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Our Souls at Night Hardcover – 4 Jun 2015
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|Hardcover, 4 Jun 2015||
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My major literary discovery of this year has been Kent Haruf. I devoured his Plainsong trilogy and adored Our Souls at Night. His style is lean and spare, without sacrificing any emotional impact. (Laura Barnett, author of The Versions of Us)
To ring true, description of even the humblest kind of fulfilment and contentment must be written in awareness of human inadequacy and cruelty and the possibility of illness, ruin, death. One false word can make it all incredible. I don't think there's a false word in Kent Haruf's final novel, Our Souls in the Night . . . Many novels have been about the pursuit of happiness, but this one is luminous with its actual presence . . . Perhaps happiness is less predictable than misery, since it partakes of freedom. Like freedom, also, it's never secure; it can't be for ever. But it can be real, and in this beautiful novel, we can share it (Ursula K Le Guin Guardian)
Simple, low-key and absolutely beautiful. (The Times)
Gritty, painful and human . . . his novels are imbued with an affection and understanding that transform the most mundane details into poetry . . . Haruf's final novel is a beacon of hope; he is sorely missed (Francesca Wade Financial Times)
I loved Kent Haruf's small-town love story (David Nicholls)
A novel full of kindness, open-heartedness and grace, of ordinary experiences and commonplace regret . . . unputdownable as a thriller - an unlikely page-turner full of quiet surprises . . . It's an astonishing piece of writing (Literary Review)
A delicate, sneakily devastating evocation of place and character . . . Haruf's story accumulates resonance through carefully chosen details; the novel is quiet but never complacent (New Yorker)
A humane, deeply affecting final novel (Daily Mail)
His great subject was the struggle of decency against small-mindedness, and his rare gift was to make sheer decency a moving subject . . . This novel runs on the dogged insistence that simple elements carry depths, and readers will find much to be grateful for. (New York Times)
Utterly charming and distilled to elemental purity . . . such a tender, carefully polished work that it seems like a blessing we had no right to expect. (Ron Charles Washington Post)
From the Folio Prize-shortlisted author of Plainsong, Eventide and Benediction, a stunning novel about finding happiness.See all Product description
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The language is as simple as Shaker furniture, and has the same sense of being beautifully solid and crafted. It's a wholesome, encouraging book without ever being trite. Its great virtue is its truthfulness; the way that the central characters speak and behave, the way that their relationship waxes and wanes, are completely credible. It is precisely the absence of drama that makes the book such a deep reflection of the ordinary lives that are lived all around us. You'll end it wondering what your own neighbours are doing, and what business it is of yours to wonder at all.
I found the layout of the book a little difficult at first but soon got into the story and the characters just danced off the page with their lives. It felt as if you were sitting in their home watching as they went about their daily routine.
Lovely story, sad to think it was the author's last book.
This is very short read, 179 pages, but it is a completely moving and beautiful book. Brave and sad. By the end, tears were streaming down my face and I was completely heartbroken by the entire book; the story, the characters, the writing. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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and I did not realised that was a short story.