×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Where You Once Belonged
     

Where You Once Belonged

4.3 9
by Kent Haruf
 

See All Formats & Editions

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

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.

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

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:
70,976
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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Where You Once Belonged 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very good read. Interesting characters with lots of memorable events, but I was so, so disappointed in that ending!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Common people, real life.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
Kent Haruf tells the story of a man who can’t see beyond his own point of view, through the eyes of a friend who can’t help seeing too deeply into everyone else’s mind. And slowly the tangled links between the two become clear. Jack Burdette is back in Holt Colorado, and at first nobody even sees him. But when they do, nobody’s glad. Jack doesn’t even seem to know why he came back. The narrator, however, sees more than a fat man in a car, and tells the story of a boy growing up, childhood pranks, drinks and poker slowly turning to unintended hurts and deepest wounds. The story changes when Jack leaves town. A larger than life character, he leaves a hole much larger than life in the community. At this point the narrator begins to enter his tale. Permanent losses are paired with the incomplete and hope begins to grow. But don’t read this story for an upbeat ending. It’s a novel of middles and middling through, believing there’s hope when hope fails, and finding out if there’s really any place where you belong. In the end, the main character is neither the narrator nor the man in the car, but the town itself, wounded, growing and healing from the hurts its people inflict. Disclosure: I borrowed this book from a friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Where you once belonged is an interesting story. Jack Burdett (the main character) shows many different talents as well as emotions. He grew up with a rough life, but still managed to be a football star through high school, and earn a full ride scholarship. He didn't do so well in College, and ended up getting into trouble. He's a very unpredicatable character. Throughout the story he makes a numerous amount of choices, which did not lead to the best of choice for him, and ended up hurting him in the future. Kent Haruf did an excellent job describing the characters, and event throughout the entire story. He did so well that while I was reading, I actually stopped and thought about all the desccriptive words he used, and it inspired me as a writer.