- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Picador; Main Market edition (11 April 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1447240456
- ISBN-13: 978-1447240457
- Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 69 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Eventide (Plainsong) Paperback – 11 Apr 2013
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Possesses the haunting appeal of music, the folksy rhythms of an American tale and the lovely, measured grace of an old hymn. (Michiko Kakutani New York Times)
Wonderful . . . peopled with individuals whose ordinary lives are invested with epic quality and truth. (Niall Williams Sunday Times)
This is a novel that succeeds in affirming life without ducking its hardships. (Mail on Sunday)
Two taciturn bachelor brothers, a dim-bulb couple living in a trailer, a quiet preteen boy living with his grandfather, a social worker, and a young mother abandoned by her husband . . . The plain truth is you can’t stop reading or caring about them. (Boston Globe)
Haruf’s laconic style – with nouns as strong and upright as fenceposts, the verbs as clean and sharp as razor wire – creates a richly symphonic effect . . . In creating a place whose people are tethered to each other by history and emotion as much as place, Haruf’s work is now competing with Faulkner’s Mississippi. (Chicago Sun-Times)
Luminous . . . Haruf’s uncanny ability to stay out of his characters’ way is evident again in Eventide. What comes out of their mouths, whether it is kind, mean, ignorant, confused, intelligent or clouded by loneliness, is true and hard, spare as life on the plains . . . Eventide depicts a time, a place and its people so sincerely and so compellingly, with moments of such rare beauty, that the reader cannot walk away. (Colorado Springs Independent)
Melancholy truths set to gorgeous melody . . . Haruf sings the second verse of his moving hymn to life on America’s great plains. (Kirkus)
Haruf makes us care about these plain-spoken, small-town folks without ever resorting to sentimentality or clichés. Instead, he uses their language to capture the mood and mores of the town . . . His story possesses the haunting appeal of music, the folksy rhythms of an American ballad and the lovely, measured grace of an old hymn. (New York Times)
Highly charged and compassionate . . . Every action in Holt casts a long shadow, and the gist of Haruf ’s story is what happens when those shadows touch. The results are equal parts grace and calamity . . . slow, deliberate, highly charged. (New Yorker)
This novelist writes with such unabashed wonder before life’s mysteries, such compassion for frail humanity that he seems to have issued from another time, a better place. (Newsday)
Following the astonishing Plainsong, Eventide is Kent Haruf's second novel set in his imaginary landscape of Holt, Colorado.See all Product description
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Two years on, we meet some of the characters of that earlier novel again. The dear old McPheron brothers are there again, now living alone again on their farm, missing Victoria, the girl they had taken in when she was a seventeen-year old pregnant girl, and who had gone to college some 125 miles away, taking her little daughter with her. But she will return to the ranch often, and remains an important presence in the book. There is the school teacher Tom Guthrie, his two boys Ike and Bobby, again helping out occasionally at the McPheron farm.
We are introduced to new characters: Luther and Betty June Wallace who, with their two children, live on social security in a trailer; Betty’s delinquent uncle, Hoyt Raines (an especially vivid portrayal); D.J. Kephart, an eleven year old orphan, solemn, responsible and taciturn, who lived with his 75 year old grandfather and now looked after him rather than the other way round. He has two little friends, the daughters of sad Mary Wells whose husband had deserted her. Haruf is very good describing friendship between children. There’s Rose Tyler, a social worker, and Linda May, a hospital nurse.
Nothing very much happens in Part One - mostly just vignettes, like the McPheron brothers at a cattle auction; Luther and Betty June shopping with their food stamps; a fight between boys at school; D.J. learning to ride a bicycle - all told in the sort of detail that we had in Plainsong.
But then, not long after the beginning of Part Two, there is shocking drama on the cattle farm when one of the McPheron brothers dies. By this time - especially if we have read the preceding volume - we have come to care so much for the brothers that this and the grieving aftermath are really painful and moving to read. But this is a life-affirming book. The surviving brother will still have much to live for - Victoria and her little girl for one thing; but there is more: he makes new relationships of a kid he has never had before - even if I find the last of these a little unconvincing
There are other dramas:
One relates to D.J.’s grandfather.
There is a bad road accident.
There are two harrowing incidents of child abuse; after the first of them there is an excellent account of the following court procedures; the second has distressing consequences, again movingly described.
The novel is as involving as its predecessor, and it, too, ends in a slightly open-ended manner. So my next review will be about Benediction, the final book in the trilogy.
It is not for everyone but would appeal to those who enjoy reflecting about loneliness , isolation and what shapes the human psyche. English students should read it for the style & use of language.
FROM VERY LITTLE DETAIL INTO BIGGER ROLES AS HIS WRITING DEVEOPS.AS A TRILOGY THIS
SKILL ALLOWS HIM TO DRAW YOU INTO HIS WORLD OF INTRIGUE.IT DEPICTS THE OFTEN HARSH WORLD
OF THE AMERICAN MID WEST.COMPELLING WRITING,ALWAYS HOLDS YOUR INTEREST.
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