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Plainsong

Plainsong

Scritto da Kent Haruf

Narrato da Tom Stechschulte


Plainsong

Scritto da Kent Haruf

Narrato da Tom Stechschulte

valutazioni:
4/5 (53 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
9 ore
Pubblicato:
Jan 1, 1999
ISBN:
9781461810759
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Kent Haruf has received prestigious awards, including a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation for his finely-tuned works. Before the opening chapter of this novel, Haruf offers a definition. Plainsong is “any simple and unadorned melody or air.” Direct yet elegant, Haruf’s Plainsong is a hymn to the breadth of the human spirit. A high school history teacher in a small Colorado town, Guthrie is raising his two young sons alone. Thoughtful and honest, he is guiding them through a world that is not always kind. Victoria, one of his students, is pregnant, homeless, and vulnerable to the scorn of the town. When Guthrie helps two elderly ranchers take the young woman into their home, an unlikely extended family is born. As the chapters of these people’s lives alternate throughout Plainsong, loneliness and need are transformed into nourishing bonds. Narrator Tom Stechschulte captures the subtle changes that bring the men, women, and children together. His performance highlights every shading of this superb New York Times best-seller.
Pubblicato:
Jan 1, 1999
ISBN:
9781461810759
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Kent Haruf is the author of six novels (and, with the photographer Peter Brown, West of Last Chance). His honours include a Whiting Foundation Writers' Award, the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award, the Wallace Stegner Award, and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation; he was also a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and The New Yorker Book Award. Benediction was shortlisted for the Folio Prize. He died in November 2014, at the age of seventy-one.

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4.1
53 valutazioni / 105 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    This is Kent Haruf's justifiably praised story of the McPheron brothers' involvement in helping young woman and her baby. It's been about four years since I read it, but Haruf's foursquare language, his evocations of the eastern plains of Colorado, his beguiling depiction of the two ranching brothers and their impulse to help their deserving neighbors."Plainsong" led to the sequel "Eventide," but is superior. The cast of characters, the events, and the ranchers' activities all hit the bulls eye in "Plainsong" but slightly miss the mark in "Eventide." Read "Plainsong." It will come back to you in sweet memories of conversation, scenes, relationships, and tablaux. I definitely recommend it.
  • (5/5)
    „Victoria. Hör mir zu. Du bist jetzt hier. Du bist hier und nicht woanders.“ (Originalzitat, Maggie Jones zu Victoria)

    Victoria, 17 Jahre alt, wohnt bei ihrer Mutter. Der Vater hatte die Familie längst verlassen und dementsprechend verbittert reagiert die Mutter, als Victoria von einer Sommerliebe schwanger ist. Sie wirft Victoria aus dem Haus. Ihre Lehrerin Maggie nimmt sie vorübergehend auf, aber ihr alter, verwirrter Vater reagiert verstört auf Fremde im Haus. In Holt lebt auch ein altes Brüderpaar, die McPherons, die nie geheiratet haben und seit früher Kindheit gemeinsam ihre Rinderfarm bewirtschaften. Victoria kann bei ihnen wohnen. Doch werden die raubeinigen alten Herren und das eigenwillige junge Mädchen den Alltag meistern können? Und was ist mit Ella los, Mutter der beiden Jungs Ike und Bobby, die großteils von ihrem Vater Tom Guthrie versorgt werden, der an der Highschool Amerikanische Geschichte unterrichtet? …

    Kent Haruf lässt uns in seinem Roman am Leben einiger Bewohner der fiktiven Kleinstadt Holt irgendwo in der endlosen, flachen Weite (Plains) von Colorado teilhaben. Allerdings erkennt man rasch, dass es dem Schriftsteller mehr um die Schilderung des kleinteiligen Alltagslebens in Holt ging und weniger um die Einzelschicksale.

    Er wählt die neutrale Erzählperspektive und stellt dem Leser insgesamt sieben Bewohner von Holt genauer vor, die er in kurzen Kapiteln abwechselnd in den Vordergrund treten lässt, wo er eine Situation oder ein Ereignis im Tagesablauf der jeweiligen Person schildert. So lernen wir Victoria Roubideaux kennen, die mit 17 ein Baby erwartet und die Brüder Harold und Raymond McPheron, zwei alte Junggesellen, Farmer, die Victoria bei sich aufnehmen. Wir erhalten auch Einblick in das Leben von Ike und Bobby Guthrie, 10 und 9 Jahre alt, und das ihres Vaters Tom, der an der Highschool unterrichtet, so wie auch seine Kollegin Maggie Jones. Weitere Bewohner von Holt ergänzen die Ereignisse rund um die Hauptpersonen jeweils als Beteiligte. Dadurch ergeben sich mehrere parallele Spannungsbögen, jede der sieben Personen hat eine eigene Problematik, die sich im eigenen Rhythmus zuspitzt und erst am Ende der Geschichte mit den anderen verbindet.

