This the the third book I've read by this author, and I wish there were a whole lot more of his to read. What Proulx, Spragg, McMurtry and James Galvin have done for the West, Haruf does for the Midwest. His characters are true-to-life and unforgettable. His narration style of this book, though different from Plainsong and its sequel Eventide, is unique and plausible at the same time. I agree with another reviewer -- you never want his books to end, and you put down the book wondering what will happen to the characters who remain.
Haruf's debut novel is so perfect that it's hard to believe he hadn't spent a lifetime perfecting this craft. Everything in it is pitch-perfect -- the demanding sandhill prairies of eastern Colorado, the tough and unsentimental people who struggle to make a living on it, and the strands of responsibility and passion that create the ties of the title.
Written with homey language, this is a first-person account of farming neighbors on the Colorado plains. I felt the story dragged on, and I didn't find the characters likeable, save the narrator. I hung in until the end, though I wish I hadn't. I'd give it 2 out of 5 stars. I wanted to like it - I really did, but I thought it fell short in so many ways.
The book sounds like a good one, but the idea of listening or reading the words of the farmer all the way through the book was a task I was not desires to do. I could have stood it if it had been a part of the book, but not the whole story, every page, every paragraph, every line, every word. No! No way! The few pages I did read were good, even funny in places but some what like watching leaves dry. It takes a long time to see the change.