Eventide : Plainsong

  • by Kent Haruf
  • Narrated by George Hearn
  • Series: Plainsong
  • 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of the most beloved novels in recent years, Plainsong was a best seller from coast to coast, and now Kent Haruf returns to the High Plains community of Holt, Colorado, with a story of even more masterful authority. When the McPheron brothers see Victoria Roubideaux, the single mother they'd taken in, move from their ranch to begin college, an emptiness opens before them, and for many other townspeople it also promises to be a long, hard winter. A young boy living alone with his grandfather helps out a neighbor whose husband, off in Alaska, suddenly isn't coming home, leaving her to raise their two daughters. At school the children of a disabled couple suffer indignities that their parents know all too well in their own lives, with only a social worker to look after them and a violent relative to endanger them further. But in a small town a great many people encounter one another frequently, often surprisingly, and destinies soon become entwined (for good and for ill) as they confront events that sorely test the limits of their resilience and means, with no refuge available except what their own character and that of others afford them.
Spring eventually does reach across the land, and how the people of Eventide get there makes for an engrossing, profoundly moving novel rich in the wisdom, humor, and humanity for which Kent Haruf is justly acclaimed.

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What the Critics Say

"In the hands of another writer these events might read like a hick town soap opera, but Mr. Haruf's understated prose, combined with his emotional wisdom and his easy affection for his characters turns these events into affecting drama." (The New York Times)
"Highly charged and compassionate." (The New Yorker)
"Haruf's storytelling at its best." (Entertainment Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wonderful!

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.
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- Bill L.

Good story about small town life

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.


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- Chrissie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-05-2004
  • Publisher: Random House Audio