    Der Autor lässt seine Protagonisten in knappen, kurzen Sätzen sprechen. Geht es jedoch um die Landschaft, die Natur in einzelnen Tagesabschnitten und Jahreszeiten, wechselt er in sprachgewaltige, bildhafte Beschreibungen, in die er die Stimmung der Personen einbettet. Gezielt setzt er auch manchmal Metapher ein, so verwendet der Autor die Ulmen im Zusammenhang mit alten Brüdern McPheron und verstärkt durch diese Schilderung der Bäume auch das Bild in den Gedanken des Lesers: zwei Männer, alt, wortkarg, "knorrig", aber unter der rauen Schale gute, freundliche Menschen, vom harten Leben vielleicht gebeugt, aber immer noch fest verwurzelt, wie die alten Bäume auf ihrem Anwesen.

    „Dann sahen sie in ihre dicken, schwieligen Hände, die sie flach ausgebreitet vor sich auf den Tisch gelegt hatten, und schließlich schauten sie aus dem Fenster zu den kahlen, verkrüppelten Ulmen hinüber.“ (Zitat 140).

    Dieser Roman hat mich sehr beeindruckt, weniger die einzelnen Personen, sondern hier ist es das Gesamtbild aus dieser weiten, aber einsamen Landschaft mit der typisch amerikanischen Kleinstadt und ihren Einwohnern. Dazu die kraftvolle und dennoch fließende Sprache, die für mich beinahe pures Lesevergnügen war – mit einer persönlichen Einschränkung: einige Szenen mit Tieren sind sehr realistisch und detailgetreu beschrieben. Ich konnte keinen Zusammenhang mit der Geschichte erkennen, es diente weder dem Handlungsablauf, noch der Erklärung für ein Verhalten eines Protagonisten und mir ist nicht klar, was der Autor damit aussagen wollte.

    Fazit: ein Buch für Leser, welche die sprachliche Qualität eines Schriftstellers zu schätzen wissen und eine Geschichte in ihrer Gesamtheit sehen können, denen es aber nicht so wichtig ist, jedes Detail aus dem Leben der einzelnen Protagonisten zu kennen.


  • (3/5)
    This is a good book. It is well written in a solid and peaceful, beautiful way, reminding me a little of Dan O'Brien. There is a little, quiet, human humor. Haruf conveys the feeling, and the tribulations, of life in rural Colorado. I don't entirely connect with the characters, though; perhaps they are missing some quirkiness or diversity. They are a bit flat and predictable—realistic and believable, but bland.
  • (3/5)
    3.5 The size and stillness of the high plains fill this understated book. Worth it for the gift to the doctor.
  • (5/5)
    Small towns anywhere, in this case Colorado, all have characters, each with their own hum. Put them all together, and the Gregorian Chant begins to emerge. The two young brothers morph into the two elderly brothers. Will the young teenage mother morph into her own mother with broken dreams?This is book 1 of a trilogy. I hesitate to read the second because of my fear of disappointment. Eventually I will. Stechschulte does a good job with multiple voices.
  • (5/5)
    As many others have said, strong characterization, good narrative, a warm and engaging portrayal of loosely interacting lives in a rural community. This is a book simply to enjoy for its merit in taking the reader into another world, engaging him or her within that world, making us want to stay in that world a little or a lot longer. Loved it.
  • (5/5)
    Plainsong. Kent Haruf. 1999. Oh, my goodness! What a book! And to think it has been sitting on my-to-be-read shelf for several years. What a waste. Haruf slowly unveils the soul of a small Colorado town as he relates the inter-related stories of some its inhabitants: two lonely brother bachelors who take it a lonely pregnant girl; the depressed mother of two little boys; the boys’ father; a bully and his ignorant parents; and the pregnant girl. The prose is sparse, but perfect, and we are drawn into the characters lives as if we knew them, and we do know them by the end of the novel. I hated for it to end.
  • (4/5)
    Plainsong weaves together the stories of Victoria Roubideaux, seventeen years old, pregnant, and thrown out of the house by her mother; the McPheron brothers, Harold and Raymond, elderly bachelor ranchers; high school teacher Tom Guthrie and his two sons, Ike and Bobby; and Maggie Jones, another high school teacher.

