Benediction by Kent Haruf

Mike’s review

It’s a sad man who can’t make a ham sandwich, potato chips and cottage cheese for himself for lunch. Like gender roles so firmly entrenched I can’t even make a sandwich because kitchens are for women.


Dad’s remorse over Clayton seems out of character. Clayton stole from him and made his wife offer herself to Dad, a married man. He should be more brimstone and “he got what he deserved,” not looking the wife up to see if he can help at all. After all, this is a man who has basically disowned his son for being gay. (In the Christian hierarchy, is gay worse than theft? I don’t remember Thou Shalt Not Fuck Asses in the Ten Commandments.)


Plot summary: an old man dies. He’s kind of a shitty person, but, for some reason is totally venerated by everyone he’s ever talked to.


Dad will see his son or he won’t, I don’t really care either way.


I knew this wouldn’t be my cup of tea from the jacket description, but benediction is one of the best words. Goes to show what a good title can do for bringing in readers.


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