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This is a wonderful book, well read. The characters and their world will engage you, and leave you wanting more. Elegantly and sparely written, with dialog that sounds both real and just right. It picks up where Plainsong leaves off, with some of the same characters. I was sorry for the book to end, and hope the series continues.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
What this book imparts is a quintessential view of American agrarian working class people. It is set in Colorado and speaks of small town life, I would guess in the 1970s or 80s. (One family has a microwave.) It is not plot oriented, so if you want lots to happen, look elsewhere. The picture it draws is astoundingly perceptive. The characters have very ordinary lives, but it is the perfection with which they are drawn that is so fantastic.
I cannot think of another book that delivers such astoundingly perfect dialogs. The sentences are short. What these characters say to each other is what ordinary people DO say to each other. The sentences are often composed of one or two words, or just a phrase. The dialogs are varied – between two elderly brothers, between the husband and wife of a family on welfare, a social worker and those she is trying to help, between children, between friends and enemies, the rants of a child abuser. Absolutely all of these dialogs are pitch-perfect. Either Kent Haruf, the author, has a fantastic memory for conversations he has heard or he has used a tape recorder.
The narration by George Hearn, could simply not be better. He delivers the dialogs with perfect pacing. His pauses speak volumes.
This book is the second of a trilogy. The first one is "Plainsong". I read that years and years ago and gave it too four stars. "Benediction" follows “Eventide”, but I have not chosen to pick that up immediately. I want to explain why because I believe it says something about what you can expect from this book. I need a break; I can take only so much. While there is subdued humor in the lines, the book essentially shows the struggle of daily life for many, many ordinary people. Their lives do have moments of happiness. The nice things are rather mundane, but still very beautiful….but maybe you have to look hard to see them. Also, the audiobook format of “Benediction” has a different narrator, and I absolutely cannot imagine listening to a similarly told story with a less competent narrator. The three books are stand-alones; they do not have to be read together, so I will wait! This was so special I don’t want to lessen my appreciation of it with another.
Have I explained properly so you know what this book offers you? Great writing about ordinary people. Superb dialogs. You will come to love some of the characters. For me it was Raymond.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about Eventide?
I have now read the Trilogy, consisting of Plainsong, Eventide and Benediction.
The titles practically illustrate the novels . Beautifully Sparse in their storytelling of a small American town and a handful of their inhabitants. People with few words and simple hard working lives, go about their daily toils and we are drawn deeper and deeper into them ourselves, so much so that you care desperately how things are going to turn out. I wanted the trilogy to go on and on!
Reading these books makes you feel hopeful about humanity.
What other book might you compare Eventide to, and why?
Which character – as performed by George Hearn – was your favourite?
He read it brilliantly. His pace matched the feel of the book.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Any additional comments?
Read or listen to them. A must.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful