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Finished in 1947 and lost to readers until now, House of Earth is Woody Guthrie's only fully realized novel—a powerful portrait of Dust Bowl America, filled with the homespun lyricism and authenticity that have made his songs a part of our national consciousness. It is the story of an ordinary couple's dreams of a better life and their search for love and meaning in a corrupt world.
Tike and Ella May Hamlin struggle to plant roots in the arid land of the Texas Panhandle. The husband and wife live in a precarious wooden farm shack, but Tike yearns for a sturdy house that will protect them from the treacherous elements. Thanks to a five-cent government pamphlet, Tike has the know-how to build a simple adobe dwelling, a structure made from the land itself—fireproof, windproof, Dust Bowl–proof. A house of earth.
Though they are one with the farm and with each other, the land on which Tike and Ella May live and work is not theirs. Due to larger forces beyond their control—including ranching conglomerates and banks—their adobe house remains painfully out of reach.
A story of rural realism and progressive activism, and in many ways a companion piece to Guthrie's folk anthem "This Land Is Your Land," House of Earth is a searing portrait of hardship and hope set against a ravaged landscape. Combining the moral urgency and narrative drive of John Steinbeck with the erotic frankness of D. H. Lawrence, here is a powerful tale of America from one of our greatest artists.
You get to relive a way of life that unfortunately is still with us. Our dreams keep us going.
I found this book to be slow moving and not particularly well written. The long drawn-out preface dissects the book and detracts from rather than enhancing the subsequent story. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Andrea Machnik
Simply nof worth reading. If you want extra boring to dull you life or be grossly aroused by disgusting sex scenes, this is you book. 2 stars just because it's Woody Guthrie.Published 3 months ago by LegendOfCollege
Woody wrote in such a way that I could visualize the settings and hear the characters think and speak. Read morePublished 7 months ago by smilin
The writing is Texas panhandle oakie vernacular. The language is so descriptive that you can see, feel and hear . Read morePublished 9 months ago by marilyn brandt