Annalisa's Reviews > Plainsong
by Kent Haruf
by Kent Haruf
I get the point of the novel: to give a glimpse of small town life without extravagance. Beauty in simplicity. But I felt more depressed then touched by Haruf's picture of a whole town of people lonely in their own selfish wandering aimlessly without direction. I didn't like any characters in the book, except for maybe the boys who weren't old enough to yet become bitter, mean, and immoral. Nobody else in the book cared about anyone else as they focused on their small lives. Nobody did anything for another person unless thrust upon them. Every last one of them was swallowed up by an environment that dampened motivation, optimism, love until the whole town was just going through the motions worried only about how daily life and others were affecting them. Nobody made me care what became of them and I did not relate to a single one of them. I understand that just plain people is the point, but I suppose my issue is that I disagree with Haruf's interpretation of life. All people have redeeming qualities and I have found that most people are likable. These people were not. It saddened me that someone would think that empty souls is what ordinary life is all about. I wanted to feel something for anyone, anything in the book, but I did not. I didn't learn anything nor was I left with any lingering sensation or thought and it wasn't the type of book that was just an enjoyable read and I could get caught up in the story. I suppose that's the thing with art is that a piece of work that will touch one person is just a collection of strokes to another and this was not a piece of art that grabbed by attention.
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