Where You Once Belonged
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I was totally absorbed in Kent Haruf's WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED from start to finish. Holy crap, could this man write a story! Just a plain and simple read (you think) set in small town USA, and with so few characters. Ha!
Pat Arbuckle, newspaper owner/reporter for Holt County narrates the life of BIG Jack Burdette that, at first, I found somewhat amusing, but those feelings did not last long. What surprised me the most, I think,...more
Kent Haruf's lean economy of words will pick you ...more
I'm having a very unique problem lately. This is the second book that I've thoroughly enjoyed that I can't really recommend to anyone for fear that they'll hate it. So, once again, take my rating and this review with a grain of salt. You'll likely fucking hate this book.
Where You Once Belonged is a book that I would label a tragedy, in the vein of such depressing fair as Of Mice and Men and The Green Mile. Bad shit happens in this book, and the author doesn't care about yo ...more
"If nothing else, Jack Burdette knows how to disappear."
As the sun slowly dips beyond the horizon, Jack Burdette, with his freshly new linens on credit, opens his car door, sits down and turns the ignition; he’s on his way out of town, away from his past. He suddenly returns eight years later with a plan and no one can stop him from achieving his goal.
Haruf shows us that life isn’t always fair and the bad guy doesn’t always get caught; life is open-ended and no one is safe, bereft from a na ...more
Once again , Haruf with his understanding of small towns and the people who inhabit them, writes a novel that is anything but simple. Using his spare style of prose but an intimate tone by our narrator, a young man who runs the local paper that ...more
The story is told by Holt Gazette owner/operator, Pat Arbuckle, about loved town football hero, Jack Burdette, and how he turned into the hated town black sheep. Its so much more the story of people, an observation of how they want a hero so badly that they will ignore the obvious and how money, and particularly the loss o ...more
Don’t think I can improve on that description. What I can’t figure is how pondering and brooding translates into great fiction. But it does. Haruf has a way of telling a story that sometimes appears to be almost elementary, inexperienced, something a beginning writer might write. I guess that is what makes it brilliant. ...more
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, ...more
Haruf returns to his fictional town of Holt for another dose of small town life mixed with big time drama. The writing is lean and clean and there's not a single unnecessary word or phrase. Burdette, as the `bad guy' could have ended ...more
This story ...more
I've had a literary love affair with Haruf, and this was the only book of his I hadn't read. We now have no new territory to explore together.
His book, Eventide, remains my five-star favorite; I do believe it was his Great American Novel, but Where You Once Belonged was wonderful. They're all wonderful. And, even though this particular story is just so ...more
The story moves very quickly and you want to see what happens next but there are gaps where you never do get to learn what happens. Ultimately, this is unsatisfying.
On the other hand, I will read anything Kent Haruf has written. He is a unique and gifted writer.
He always took what he wanted, no remorse.
His wife and children were still in town.
All the people of Holt were unable to stop him, but were left with a sad reminder , broken people in a lonely town.
The author packed so much emotion in relating this story. The characters were made so alive, you could feel their hurt.
As I have said in reviews of his other books, Haruf is a master storyteller. There aren't any dull moments in his books, and his characters are golden. This is my least favorite of his books, but I mostly attribute that to the ending which disappointed me. Far be it for me to ...more
Kent had such a knack for describing places and people with vivid detail, while using a few words as possible. It's a trait that lends itself to his descriptions of eastern Colorado along the high plains. He characters are rich and their voices are true to life.
The story is about a spoiled child who grows up to be a spoiled selfish man who takes what he believes he is entitled to, whether it tr ...more
Having grown up on the plains of Northeastern Colorado makes reading Haruf's books even more of a treat. I love it when he references various towns and landmarks that I know well, even if he does give some of them different names. Those of you who also made the ...more
Where You Once Belonged reads like a memoir in first person, even though it is fiction. The story begins at the end and moves back in time then ends where it began. That much was interesting. There was not much to the novel, the story is scant, not much action, very little thought, just an account of things and people. There was nothing profound about it. I'm not sure what to think about the ending (I'll not ruin ...more
You should know that when I have a literary crush and a penchant for buying books, it's all I can do to not scoop up all of the works I can by ...more
In this spare novelette, Kent Haruf -- a master at exploring small town America -- tells the story of Jack Burdette, a natural-born bad boy whose selfish and pathological behavior forms the twisted spine of this book.
Jack had once been the town hero, because as an oversized teen, he had been a brilliant football player, and even after he washed out of the University of Colorado as a freshman, the men of rural Holt, Colorado, decided he was the perfect choice to run the town grain elevator.
The writing is beautiful, but spare, bringing to mind the young Hemingway - or early Larry McMurtry when he told tales of people and passion (All my Friends Are Going to be ...more