Read Honey in the Horn by H.L. Davis Richard W. Etulain Online


Set in Oregon in the early years of the twentieth century, H. L. Davis’s Honey in the Horn chronicles the struggles faced by homesteaders as they attempted to settle down and eke out subsistence from a still-wild land. With sly humor and keenly observed detail, Davis pays homage to the indomitable character of Oregon’s restless people and dramatic landscapes without romantSet in Oregon in the early years of the twentieth century, H. L. Davis’s Honey in the Horn chronicles the struggles faced by homesteaders as they attempted to settle down and eke out subsistence from a still-wild land. With sly humor and keenly observed detail, Davis pays homage to the indomitable character of Oregon’s restless people and dramatic landscapes without romanticizing or burnishing the myths. Clay Calvert, an orphan, works as a hand on a sheep ranch until he stumbles into trouble and is forced to flee. Journeying throughout the state, from the lush coastal forests, to the Columbia Gorge, to the golden wheat fields east of the Cascades, he encounters a cast of characters as rich and diverse as the land, including a native Tunne boy and a beautiful girl named Luce. Originally published in 1935, Honey in the Horn reveals as much about the prevailing attitudes and beliefs of H. L. Davis’ lifetime as it does about the earlier era in which it is set. It transcends the limitations of its time through the sheer power and beauty of Davis’ prose. Full of humor and humanity, Davis’s first novel displays a vast knowledge of Pacific Northwest history, lore, and landscape. An essential book for all serious readers of Northwest literature, this classic coming-of-age novel has been called the “Huckleberry Finn of the West.” It is the only Oregon book that has ever won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. With a new introduction by Richard W. Etulain, this important work from one of Oregon’s premier authors is once again available for a new generation to enjoy....

Title : Honey in the Horn
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780870717680
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Honey in the Horn Reviews

  • Howard
    2019-02-01 11:31

    This is a novel about homesteaders in Oregon around 1900 that I had heard about for years, but it was out of print and the copies that were available were expensive. I finally found a used copy at a decent price and I was looking forward to reading it. It was disappointing. Despite winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1936, it is badly dated. Davis was first a poet and only later a novelist, and it shows. There are lengthy passages describing the landscape with long lists of fauna and flora that are beautiful to read but bring the narrative to a screeching halt. Many times a character is introduced and is allotted several pages of description and then disappears and never shows up again. It is filled with tall tales and satiric vignettes that don't always hold together and that also slows things down. Another complaint is that it is a picaresque tale in which the same people keep bumping into each other on both sides of the Cascades. That happened so often that if I didn't know better I would have thought that Oregon was smaller than Rhode Island.Here is an example of one of the many sketches of bigger than life characters and the type of humor found in the book. It concerns Gentle Annie, who operated a combination hotel, barroom, and restaurant at Dead Dog Station, and didn't allow any criticism of the rough grub that she provided for her patrons."...she was Gentle Annie, a forthright spirit of the district with a considerable name for disciplining exacting patrons. Once, when a traveling-man had requested a glass of milk, they related, she had opened the bosom of her dress and drawn him a brimming beaker of her own personal lacteal fluid, and then stood over him with a cleaver while he downed it, and they also told that during the balance of his stay he quenched his thirst with nothing but whisky because he didn't want to risk having her draw him a glass of water."Davis is not very kind in his characterization of women or Indians, which is to be expected in a book written during that era, I suppose, but it sounds an anachronistic note to the modern ear.Oh, did I mention that I could see the ending coming a mile away and that when it did happen it was so contrived as to be unbelievable?I should add, however, that a lot of critics and readers, even modern readers, give it a very high rating that I don't quite understand. But I do know that my low rating is partially due to my high expectations of wanting to read the book for such a long time and the fact that it had received the Pulitzer.I'm fairly certain that Mark Twain was one of Davis' influences, but he falls short of the master in terms of both humor and satire. Instead of reading this one, I would recommend Twain's Roughing It, similar, but much better.

  • Tracy Shapley
    2019-01-19 14:23

    I used to have this long speech I'd give about 'literature' and how much more concerned with quality of content I am than the topic of the content. I used to say that I'd read a 1,000 page book written on the history of a couch, if the writing was done interestingly enough, because I am not typically very concerned with plots, suspense or other manipulative techniques that are typically used to make me forget / not notice that the writing is sub par.It's been a long time since that speech and a long time since I've read something on a topic that bored me to tears, yet I remained completely absorbed. This book did manage to do that for me though.Honey in the Horn takes place in the Pacific Northwest, when it was still half inhabited by indigenous people and almost everyone in the area was transient. There was a lot of farming business, killing of people business and jail-breaking business. None of these topics are ones that I'm ever particularly interested in, but H.L. Davis held my attention well.I am typically anti-flowery descriptions in books. I am typically anti-two-pages-of-description-about-a-character-we're-only-going-to-read-one-line-of-dialogue-from-and-then-never-see-again. However, H.L. Davis could write a 1,000 page book about the history of a couch and I'd read it.What I'm trying to tell you is that the man has his chops and I dug it.

