Thursday, January 4, 2007

Plainsong - Kent Haruf

Completed in September 2006. Words cannot describe how I hated this book. I wanted to like it--I really, really did. I guess the only reason I did want to like it was because it is set in northeastern Colorado where I grew up. I cannot imagine my grandparents reading this novel; they would be disgusted with it if they did. Haruf may have lived and taught in the area, but he DOES NOT get the people or community right AT ALL. When I think of the place where I was raised, I think of people similar to the characters in Gilead or in Peace Like a River. I get angry just thinking about how much I hated this book. To top it all off, Haruf likes to "be different" and "get creative" by not using any punctuation marks AND by using a multitude of asinine run-on sentences.

Now, I did hear that the Hallmark movie was good. I may actually like it because I suspect they took out the parts I hated. Well, I know this is a scathing review, but it was well-deserved.
1999, 301 pp.

Rating: 0.5 (only because it got published!)


Les said...

Oh, dear. And this is one of my all-time favorite books. The sequel is even better. Sorry you disliked it so much!

John Self said...

Hey, say what you mean and stop sitting on the fence!

I agree that a little grammatical "innovation" goes a long way, but on the other hand I think it's vital for authors to continue to try to forge new ways of expression. Don't forget that novels as we understand them are only 300 years old and have been evolving ever since!