Customer Reviews for

Plainsong

Average Rating 4
( 122 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(50)

4 Star

(43)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Plainsong

A inside look at small town life is exactly what you get from Plainsong, a novel by Kent Haruf. Holt, Colorado is a typical small town with its fair share of drama and problems. This story of unlikely friends brought together by their family problems is heartwarming and...
A inside look at small town life is exactly what you get from Plainsong, a novel by Kent Haruf. Holt, Colorado is a typical small town with its fair share of drama and problems. This story of unlikely friends brought together by their family problems is heartwarming and will leave you wanting more.
At first glance Holt might seem like the perfect small town, but at a closer look you will see that it has a set of problems. A pregnant teen that gets kicked out of her house and Tom Guthrie's wife leaving him to raise two young boys on his own a just a couple of difficulties the town experiences. Luckily there are people with big hearts to help them out.
Maggie Jones offers Victoria a place to stay, but after her father and Victoria have a conflict it is clear it isn't going to work. So Raymond and Harold McPherons offer for her to go stay with them. It is a weird considering that the McPherons brothers are old farmers that had never lived with a girl except their mother who died when they were young. The relationship they form is what makes this story heartwarming and inspirational.
Another odd relationship that is formed is between the Guthrie boys and an old lady that lives in an apartment. After their mother leaves them she is one of the few women that they have in their lives. She enjoys the boys company because she doesn't have any other visitors. They form a great relationship that helps the boys through the tough time in their lives. In the little town when things seem like they are falling apart it seems like there is always someone there to catch it, but can it stay that way forever?
Overall, Plainsong is an excellent book that people that like to learn about small town life would love. The story is heartwarming, inspirational and can provide hope to people that are at a tough point in their life.

posted by Brandi31 on October 26, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Yuck- That's all I can say

My library is one that does not have alot of good books. Most of them are stupid, secular books that have no theme and no character devolopment. When I read the info on what this book was about, I literally thought to myself, 'Ok, this is going to be one of the rare boo...
My library is one that does not have alot of good books. Most of them are stupid, secular books that have no theme and no character devolopment. When I read the info on what this book was about, I literally thought to myself, 'Ok, this is going to be one of the rare books that is pretty good and well-written.' Well, about four chapters into the book, I realized that this book was the same, if not worse, than the others. I guess maybe I'm being paranoid, but it had every bad word in the English language multiple times. Almost all of the book dealt with adult content that young adults should not be reading, and there was absolutely nothing to learn. The characters had no development, there was no real plot, and even though I read it in one day, I can say that this is one that I will talk to my library about removing to save all the other teens from reading a book that is not worth reading.

posted by Anonymous on July 23, 2008

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 10 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted December 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Simple elegance

    Some interpret the word "simple" in a derogatory manner, but I use it here as a high compliment. I appreciate authors who can tell a story in a clean, clear concise manner, and this book does that. It's such a sweet, kind and graceful tale of everyday people experiencing everyday life. I gave this book as a gift for Christmas, and I have given it on other occasions as well. The sequel is also wonderful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    Just Okay

    This book was pick for reading in our book club. I felt it was okay. I held my attention however, it did not seem to develope the characters in the book to a great degree. I would not have chosen this book to read if it had not been in our book club. I also thought for the content of the book it was a bit expensive.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2003

    Weird!

    If you're looking for something 'different' to read, this is the book. I found parts of the book a bit weird and unusual. Not a bad story. We're reading it for our book club discussion and we will have plenty to discuss.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2002

    Oversimplified

    The novel was oversimplified to the point where the theme was probably lost. Haruf had the potential for great characterizations, but he tended to fall short. It felt as though he introduced us to his characters and then ran away before our opinions could form. The only characters that had any kind of development were the positive ones, perhaps reminding us that we shouldn't pay attention to the negative people in our lives. The McPheron brothers were the best part of the novel. They were positive influences on the people they surrounded themselves with. The McPherons were also the most developed characters in the novel, reminding us that being a good person can make you shine more than we realize. Haruf spent very little time in the minds of his characters, leaving us to wonder about their motivatioins. The writing style was probably too simple, causing more confusion than understanding with the lack of quotation marks in the dialogues. If this is a replica of life, maybe we need to take a good look at our lives.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2001

    Lacks excitement

    Our book club could not figure out why this novel was a finalist for the National Book Award! Although it was rooted in reality, it really depicted small town life as boring with characters that lacked depth.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2000

    Generic 'serious contemporary fiction'

    The book is readable enough, but I finished it wondering why Haruf bothered to write it. There is nothing new here in plot or theme, and I didn't find the story or the characters involving. I was charmed by the McPheron brothers, but the other characters ranged from uninteresting to unreal. The writing is flat and affectless, we watch the characters from a middle distance with little insight into their thoughts and somtimes tediously detailed descriptions of their activities. I imagine some readers will find intricacies of autopsying a horse the most ah...memorable and moving scene in the whole book. If these were real people, I'd sympathize with their problems and wish them well with the impersonal good will that I feel for anyone I don't actively dislike, but they're ink on paper and I don't care about them. This, combined with the occasionally soap-operish plot produces the overall dreariness so essential for artistic pretensions. I'm already clinically depressed, I don't need any lessons in misery from literary dilettantes. There is of course the stock up-note at the end of a new baby being born, but since most of the other characters don't seem to be too thrilled about being alive, it's not as effective as it might be. It seems to me that there are 6-10 acceptable themes in 'serious' fiction, other than books devoted to a particular cause, and every time an author repeats the same-old, same-old, the critics hail it as insightful and important. Actually, we've heard it all before. As Sam Goldwyn is supposed to have said, if you want to send a message, call Western Union. If you want to reach people through a novel, write a compelling story. Incidentally, I would advise anyone wanting to tell stories from a variety of viewpoints to read Elizabeth George's last few novels. Her complexly interwoven multiple viewpoints make most people's use of the technique, including Haruf's, amateurish.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1