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Great Leader The [Paperback]

Jim Harrison
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 12 2011
Literary legend Jim Harrison gives us a brilliant new work that finds him writing at the height of his powers, and in fresh and audacious new directions. The Great Leader is the story of Detective Sunderson, a northern Michigan police detective who has recently retired and has one case he can’t quite shake -- the investigation of a cult leader whom he eventually pursues to Arizona and further afield. Harrison gives readers a unique take on the culture of “Yoopers” (what folks from the rest of Michigan and the Midwest call people from the Upper Peninsula) and cops, in a novel that is wonderfully clever, powerful, and slyly redemptive.

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". . . one of the most memorable tales [from] contemporary master [Jim] Harrison . . ." --Kirkus, October 1, 2011

"You can still feel the excitement every time [Jim Harrison] pulls something new out of his ear, which happens on pretty much every page he writes . . . very close to magic." --The New York Times, September 30, 2011

About the Author

Jim Harrison is the author of more than twenty-five books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The winner of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship, he has had work published in twenty two languages. He divides his time between Michigan, Montana, and Arizona.

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3.0 out of 5 stars A good read Oct. 5 2011
A new book by a mature novelist tells the story of a retired detective on the trail of a cult leader with a penchant for girls from age 12 and up. Soaked in the pleasures and pain of alcohol and food (this protagonist, Sunderson, is no vegan!), the book would have been reduced to a novella without the aforementioned descriptions of booze and meat. The other themes are the temptations of sex and the healing effects of nature walks for this 65 year-old.

A minor quibble is that some sentences would have been more clear with the use of more commas. I had to re-read some to make sure I understood their meaning. The beauty of well-placed punctuation cannot be understated.

Otherwise a well-written work by one America's better authors. It will certainly be appreciated by readers who generally like Jim Harrison's oeuvre.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly entertaining. Oct. 26 2011
Retired police detective Sunderson has just retired from the Marquette, Michigan police force. He was in the middle of an investigation of a cult leader suspected of having sexual relations with minors. Ironically, Sunderson has his own sexual proclivities in that direction spying on his neighbour, Mona, who walks naked around her bedroom well aware of Sunderson's prying eyes. Hardly, a female enters the story narrative that his character doesn't remark on the shapeliness of her rear end or the size and shape of her breasts. His interest verges on the obsessive. Sunderson philosophizes on all manner of subjects besides male sexuality; fishing for brook trout, his relationship with a wife he believes rightly divorced him, death, Mexican women, Mexican gangs, cult religions etc. You get the picture. The book's been rightly subtitled, 'a faux mystery,' because there really isn't much of a mystery with few words expended on its unraveling, and little effort arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. Nevertheless, the book is surprisingly entertaining and well worth the time spent reading it.
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