originally posted by MEF on Jun 23, 04 - 11:10 AM
Related Website: [url=http://www.salon.com/books/review/1999/10/18/haruf/[/url]
Some time ago I read Kent Haruf's novel "Plainsong". It is a superbly written account of life in a tiny town in Colorado called Holt. We meet a cast of memorable charcters ."The cast includes a high school history teacher who stands up to ominous pressure to pass a failing student; two small boys whose mother is gradually disappearing into depression; a shy 17-year-old girl whose mother has found out she's pregnant and kicked her out; and two grizzled bachelor brothers whose life revolves around their cattle. These characters are as varied as they come, and yet in alternating chapters Haruf tells each of their stories with the same steady, unstrained rhythm and generous, unflinching tone, so that the unexpected intersections of his character's lives come to seem not just interesting but deeply, reassuringly right." (Maria Russo in Salon).
Yesterday I found a second Haruf novel called "Eventide" and much to my delight it continues (with couple of years interlude) where "Plainsong" left off. I've only read the first part so far but it is proving to be an equal delight. Highly recommended (both).
originally posted by blm on Jun 26, 04 - 11:17 AM
On MEF's previous recommendation I had read "Plainsong" by Kent Haruf (pronounced to rhyme with "Sheriff" according to Haruf's own University homepage). "Plainsong" was one of those books that I wanted to go on forever; I slowed way down near the end trying not to finish it.
"Even Tide" is just as wonderful. I just finished it ... sigh.
I've put in reservations for both of Haruf's previous novels at the library. (Strangely, I recall doing that after I read "Plainsong" - maybe I forgot to press the final [Request] button.)
Haruf has an odd way of presenting dialogue - it's not marked off from the non-dialogue by quotes or paragraph breaks. I found this disconcerting for a couple of pages, but now, having just finished the book, it seems normal and correct.
Similar to my reaction on reading Barbara Kingsolver's "Pigs in Heaven" - for a page or so, I could hardly stand that it was written in present tense, but only for a couple of pages. Another example of this is the ALL IN CAPITAL WRITING of the Owen Meany character in John Irving's "A Prayer for Owen Meany" - I hated the caps when I first saw them, but after a couple of pages, when my eye caught an all-caps section I would look forward to reading another Owen speech.
originally posted by MrsBrown on Jul 18, 04 - 4:22 PM
Another recommendation here!! I read this because of the recommendations of Mr and Mrs MEF. What a wonderful, wonderful novel! It got a star in my list of books. There were parts where I sighed in sadness and a couple of parts with the grizzled old bachelor brothers that I laughed right out loud. It's not often that I laugh out loud in the midst of a novel. I may smile in amusement but actually laughing--very rare.
Like blm, I wanted it to go on forever and I'm very glad that I have Eventide to look forward to. Part of me is hoping that I can get it right away from the library but another part of me is hoping to save it for a while.