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Eventide Audible – Unabridged

4.4 out of 5 stars 262 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: May 5, 2004
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00029DHUE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dave Schwinghammer VINE VOICE on May 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Sara Nelson's book SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME, the author tells us she could not relate to PLAINSONG, that she put the book aside in favor of other books she'd rather read. How could it be, I wondered, that this national reviewer could scorn one of the best novels I've read in the last ten years?

I would assume that once again Nelson will be less than enthusiastic about the sequel. EVENTIDE is one slow-moving story. Haruf fashions scenes where a welfare couple shops for TV dinners at a supermarket. In another, a boy and girl clean out an old garden shed and play Monopoly. In yet another, the McPheron brothers sell their steers at an auction. I don't know how he does it, but Haruf makes these seemingly mundane scenes work. I guess it's because of the heart-tugging humanity they express. We know these people; we see ourselves in them.

I will admit it took me a while to warm to this book. Tom Guthrie and his boys are minor characters for one thing, and as a former teacher, I could relate to him. Right around page ninety or so, this becomes Raymond McPheron's book and you have to be a heartless jerk not to want to hang around with such a mensch. Raymond and Harold are having a hard time dealing with the loss of Victoria and her daughter Katie, who've gone off to college.

Haruf's style is quite spare, but there are hints of Faulkner and Hemingway. Haruf does for Holt, Colorado, what Faulkner did for Yoknapatawpha County. As in the Faulkner novels, the characters are a motley crew. There's a clueless welfare couple who can't seem to do anything right. DJ Kephart, a pre-teen version of Raymond, shepherds his grandfather through pneumonia and stands up for a woman in distress. The welfare couple's uncle is a veritable Simon Legree.
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Format: Hardcover
Three years after the author's previous novel, Plainsong, concluded, the author returns to Holt, Colorado, continuing the story of Raymond and Harold McPheron, elderly ranchers who lived in almost complete isolation until they agreed to provide a safe haven for a scared and pregnant teenager, three years ago. With other familiar characters from Plainsong also returning in minor roles, the novel then broadens to focus on three additional families, whose new stories the author deftly juggles and interweaves. Somewhat more thoughtful and complex than Plainsong, Eventide quickly engages the reader with its unpretentious style, revealing dialogue, and often heart-tugging scenes of difficult lives.

Luther and Betty June Wallace are some of Haruf's most beautifully drawn characters. Extremely limited in their understanding, they receive professional assistance in everything from budgeting to parenting classes, anger management, and lessons in cleanliness. DJ Kephart, a small eleven-year-old whose responsibilities make him seem much older, is an orphan, now living with his elderly, often bed-ridden, grandfather, for whom he does all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry. He and his neighborhood friends, Dena and Emma Wells, whose father is in Alaska, spend their free time turning an abandoned shed into a playhouse, a peaceful, make-believe home where adults do not intrude. Suddenly, separate acts of fate, involving the McPheron brothers and each of these three families, upend all their lives and set in motion a series of events which will change them forever.

Death, illness, injury, abandonment, abuse, and the arbitrary harshness of fate all contribute to emotional crises the characters must find the strength to overcome.
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Format: Hardcover
While the main characters from Haruf's PLAINSONG begin this book, the MacPheron brothers (whom I adore!!) this is not truly a continuation of that novel. EVENTIDE is the story of several families that give the word dysfunctional a brand new definition. (This is a much sadder book than PLAINSONG.) In this novel several fammilies in a small town face unrelenting hardtimes and truly have their backs up against the wall. Not all the families cope with the situations that face them. Some make the worst decisions possible leading to more pain and suffering. For others it is a hard scramble just to keep their head above the proverbial water. One of the bright spots of this novel is Rose, she is interesting , real and an absolute delight. Raymond MacPheron however is the shining star of this novel, his grittiness, his integrity and his desire to lead a meaningful life give this novel it's inner light. Kent Haruf creates with an honest heart, an open soul and a simplicity of the written word.
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Format: Hardcover
Kent Haruf's novels contain large lessons. His first novel, The Tie That Binds, was about duty and its costs, and his best known novel, Plainsong, was about transcending loneliness. Eventide is about courage and its sniveling evil twin, cowardice.

Haruf takes us back to the small town of Holt, Colorado -- a complicated but true place where kindness and cruelty exist side by side in the same proportions (or should I say disproportions) as the rest of the outside world. Here we find familiar characters from Plainsong, most notably the kind Maggie Jones, the ever capable Tom Guthrie, the stoic and funny McPheron brothers, and their triumphant ward, Victoria Roubidoux. And while they provide the comfortable base on which this new story is built, they are joined in Eventide by equally intriguing characters, such as Mary Wells, an abandoned mother, Rose Tyler, a dedicated social worker, and especially the courageous DJ Kephart, an 11-year old boy who has never gotten a break in his brief life but who transcends all with character and a moral strength that comes from some unknown place.

Courage is found throughout Holt. Raymond McPheron's quiet courage overcomes the loss of "his dead brother, gone on ahead". Mary Wells abandons self-pity to forge a new life and DJ forges ahead and literally strikes out at the evil he sees around him. Rose Tyler carries her burdens with resolve and strength and her wards, Joy Rae and Richie Wallace, the neglected children of pathetic losers, simply survive.

Unfortunately, where courage resides, cowardice lurks. Haruf's characterizations of Luther and Betty Wallace, the slothful welfare couple, and their vile relative, Hoyt Raines, are brilliant.
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