Where You Once Belonged

Where You Once Belonged Heavy built Jack Burdette is quite literally too big for his boots and too big certainly for the small town attitudes of Holt Colorado But when he fails to make the grade as a college footballer an

  • Title: Where You Once Belonged
  • Author: Kent Haruf
  • ISBN: 9780330490467
  • Page: 343
  • Format: Paperback
  • Heavy built Jack Burdette is quite literally too big for his boots and too big, certainly for the small town attitudes of Holt, Colorado But when he fails to make the grade as a college footballer, and takes a job with the local farmers co operative, it seems he has finally settled into the rhythm and routine of everyday life Outward appearances can be deceptive, howeHeavy built Jack Burdette is quite literally too big for his boots and too big, certainly for the small town attitudes of Holt, Colorado But when he fails to make the grade as a college footballer, and takes a job with the local farmers co operative, it seems he has finally settled into the rhythm and routine of everyday life Outward appearances can be deceptive, however, as Jack proves returning from a weekend conference with a new wife in tow, then leaving her behind and skipping town with a bundle of other folk s money.Nearly a decade later, no one has forgiven or forgotten, and when Jack reappears, resentment runs high Once again though, it is Jack whose presence even than his eight year absence proves the most devastating.

    One thought on “Where You Once Belonged”

    1. 4.5 Stars No.No.No.No.No.No.No.Not the ending I was expecting!I was totally absorbed in Kent Haruf's WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED from start to finish. Holy crap, could this man write a story! Just a plain and simple read (you think) set in small town USA, and with so few characters. Ha!Pat Arbuckle, newspaper owner/reporter for Holt County narrates the life of BIG Jack Burdette that, at first, I found somewhat amusing, but those feelings did not last long. What surprised me the most, I think, beside [...]

    2. Last week, my great-niece posted a story (on Facebook) about a family that recently became stranded in a whiteout blizzard on I-70 in eastern Colorado. They pulled off at the closest exit, which happened to be the town where I grew up. Some volunteer firefighters invited all of the stranded vehicle passengers to a local hall where they were provided blankets, cots, home-cooked meals and cookies. The citizens of this very small town pooled their own resources to provide a sanctuary for 20+ strang [...]

    3. The Hook - An irresistible review by fellow GoodReads friend and author Betsy Robinson convinced me to read Where You Once Belonged. Kent Haruf set his novels in the fictional small town of Holt, Colorado. I had only read Plainsong and Our Souls At Night, both lifetime favorites before picking up this one. Kent Haruf died in November 2014. In his final interview Haruf said “Right now, I don’t feel like death is right around the corner,” he said in a final interview on November 24. “But i [...]

    4. “It was not a new car… Nevertheless it was still flashy, the kind of automobile you might expect a Denver pimp or just-made millionaire in Casper, Wyoming, would drive. There was all that red paint – the color of a raw bruise, say, or the vivid smear of a woman’s lipstick on a Saturday night – and all of it was shining, gleaming under the sun, looking as though he had spent an entire day polishing it for our benefit.”(The photo is of a 1980 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, which may not be t [...]

    5. Kent Haruf understood people. He wrote about small-town people, but really they are people like everywhere else: proud, arrogant, hurt, angry, frustrated, petty, judgmental. In Where You Once Belonged Haruf displays his perfect pitch for understated truth through behavior and simple dialogue and plot: A bully reappears in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado. Then we learn the history that preceded his disappearing. This is a quietly brutal book, and it is honest. Oh how I love Kent Haruf's writ [...]

    6. Holt County, Colorado. A time and place where folks still look you in the eye and pretty much say what's on their mind. After falling off the face of the map for eight years, Jack Burdette, former high school football star and all-around charmer, shows up in the middle of the town square in a big red Cadillac. He's a good ol' boy, also a card carrying A#1 asshole. If he expects to be welcomed with open arms, he just may have another think coming. Kent Haruf's lean economy of words will pick you [...]

    7. The prodigal son returns to his hometown of Holt, Colorado to what should have been his day of reckoning. Instead he will once again create havoc in someone else life. This novel took a turn I was not expecting and the ending was not one I expected at all.Once again , Haruf with his understanding of small towns and the people who inhabit them, writes a novel that is anything but simple. Using his spare style of prose but an intimate tone by our narrator, a young man who runs the local paper that [...]

