of violence would bring, the more she realizes that she values her life and freedom more than her desire for revenge. Sarah tracks Karl to his parents' home in Wyoming, and is set to shoot him from a safe distance, but at the last moment shoots up his pickup truck instead, terrifying Karl but sparing his life. She returns to Montana, and Alfredo flies up to meet her father and drive her down to her first year of college in Arizona.

In the next novella Harrison picks up the thread of beloved recurring character Brown Dog, who when we last saw him was in Toronto to save his developmentally disabled adopted daughter Berry from being locked in an institution. But Toronto has run out of welcome -- as has the married woman whom BD has gotten involved with -- so when BD is contacted by the American Indian advocacy group who's been helping him out, with a crazy plan to sneak he and Berry back into the States, and a promise that Berry can go to a nice residential school with outdoors activities, he knows it's time to move on. The school's director has a son who is in an Indian rock band called Thunderskins, and they're going to sneak into the country aboard the band's tour bus, concealed inside the enormous stage drums. BD is still pining for his social worker Gretchen, of course, and when they get home she suggests that she's ready to become a parent and is considering him as a sperm donor. BD is not entirely comfortable with just being a donor, nor with the medical establishment's down-the-nose attitude to the middle-aged, broken down pulp cutter who presents himself for the pre-donation checkup. At first it seems that he and Gretchen are just too different to come to an agreement, but in the end, they find a way to make it work.

Harrison’s final tale, "Games of Night," is the memoir of a retired lycanthrope in contemporary times. Bitten by a Mexican hummingbird when he was a young man, the protagonist becomes instantly ravenous--for food, and sexually--and gains superhuman strength during the full moon. He quickly learns to isolate himself from other people during his "spells" to protect them, but still awakens after several days to disturbing reports of his feverish episodes of epic lust, physical appetite, athletic exertion, and sometimes acts of violence. But in many ways this werewolf is a normal guy--he still pines for his childhood sweetheart, and the woman with whom he had his first sexual experience (eventually reuniting with both as an adult); he wants to do the right thing and attempts to go on treatment for the rare blood disorder (brought on by the hummingbird bite, perhaps) with which he is (mis?)diagnosed. In the end, he settles down with the childhood sweetheart in rural Montana, as remote a place as he can find, and continues to manage his malady. "Games of Night" is funny, poignant, ribald, and all in all a suitable bookend to Wolf, The Beast God Forgot to Invent, and Harrison's other takes on the animal nature of man.
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