Brian
Brian asked:

What's the story with not using quotation marks?

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Velma I believe that some authors prefer to write dialogue sans quotation marks to encourage (force) the reader to slow down the reading process in order to increase understanding and savor the prose. An article discussing this idea can be found here. The author of the article doesn't care for the practice, but personally I think, in this case in particular, it supports Haruf's spare style.
Rachel I've read that Kent Haruf chose to leave out quotation marks because he felt readers were annoyed by so many little marks on the page. That seems like a viewpoint in keeping with his sparse prose.

Here's a thought from my review of the book: "Dialogue isn't encased in quotation marks, which makes it seem almost a part of the landscape; words and actions run together seamlessly and fit like puzzle pieces with the barn, the school, the dirt road, the bar, the abandoned house."
Mary Otoole I'm listening to the audio book. So, I didn't realized there were no quotations. But there are also not many ..he said.. or she replied. This makes for very pleasant listening. I feel like I'm there listening to their conversations.
Carla Roitz I agree that it works well with Haruf's style.
Vicki I like this technique as it helps keep the dialogue flowing. It's very clever to have the characters so unique that you immediately know who is talking and even imagine their voice.
I particularly like the McPheron men who are humorous and intuitive and endearing.
Cormac McCarthy also uses this method in "All the Pretty Horses."
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