    8. 4.5 stars rounded down.I'm having a very unique problem lately. This is the second book that I've thoroughly enjoyed that I can't really recommend to anyone for fear that they'll hate it. So, once again, take my rating and this review with a grain of salt. You'll likely fucking hate this book.Where You Once Belonged is a book that I would label a tragedy, in the vein of such depressing fair as Of Mice and Men and The Green Mile. Bad shit happens in this book, and the author doesn't care about yo [...]

    9. (4.5)"If nothing else, Jack Burdette knows how to disappear."As the sun slowly dips beyond the horizon, Jack Burdette, with his freshly new linens on credit, opens his car door, sits down and turns the ignition; he’s on his way out of town, away from his past. He suddenly returns eight years later with a plan and no one can stop him from achieving his goal.Haruf shows us that life isn’t always fair and the bad guy doesn’t always get caught; life is open-ended and no one is safe, bereft fro [...]

    10. 4 starsTrying to catch up on all the books that Haruf wrote. Not finding one that I haven't liked. Such a wonderful author - gone too soon. Definitely not the ending that one expects, but written by Haruf, you should know better. This story took place mainly in the 1970' s and 80's. However the town was as big a character as any one person in the story. Small Colorado town, inhabited by small town people, who were faithful to their town. We meet the farmers, the business owners, and their famili [...]

    11. This is a story about unassuming, hardworking people, living a simple life, though there is nothing simple about their story. It is less than two hundred pages in length and contains a lifetime’s worth of tragedy and heartbreak, along with some stolen moments of happiness.By reducing his words to the bare minimum and leaving out unnecessary emotive descriptions, Haruf lets the reader determine the level of feeling for themselves simply by witnessing each character’s actions and reactions. I [...]

    12. This author is one of my favorites, to the point where I make sure I read at least one of his books every year. This year's choice, Where You Once Belonged, didn't disappoint. The story is told by Holt Gazette owner/operator, Pat Arbuckle, about loved town football hero, Jack Burdette, and how he turned into the hated town black sheep. Its so much more the story of people, an observation of how they want a hero so badly that they will ignore the obvious and how money, and particularly the loss o [...]

    13. Wow, what a read. Not at all what I expected. If you're familiar with Kent Haruf's work, Holt, CO may seem familiar to you, but for me, that's where the similarities between this and his other novels end. I'm used to being left with a cozy feeling after reading Haruf. Yes, you see lots of bad things happening and life definitely isn't all rosy but at the end, it somehow feels right. This one does not have that feeling in the ending. That said, though, I enjoyed it. Haruf is really worth reading, [...]

    14. Kent Haruf died exactly one month after my beloved father (they were born the same year, too), and, when I found out, I cried right into my hands.I've had a literary love affair with Haruf, and this was the only book of his I hadn't read. We now have no new territory to explore together.His book, Eventide, remains my five-star favorite; I do believe it was his Great American Novel, but Where You Once Belonged was wonderful. They're all wonderful. And, even though this particular story is just so [...]

    15. Haruf is a story teller extraordinaire: a master in the art of "showing" (and letting us come to our own conclusions), as opposed to "telling" (us what to think about the people and events he desribes). As in Haruf's other books, the writing in Where You Once Belonged is almost spartan (or perhaps I should say Zen-like) in its raw simplicity – the literary equivalent of a Zen koan in some ways. An essential component of his gift is the ability to provide a "Goldilocks" amount of detail and des [...]

    16. Haruf’s style mystifies me. I think I described it as sparse back then. The Rocky Mountain News describes it as brooding, pondering style that translates in first-class writing. Don’t think I can improve on that description. What I can’t figure is how pondering and brooding translates into great fiction. But it does. Haruf has a way of telling a story that sometimes appears to be almost elementary, inexperienced, something a beginning writer might write. I guess that is what makes it brill [...]

    17. This is the first book by Haruf that I have read. Many of the other reviews on say this book is not his best. If so, I'm in for a fabulous reading future, for Where You Once Belonged has the steady and rich momentum of a coal train loaded with gold. What a find!!!

    18. I love Kent Haruf. His stories seem so plain and straightforward, but are written with a subdued complexity that is not seen very often. He was a grand writer. This story takes place in Holt Colorado, and is just a thread that runs through the town, yet seems to affect everybody. The writing is succinct, deliberate and striking. It's about a bad, bad man and a rather good man and how their lives intersect and crash into one another. They've known each other since boyhood. The story is calm, and [...]

