Plainsong Review
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Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been doing a lot of bargain-bin-book reviews lately. This, however, isn’t one of them. Plainsong is a national bestseller. It was a finalist for a number of book awards. And it was definitely not in the bargain bin. Still, I think I enjoyed some of my bargain-bin books more.

Plainsong takes place in a small town called Holt—in rural Colorado. It tells the story of a number of people in town, including a pregnant high school girl—and the two old bachelor-brother farmers who take her in—and a high school teacher and his two sons. The story isn’t anything particularly exciting or extraordinary (though I loved the McPherson brothers). In fact, I could have done without half of the characters—characters that never really became real. And it’s all about as fast-paced as the lives of the people who live in rural Colorado (and while that’s perfectly fine for day-to-day life, it’s rather dull for a book). For the most part, the book is made up of two stories that are almost totally unrelated—but are somehow supposed to fit together in the end (but even then they only fit together loosely, and it seems forced).

The most disturbing thing about the book, however, is its total lack of quotation marks. Perhaps Haruf wanted to be unique and artistic—but it just didn’t work for me.

This isn’t one of those books that I’d complain about to anyone who would listen. It really isn’t all that bad—just a bit slow. I might, however, recommend waiting to buy it until you find it in the bargain bin.

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