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Farmer Paperback – 31 Mar 1989


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; New Delta Ed edition (31 Mar. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385282281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385282284
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,225,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Joseph, a small-town schoolteacher, has always lived a quiet life – at least until his forty-third year, when he suddenly finds himself at a crossroads. He is faced by several dilemmas: he has to decide whether to learn how to work the land on the farm where he was raised, or leave in search of wider, more worldly horizons; he has to choose between Catherine, a tantalizing and sensuous young student, and Rosealee, his beautiful and faithful childhood friend. Perhaps his anxious twin sister and the wise family doctor can advise him, or perhaps he is beyond their help, lost forever in a limbo of hesitation …

“Jim Harrison stands high among writers of his generation.”
NEW YORKER

“'Farmer' is a sensitive, powerful love story about a man on the cutting edge of life. The characters are so real that often my eyes filled up with tears at their plight, their human helplessness.”
RICHARD BRAUTIGAN

Also available in Flamingo: 'The Woman Lit by Fireflies, A Good Day to Die, Legends of the Fall, Wolf' and 'Warlock'.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Daniel S. on 7 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
Jim Harrison is a contemporary american writer worshipped in Europe but, alas, not so well known in his native country. In FARMER, a novel published in 1975, Jim Harrison writes about nature, origins and the heart of America.
Joey is a farmer, an american of the second generation, and the year is 1956. He lives in the northern part of the Michigan state and is one of the teachers of the local school. His sisters have left the country years ago, heading towards the big cities, and abandoning him with their mother. Joey likes to hunt and to fish. It's a simple story.
During a 6 months period, Joey is going to have a kind of rebellion against his so regular life, a nervous breakdown to use a term of the cities. New experiences, long conversations with his neighbour Doc Evans, the contact with nature will replace the tranquillizers. It's an healthy story.
The themes treated in FARMER are universal : love, death, friendship, regrets. The reader cares about Joey's story and understands his simples questions we have all experienced once in our lives. If only we had the courage to face them so openly like Joey did in this superb novel.
A book to discover.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
The Book That Made Me Try to Write Books 15 Oct. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
My sister, Christmas 1981, gave me LEGENDS OF THE FALL. I read it with a sinking vertigo occassioned by the haunting question, How - how could the guy write like that? To find out so that I might accomplish a paler emulation, I read every single word the guy had ever written. But nothing touched me as much as his novel, FARMER. Thin as a ghost in a mirage, this novel explores the affair a gimp middle-aged farmer and schoolteacher has with one of his students. The setting, rural middle-Michigan in the 50s, is SO unurbane, so unsophisticated, that you can smell the manure that Joseph, the twisted-legged yet mythic hero, one cold October morning spreads atop his crunching fields while abysmally hung over. And the woman his age that he deeply loves, Rosealee, is so wonderfully rendered that I spent the novel half-hoping Joseph WOULD indeed abandon her so that I could step inside the book and have her for my own. Finally, the story of their heartbreak and loss, is told in what is a poet's visionary and renengade voice, a voice gruff with whiskey, piercing and memorable with despair. If LEGENDS gave me vertigo, FARMER made me leap over the edge.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Transforming 29 April 1999
By ketchikan9@earthlink.net - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was but two pages into the book when I read the line "He pokes at the ocean with his cane,staring at it with the raptness he felt for the northern lights as a child." And I wept. I grew up in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan and have stared at the northern lights with that same raptness. No other author captures the uniqueness and wonder of the place and the people like Jim Harrison. He understands the soul of the land and of the people who live there. His imagery and attention to detail are masterful.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Thin Book, Giant Tale 27 Aug. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read Harrison's FARMER in one sitting, then made a pot of coffee, and read it again. I recall that I was terribly sad upon finishing, only because the sublime experience had ended. FARMER has no flaws that I can detect. It is simple and has a fierce ecomomy. Tiny book, BIG,BIG story. This is a fine book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Short, bittersweet, and simply superb 31 Mar. 2008
By Timothy J. Bazzett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I "discovered" Jim Harrison while in college thirty-some years ago when I read of his first novel, Wolf: A False Memoir. When he mentioned Reed City in the first line of that book, I was hooked. I never imagined that the little town where I grew up would ever make the pages of good fiction. I shouldn't have been surprised though. Jim Harrison did some growing up in Reed City too. His dad, Win Harrison, was the county agent here. The Harrisons moved away to the Lansing area around 1949, but Jim still credits Reed City as a formative influence in his memoir, Off to the Side. There have been a lot of Harrison books since Wolf, and I've read most of them, but, in re-reading it recently, Farmer still holds up well after more than 30 years. In fact, I still think it is his best novel. It is so much more than just a love story, although it certainly is that. It is a tale of lust and longing, but also one of regret and redemption. Joseph Lundgren, the title character, is at once complex and simple. He is Everyman. In Wolf, the protagonist looked for a wolf in the wilderness mountains of Upper Michigan in the sixties - a time when wolves were all but gone from the state. That same theme - chasing a ghost animal of an earlier time - shows up again in Farmer, when Joseph tries to get a glimpse of a coyote. What he finally sees is no more than a blur for "a tenth of a second." What the middle-aged teacher/farmer Joseph wants in his ill-advised affair with a beautiful high school student is nearly as impossible to define as that search for the elsusive and all-but-extinct coyote. "I wanted to be carried away," he says, trying to explain things to his twin sister. And, at least for a little while, he succeeded. And, while I know there is no "political correctness" about this thirty year-old novel, any man today who can still be honest about his real feelings and simply say the hell with propriety and political correctness, will understand Joseph and what he did. Harrison puts you inside Joseph's skin. You feel his despair, his regrets, his longing for something more. Farmer may be a very short book, but it is as nearly perfect as a novel can ever hope to be. - Tim Bazzett, author of the Reed City Boy trilogy (RatholeBooks.com)
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HEARTLAND 6 Aug. 2001
By Daniel S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jim Harrison is a contemporary american writer worshipped in Europe but, alas, not so well known in his native country. In FARMER, a novel published in 1975, Jim Harrison writes about nature, origins and the heart of America.
Joey is a farmer, an american of the second generation, and the year is 1956. He lives in the northern part of the Michigan state and is one of the teachers of the local school. His sisters have left the country years ago, heading towards the big cities, and abandoning him with their mother. Joey likes to hunt and to fish. It's a simple story.
During a 6 months period, Joey is going to have a kind of rebellion against his so regular life, a nervous breakdown to use a term of the cities. New experiences, long conversations with his neighbour Doc Evans, the contact with nature will replace the tranquillizers. It's an healthy story.
The themes treated in FARMER are universal : love, death, friendship, regrets. The reader cares about Joey's story and understands his simples questions we have all experienced once in our lives. If only we had the courage to face them so openly like Joey did. in this superb novel.
A book to discover.
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