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Plainsong (1999)

by Kent Haruf

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Plainsong (1), Holt cycle (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,5372071,826 (4.01)721
Fiction. Literature. HTML:National Book Award Finalist

A heartstrong story of family and romance, tribulation and tenacity, set on the High Plains east of Denver.

In the small town of Holt, Colorado, a high school teacher is confronted with raising his two boys alone after their mother retreats first to the bedroom, then altogether. A teenage girlā??her father long since disappeared, her mother unwilling to have her in the houseā??is pregnant, alone herself, with nowhere to go. And out in the country, two brothers, elderly bachelors, work the family homestead, the only world they've ever known. From these unsettled lives emerges a vision of life, and of the town and landscape that bind them togetherā??their fates somehow overcoming the powerful circumstances of place and station, their confusion, curiosity, dignity and humor intact and resonant. As the milieu widens to embrace fully four generations, Kent Haruf displays an emotional and aesthetic authority to rival the past masters of a classic American t… (more)
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» See also 721 mentions

English (194)  Italian (4)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (2)  German (1)  Piratical (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (206)
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
This book has characters that are so real. I swear I have met each one of them. The dialogue was written so well that I could hear the voices jumping off the page. The setting of Colorado was also as alive as the people in the story. I was touched many times by acts of kindness and quiet moments of generosity and love that just took my breath away. Simple, straightforward and full of heart, itā€™s worth it. ( )
  Andy5185 | Jul 9, 2023 |
What a smooth and easy read with a great ending. What read like a series vignettes that laced at the edges the story was crisp like Steinbeck but without the hard edges. Life in the 1980's in a high plains ranching town a couple hours from Denver. Simple but certainly not plain lives of people in Holt, CO were well described by not over done. KH limited his words in many scenes. Scattered images noted gave a sense of place and feeling. Almost a 5.0. ( )
  JBreedlove | Apr 1, 2023 |
Fine, beautifully simple tale that intertwines the destinies of a pregnant high school girl, a pair of bachelor farmers, and a high school teacher struggling with the collapse of his marriage and the task of raising two boys on his own. ( )
  LyndaInOregon | Feb 5, 2023 |
Sweet story. I don't like the omission of quotation marks, but this isn't the first book to do that. ( )
  JRobinW | Jan 20, 2023 |
Enjoyed reading the book a lot, there was a really nice rhythm in the prose. Most of the characters were almost too likeable though, and the others were too awful. ( )
  steve02476 | Jan 3, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kent Harufprimary authorall editionscalculated
Carey, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pera, MartaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stecschulte, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vosmaer, MartineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Plainsong - the unisonous vocal music used in the Christian church from the earliest times; any simple and unadorned melody or air
Dedication
For Cathy And in memory of Louis and Eleanor Haruf
First words
Here was this man Tom Guthrie in Holt standing at the back window in the kitchen of his house smoking cigarettes and looking out over the back lot where the sun was just coming up.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Fiction. Literature. HTML:National Book Award Finalist

A heartstrong story of family and romance, tribulation and tenacity, set on the High Plains east of Denver.

In the small town of Holt, Colorado, a high school teacher is confronted with raising his two boys alone after their mother retreats first to the bedroom, then altogether. A teenage girlā??her father long since disappeared, her mother unwilling to have her in the houseā??is pregnant, alone herself, with nowhere to go. And out in the country, two brothers, elderly bachelors, work the family homestead, the only world they've ever known. From these unsettled lives emerges a vision of life, and of the town and landscape that bind them togetherā??their fates somehow overcoming the powerful circumstances of place and station, their confusion, curiosity, dignity and humor intact and resonant. As the milieu widens to embrace fully four generations, Kent Haruf displays an emotional and aesthetic authority to rival the past masters of a classic American t

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Average: (4.01)
0.5 1
1 9
1.5 4
2 61
2.5 15
3 234
3.5 82
4 549
4.5 97
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