    Set in the small town of Holt, Colorado, sometime in the 1980s or 90s, this is a meditation on community, decency, and pulling together. Victoria, pregnant and now homeless, turns to her teacher, Mrs. Jones, for help. Maggie takes her in, and when it becomes clear that her father's advancing dementia makes the house unsafe for Victoria, she convinces the elderly, and lonely, McPheron brothers to give her a home.

    Meanwhile, Tom Guthrie and his two sons, nine and ten years old, are struggling to adjust to first the emotional withdrawal of wife and mother, and then her actual withdrawal from their lives. The two sets of brothers, the Guthries and the McPherons, find their own connection, as the boys reach for growing maturity and independence, and the men learn both to support Victoria and depend on her. And Victoria learns that she's not just a burden and an inconvenience, but has her own strength and value, too.

    This is a beautiful story, told in deceptively simple language and style. Holt is not utopia, and there are wrong people here as well as the good ones, and real challenges and problems to be overcome. In the end, though, this is a story that's deeply positive about people.

    Recommended.

    I bought this book.
  • (2/5)
    This story takes place in a very rural community in Colorado. It was difficult to care about the characters in this book, especially since the pov didn't allow the reader to know what anyone was thinking, and their actions often didn't make any sense to me, even given what I knew about the characters. I could never place them in time either, but there was a reference to Nancy Reagan, so if I had to guess between her movie star days vs First Lady, I'd guess it was earlier. No one seemed to respond much to their situation; they just went about their dull-witted ways. Maybe that was true to the culture of the people depicted.

