Book: High Plains Drifter

The sequel to the much loved novel Plainsong is spare and unemphatic--sometimes to a fault

Kent Haruf's previous novel wasn't just a book. It was a cause. When Plainsong was published five years ago, its gentle but indelible tale of people getting through life on the high plains of Colorado was adopted with a passion by independent booksellers, the same ones who had pushed Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain up the best-seller list. They did the trick for Plainsong too, which eventually was also nominated for a National Book Award.

As it turns out, Haruf wasn't done with the little town of Holt and its striving, melancholy folk. His new novel, Eventide (Knopf; 300 pages), picks up...

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