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Plainsong (1999)

by Kent Haruf

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,3142041,716 (4.01)702
A heartstrong story of family and romance, tribulation and tenacity, set on the High Plains east of Denver.
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» See also 702 mentions

English (191)  Italian (4)  Catalan (2)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (203)
Showing 1-5 of 191 (next | show all)
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 |
Nice story of single people in the plains who get into a makeshift "family." ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
Set in the small rural community of Holt, Colorado, this book tells rotating stories among several residents: high school teacher his sons who are missing their mother, a pregnant seventeen-year-old, and two middle age unmarried ranchers. A second teacher serves as a connection point among the characters. Their stories start out discretely, and eventually converge. It is a quiet story about loneliness and reaching out to others for help.

The chapters’ headings clearly indicate which story is being presented. There is no single protagonist – it is a cast of equally important characters. The antagonists bring bullying and meanness into this placid landscape, creating dramatic tension. The reader is not privy to any of the characters’ inner thoughts, so motives must be attributed. It will appeal to those that enjoy realistic, character-driven stories about life.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
This is a lovely quiet novel of life in small town Holt, Colorado on the high plains. It is told in short episodic chapters focusing on several of the town's characters, including high school teacher Guthrie, who is having marital problems, and his sons Ike and Bobby, and pregnant teenager Victoria, who kicked out by her mother finds a home and family with two elderly brothers Harold and Raymond who work the family farm. The book takes place over the course of a year.
A calming, satisfying read.

3 1/2 stars.

First line: "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 his son was just coming up."

Last line: "They stood on the porch a while longer in the evening air seventeen miles out south of Holt at the very end of May." ( )
  arubabookwoman | Sep 17, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 191 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kent Harufprimary authorall editionscalculated
Carey, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pera, MartaTranslatorsecondary 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
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A heartstrong story of family and romance, tribulation and tenacity, set on the High Plains east of Denver.

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Average: (4.01)
0.5 1
1 10
1.5 4
2 58
2.5 14
3 232
3.5 83
4 530
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