    This is the first book I've read by this author. If the others are also third person limited, yet without any internal motives shared, I would probably give it a miss. It won awards in the literary world but it didn't really score any points with me.
  • (3/5)
    Book club was evenly split on this one: half loved its simplicity and real characters, half thought it was a depressing snoozefest. I was sadly in the latter group. Won't read any more from this author.
  • (5/5)
    Haruf's first entry into the Plainsong trilogy is a gentle read packed with human interaction and characters who may resemble someone you know. It is a place where everyday occurrences hold weight no matter how small. We see the kindness of strangers, the surprisingly painful actions of family, the ancient need to connect, to talk and to share. A place where the young look after the elderly and vice a versa. Yes, it is a kind of utopia yet realistic enough to remind the reader he/she is grounded and in familiar territory. It is a nostalgic, sentimental journey, yet not overly sweet, to a time set in the recent past which is still relevant today.Edit More
  • (4/5)
    This is a really lovely book, for which I am a bit ashamed I let sit for so long on my bookshelf before finally getting around to reading it. The author has created a small town in rural America, populated it with people the reader can really recognize as "real" -- at least I did -- giving them both positive and negative attributes and lets them deal with real life problems, some of them between themselves. And through it all, makes the whole process of life worth all the effort for no other reason than it just ends up more good than bad, and not necessarily because of any particular religious belief, given that none was ever mentioned in all that happens. If I have any nitpicking to do, it involves a situation in the book that my experience says would not have been resolved as easily as this book implies. But then I could be wrong. All in all, it was a joy to read.
  • (5/5)
    An immersing tale of a community of people in a small town in Eastern Colorado, a school teacher, his two sons, his estranged wife, a pregnant 17 year old and two old bachelor brothers. It is superbly portrayed with the language conjuring up lonely wind swept plains.
  • (5/5)
    Heartwarming
  • (3/5)
    Touching, simple story. I liked this a lot!
  • (5/5)
    A man and his two boys, a pregnant girl, a teacher and two bachelors, all in a small town. Their separate stories and how they intersect and help each other without too much interference. Haruf is wonderful. This book made me want to read more of his work.
  • (3/5)
    Plainsong is about the people of a small town in Colorado, in about the 1980's. The central story is about a teenaged mother who finds a home with two older ranchers.I give this book 5 stars for the writing style. Kent Haruf has a spare writing style, but it somehow creates very rich imagery and very real characters. A few words can be very powerful in the hands of this author.But I was disappointed in the plot. There are several stories here, and only one of them comes to any kind of resolution. And the connection between the stories is loose at best. It was frustrating to come to end of the book, and not know why certain side storylines were included.
  • (4/5)
    Haruf offers a map of emotional dynamics: the small kindnesses, petty mean-spirited acts of people interacting with family, neighbours, colleagues. Taken alone, each amounts to little, but day in / day out .... It becomes clear that in such a pattern, a solitary gesture among a series of its opposite leaves a mark. Haruf examines this in his portrayal of people living with their individual hurt: their thoughts and actions toward others, toward themselves.Plainsong connects to humanity, all of it. It asks that I be mindful of what's right, and what's good. To take care for the mark I leave.
  • (5/5)
    Stunning, stunning writing. Why on earth is Kent Haruf not better known? This is one of the most evocative, beautifully written books I have ever read. You can hear the voices of the characters in your head - so real, so true. I have just discovered that there are two other books which are loosely allied with this, I can't wait to read them. Do yourselves a favour, read this book!!
  • (4/5)
    Reminded me of Marilynne Robinson (and that's high praise), given its concern with humanity and morality, and its spare understated style.
  • (4/5)
    This is a story set in a small town of Holt near Denver, of a school teacher Guthrie, his two sons, his estranged wife, a pregnant teenage girl, two old cattle farmers and minor characters. Guthrie after being estranged from his his wife tries to move on and find new female partners while getting into a tussle with a unruly student. His two sons are getting used to the fact of a home with no mother. A teenage girl decides to keep her baby and is thrown out of her house by her mother, goes to live with two elderly cattle farmer brothers.My first impression was that this book and the authors writing style had many negatives. There is no background stories of the characters, no internal dialogue and no explanations of their actions. But still there a strong kinship with these characters as they are so real. A totally new and novel reading experience.
  • (3/5)
    Beautifully written, about members of a small town and how their lives intertwine. The two old brothers who end up taking in a pregnant high schooler as if their daughter is sweet, but ultimately, this is one of those bland, slice-of-life stories.
  • (5/5)
    Oh my gosh, I loved it.
  • (5/5)
    I love Kent Haruf's writing style. He takes a small town, with ordinary people without extraordinary lives, and paints a novel with beautiful strokes. He doesnt develop the charachters, he doesn't have to, because you know them. Or people like them. What he does, is write. And he does this beautifully. There is no grand plot here, no deep mystery you need to solve....it is a picture of everyday America, but done by a Master. I will be reading more of Haruf.
  • (5/5)
    Plainsong tells the story of life in the small town of Holt, Colorado. I grew up in a small town and live in one currently. I'm fascinated by small town life, but I'm also very critical of books that don't get it quite right. Haruf gets it right. He tells the story from multiple perspectives, a high school teacher, his two sons, two bachelor farmers, and a pregnant high school student, to name a few. The storylines interweave and create a tapestry of small town life. The characters don't always make good decisions. They are not always likeable. But they are real. And there is the spark of hope and goodness that underlies even challenging situations. My favorite chapter was the one in which the two bachelor farmers take the pregnant high school student (who they've taken in) shopping for a crib. I was grinning through the whole thing. This is a special book, told by someone who knows small towns and their residents, who understands their problems, but who sees the good deep inside.
  • (4/5)
    I don't often rank things according to goodreads 'hate, dislike, okay, like, really like' scale. I think books should be rated as good or bad; sue me. But this one... this one I couldn't resist. I liked it, okay? Yes, it's simplistic, goodies and baddies are signposted more effectively than in your average Captain America strip. Yes, it's kind of a morality tale. Yes, it borders on the hopelessly romantic. Yes, there are more analogies in the first chapter than I would usually allow in any roman a fleuve, let alone single volume novel. Yes, it reads kind of like Cormac McCarthy if he was really happy and content, and honestly? That's really freaking weird.

    But... sometimes you just want to read something that's nicely written, that suggests there's a reason to have faith in anything, that aims for easily comprehensible structure and prose rather than whatever the most recent literary theory might be. This book is Friday Night Lights without football, with the same simple yet believable claim: hell is only other people when you're already hellbound. People will still read this long after all the tricky theory stuff has been out of print for years. That's not an unquestionable good, but I suspect it's a fact.
  • (4/5)
    In the town of Holt, Colorado, a father and his two boys cope with his depressed wife living in bed and then moving out. An elderly woman reaches out to the two boys while they work on their paper route. A pregnant girl is kicked out of her mother's house and turns to a teacher for help. Two gruff brothers live outside town limits working hard raising cattle.The story runs about nine months, weaving in and out of the various lives of these characters as they have joys and sorrows, heartbreak and love. It's a meandering, melancholy tale but it's not overly sad or depressing either. I didn't love the choice to forgo quotation marks when someone spoke, and it took awhile for the story to seep in but once it did I found myself caring very deeply about these characters and their lives. I especially loved the relationship that developed between the pregnant girl, Victoria, and the people who cared for her after she was thrown out. I supplemented my reading with the audio version when I was driving, and I really enjoyed Tom Stechschulte's performance.
  • (4/5)
    This was wonderful.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent.
  • (5/5)
    Loved this book.