    19. I feel a deep regret as I finish this book- this is the last book I will be able to read by one of the best authors ever.(I have read them all!) I love going to small town Holt and meeting its people. The language in his books is simple but eloquent. With each of his books, I am drawn in immediately and the ending always comes way too soon. In this book "Where You Once Belonged", we meet Jack Burdette, the small town football hero who returns after an 8 yr absence. He left under nefarious circum [...]

    20. Kent Haruf tells the story of a man who can’t see beyond his own point of view, through the eyes of a friend who can’t help seeing too deeply into everyone else’s mind. And slowly the tangled links between the two become clear.Jack Burdette is back in Holt Colorado, and at first nobody even sees him. But when they do, nobody’s glad. Jack doesn’t even seem to know why he came back. The narrator, however, sees more than a fat man in a car, and tells the story of a boy growing up, childho [...]

    21. Kent Haruf returns to the town of Holt, a small wheat-farming community in rural Colorado. The people there are living out their lives of hard toil with few rewards, aside from hard drinking. The flat, dusty land that surrounds the town engulfs it in a prison of separation from the rest of society outside and serves to keep the inhabitants vigilant to the lives of others there in Holt. It is here that Jack Burdette grew up. A huge, hulking figure, a football star and hero in high school, he serv [...]

    22. Jack Burdette returns to Holt, Colorado, after disappearing 8 years earlier. Once the town's golden boy he is now a pariah after destroying many of the people who once respected him so much. His return is absolutely unwelcome and badly affects most of the population.Haruf returns to his fictional town of Holt for another dose of small town life mixed with big time drama. The writing is lean and clean and there's not a single unnecessary word or phrase. Burdette, as the `bad guy' could have ended [...]

    23. This book grew on me slowly and then built and built until it became perfect - right up to and including the last line. Can you give a book five stars based on the last line? I think you can.

    24. The second of Kent Haruf's six Holt, Colorado books, this is my least favorite of the bunch. Haruf is known for his plainspokeness and his beautiful but sparse writing style, and this book follows suit, and technically it is a well written story. In fact, he should be praised for the realness of the narrative- not everybody gets a happy ending, and some terrible people don't get punished for their misdeeds. However, the story was depressing in that Jack Burdett's (former star athlete tuned bad) [...]

    25. I was really surprised how much i enjoyed reading this, i think maybe i'd misjudged Kent Haruf based on the covers of his books etc but this was a fantastic novel of small-town America - sad and real and unsentimental - I like his writing a lot.

    26. I had the good fortune to read this book during a vacation in the American Southwest, so the characters were especially vivid to me. While it does not have the depth of Haruf's other Holt, Colorado novels, it's an engaging story with a pretty scary villain, and it offers insight into the mindset of folks in that part of our great country.

    27. Amazingad it in one sitting. Mr. Haruf knows how to tell the stories of small town people, their short comings, and their passions and make you care about them.

    28. Where You Once Belonged is another novel (novella really) by one of my favorite authors, Kent Haruf. As is the case with all of Mr. Haruf's books, the story is set in fictional Holt, Colorado a beautiful yet harsh landscape inhabited by people who value a hard day's work, enjoy the simple things in life but are always aware that happiness is fleeting. I love Mr. Haruf's plain and minimalist use of language it seems appropriate to the citizens of Holt and the quiet lives they lead.This story cent [...]

    29. Haruf can sure tell a story. The simple life in a small Colorado town is neither simple nor predictable. It's interesting that Haruf chooses to tell the story through a first person reflection. This obviously makes the narrator, Pat Arbuckle, somewhat unreliable, especially since he's so closely connected to the story's events. Of course, this action shows that it's never easy to know exactly what is the truth, what is the exaggerated truth, and what is falsejust like in real life.Unfortunately, [...]

    30. While lacking the literary brilliance of PLAINSONG, Kent Haruf's WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED is an intriguing and well told yarn of a local legend-gone-bad told through the somewhat detached perspective of a small town newspaper editor who is particularly impacted by the plight of former football hero, Jack Burdette. Haruf is gifted in the arena of creating a hunger on the part of the reader to learn more about what makes each character tick, but never quite satisfies that curious reader in that reg [...]

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