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Plainsong Paperback – 11 Apr 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Plainsong Series

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (11 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447240448
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447240440
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Perfectly formed, beautifully executed. (Mariella Frostrup)

Beautifully crafted, alive and quietly magnificent. I read it in one mesmerising sitting. I had no choice; it wouldn't let me go. (Roddy Doyle)

Plainsong is nothing short of a revelation. I don't expect to read a better novel this year. Or next, for that matter. (Richard Russo)

So delicate and lovely that it has the power to exalt the reader. (New York Times)

Satisfying and warm, Plainsong is as purehearted a novel as they come. (Austin Chronicle)

Plainsong becomes a story of mythic proportion, and not just a story about a small town in the American West, but a story of universal concern. Our story. (Boston Review)

I’ve had the delightful experience once again of becoming so absorbed in a book that I couldn’t have slowed down if I tried. The book is Kent Haruf ’s Plainsong, the most controlled, cohesive novel I’ve come across in a long time. By this I mean that its various elements – character, setting, plot, language, even the names, even the title – all add up to a work as flawlessly unified as a short story by Poe or Chekhov . . . At certain points I was horrified by the austerity of the isolated lives in this story, and yet on every page I savoured the beauty of the telling. (Chicago Tribune)

Plainsong is a beauty, as spare and heartbreaking as an abandoned homestead cabin, always tough but humane, never sentimental. I loved the prose, as bright and hard as the winter sun sparkling off a sandy snow bank; and the characters, scrubbed to their essentials by the extremes of the Great Plains weather. It’s a story that draws the reader like a heat mirage. (James Crumley)

True to the country he writes about, Haruf builds his characters out of small gestures and daily rituals, not dialogue. Theirs is a deep language, like the rumble before an earthquake. (L.A. Times)

[Haruf] writes with a plainspoken, hardscrabble edge that saves his story from sentimentality. It’s a noun-and-verb-only style that’s part Russell Banks, part Raymond Carver, but altogether his own . . . Kent Haruf ’s splendid Plainsong succeeds beautifully. Elegant in its simplicity, elemental in its power, it arouses deep and hard-earned emotions. (Newsday)

Book Description

Preceding the astonishing Eventide and Benediction, this is Kent Haruf's first novel set in the imaginary landscape of Holt, Colorado.

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