Where You Once Belonged

Where You Once Belonged

4.3 9
by Kent Haruf
     
 

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The red Cadillac pulled down Main Street and sat by the tavern for hours, unnoticed. Then Ralph Bird of the Men's Store recognized the driver as Jack Burdette and bolted to the sheriff's office. The prodigal son of Holt, Colorado, had returned--and he was far from welcome.

In Where You Once Belonged, acclaimed novelist Kent Haruf tells of a small-townSee more details below

Overview

The red Cadillac pulled down Main Street and sat by the tavern for hours, unnoticed. Then Ralph Bird of the Men's Store recognized the driver as Jack Burdette and bolted to the sheriff's office. The prodigal son of Holt, Colorado, had returned--and he was far from welcome.

In Where You Once Belonged, acclaimed novelist Kent Haruf tells of a small-town hero who is dealt an enviable hand--and cheats with all of the cards. In prose as lean and supple as a spring switch, Haruf describes a high school football star who wins the heart of the loveliest girl in the county and the admiration of men twice his age. Fun-loving, independent, Burdette engages in the occasional prank. But when he turns into a man, his high jinks turn into crimes--with unspeakable consequences. Now, eight years later, Burdette has returned to commit his greatest trespass of all. And the  people of Holt may not be able to stop him. Deftly plotted, defiantly honest, Where You Once Belonged sings the song of a wounded prairie community in a narrative with the earmarks of a modern American classic.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Why is strapping, impulsive Jack Burdette, legendary bad boy and ex-football hero, promptly thrown into jail when he returns to Holt, Colo., after eight years on the run? The reader discovers the answer halfway through this deeply affecting novel. Earlier, we learn how Jack has abandoned his pregnant wife, two small sons, a girlfriend and piles of unpaid shopping-spree charges, but his sins against the town prove to be even more serious. The story is narrated by the editor-publisher of Holt's weekly newspaper; he is transformed from rueful, detached observer to tragic participant in the events, which inexorably unfold to a stunning climax. Haruf captures small-town people with a sharp humor and sympathy worthy of Edgar Lee Masters's Spoon River Anthology . Not a word is wasted in his brooding drama, which conceals a tender love story in its bruised heart. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Setting dominates Haruf's brief, unhappy novel of stilted lives and desperate actions. Holt is a small wheat-farming community in rural Colorado, its people passive observers of life as if living it were for others. The flat, dusty land that surrounds the town engulfs it in a prison of calm. Narrator Pat Arbuckle, editor of the local newspaper, records the action but is himself unable to act. His counterpart, Jack Burdette, is pure motion. A former local football hero long used to being observed and having his way, he operates on instinct and nearly destroys the town, which is no match for his cunning and brute force. This is an effective second novel from the author of The Tie That Binds. Recommended.-- Joseph Levandoski, Free Lib. of Philadelphia
From the Publisher
"Taut and deadly. . . . A terse and beautifully wrought                 narration."  —Los Angeles Times

"A beautifully told parable—simple and stark and true." —Newsday

"Where You Once Belonged speaks with the authenticity of . . . Hemingway and Faulkner." —The Denver Post

"Haruf's brooding, pondering style translates into first-class writing." —Rocky Mountain News

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307807854
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/09/2011
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
39,597
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Kent Haruf’s honors include a Whiting Foundation Award, a Stegner Award, a Frank Waters Award, and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation. His novel Plainsong won the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the New Yorker Book Award. He lives with his wife, Cathy, in his native Colorado.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
South Central Mountains of Colorado
Date of Birth:
February 24, 1943
Place of Birth:
Pueblo, Colorado
Education:
B.A., Nebraska Wesleyan University, 1965; M.F.A., Iowa University (Writers' Workshop), 1973

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