  • Shelter Somerset
    2019-02-14 14:17

    Keeping with my goal to read each Pulitzer Prize winning novel written prior to 1940 (which isn't so monumental a task considering the first was awarded in 1917), I finished reading "Honey in the Horn" and I'm glad I did. Yes, it's archaic. Yes, for today's standards it wouldn't even find a publisher much less win a Pulitzer (if for any reason it lacks political correctness). But to approach a 70-plus year old novel without placing yourself in the author’s reference of time is unfair to yourself and the writer.From the point of view of Davis and his contemporaries, HITH is a gorgeously written novel, dripping with profound beauty and sometimes ugliness, and loaded with fascinating characters. The novel itself is a historical (it takes place in 1902), chronicling the lives of Oregon settlers. HITH reads much like any western novel of its time and even brings to mind John Wayne-style Western films. You might even call it a tour de force. The main characters are in a constant state of motion, moving from settlement to settlement. Along the way, they run into intriguing people who have their own back stories (common writing technique for that period). Davis's richly detailed characters leap from the pages as if they were people I'd met myself.Davis stated when he wrote HITH that he had no intention of making any social or political commentary, and indeed HITH avoids overt pontificating, which adds to the novels appeal. At times the novel drags, other times HITH is so entertaining I found myself unable to set the work down. Planting myself in 1936, I can see why the Pulitzer committee bestowed Davis with the prestigious award. Oregon history buffs will devour it. Western literature buffs might enjoy it. Overall, I read HITH quicker than anticipated and I’m glad I spent time in Davis’s imaginative world.

    2019-01-22 12:31

    What was missing in Davis's 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Honey in the Horn was the romantic stereotyping and moralizing that could be found in much of the regional literature of the time. Instead, this is essentially a coming-of-age novel with complex, finely wrought, often humorous characters who are just trying to make a life — though the going isn't easy. Davis's rendering of the rugged Oregon landscape is simply gorgeous. Reminiscent of Stegner's Big Rock Candy Mountain, but with much more humor, Honey in the Horn is a great gift.Recommended by Liz,

  • Marty
    2019-02-13 12:26

    Finished yet another of our Pulitzer reads! This was a fascinating book - the adjectives colorful, complex, brilliant, rich, humorous - pop to mind as i try to find a way to describe it, but I find description of the book elusive. We stopped several times during our reading to comment on the vocabulary and phrases/expressions that that author used - some just plain tickled our fancy, others were many layered, more complex. This is one of those books that could/should be re-read for even deeper enjoyment.

  • Chris Gager
    2019-01-25 12:33

    I'll get this from the library tomorrow. I encountered Davis for the first time(as far as I remember) in the short story book I just finished. Never heard of him before that. We'll see... Started this morning with some reading before work and I'm a bit leary of the "wry folksiness" of the style. Typical 30's??? Lot's of rural Oregon 1900 colloqialisms as well. It'll probably flow better as I go along. The edition I'm reading came from the Southwest Harbor Library and is quite old. 1935 I think and hardbound of course. People have been checking it out regularly since then but with some major time gaps. The dates go back into the '30's. Slowly getting into the book after various interruptions. The opening kind of reminds me of "The Return of the Native" as the author describes the physical and then the cultural background of the story. Not so many words as Hardy though. As with TH the story is set in a remote nature-dominated place and the scenes of humans vs nature are beautiful and intense. Like Hardy, Davis was a poet and his prose is poetic: "The snow would cover them, more snow would fall and cover them deeper, and when spring came it would melt and the freshets would carry what was left of them away. Even the bones wouldn't last, because the little wood-mice would gnaw them down to the last nub." and some nice alliteration: "... the whole meadow moved with grass-stems shedding water and springing erect from the mat into which the rain had beaten and the frost fastened them. Water dripped from the hazel bushes and the wild-rose thickets speckled with scarlet rose-hips and from the clumps of wild crabapple along the fence.". Very nice. The more I read the more I think that Cormac McCarthy is a Davis fan. So far this story is reminding me of "All the Pretty Horses". I'm now at the mid-point of this slow-reading book. The "plot" has taken a back seat for now in favor of Davis' desire to illustrate for us the cultural and natural world of post-pioneer Oregon. Interesting. One does wonder about the characterization of the Indians and in particular the way of English-speaking of the kid with six-fingers. Me "thinkum" maybe not authentic... or maybe it is. I wasn't there and Davis was. At this point the story reminds me of another C. McCarthy book: "Suttree", as the kid has joined up with an itinerant family and fallen for the young daughter. Finished the book last night. An interesting book for sure and well written to boot. An unsentimental look at a still-unsettled time in Oregon. Some time right after the SF earthquake. At the end the pioneers/settlers/would-be exploiters are on the move again due to another starve-out. Plenty of violence both random and organized takes place. Murder, thieving, lynching, brawling and Indian massacres(of, not by) seem to be pretty common. "Civilization" hasn't taken hold yet but by the time the book was written(1930's) I imagine things had calmed down a lot. The fate of the uprooted white people is unsettled but the downward spiral of the Indians seems inexorable. Even though there seem to still be plenty of them around, they live on the shrinking fringe of the expanding white culture that has no use for them nor much understanding of or compassion for them. Davis maintains his vivid and careful descriptive style vis-a-vis the natural world right to the end.

  • Dree
    2019-02-06 14:43

    This book won the Pulitzer just 4 years before Grapes of Wrath (1936/1940). Which is really kind of amazing, as these books have a lot in common—they look at migrations of people and what led them there. Obviously Grapes of Wrath looks at a much larger migration in a different time and place and a much worse human-induced climatic catastrophe. But though this book is dated (esp when discussing the various Indian tribes—though Davis does go into detail about who is who, there are not just "Indians"), Davis does have some opinions about speculators (from town site sellers to work crew leaders), gossipy families, unsatisfiable settlers, etc etc.While the focus of this book is Clay Calvert, an orphan who grew up on a farm that took in a fair number of orphans, the story is really about Oregon. It is about a semi-settled country and those trying to get rich on what is left. You meet orphans, Indians of various tribes and upbringings, settlers of varying competencies, an outlaw, a horse trader, itinerant workers, land speculators, and settlers who cannot quite be happy so keep moving looking for something better. Of course, this takes place 1904-1906—the best land has been taken and used for decades, and what is left is borderline.I can see why this won the Pultizer when it did. It is about the generation that saw Oregon go from frontier to settled and American, though not everyone was quite ready for that. He actively mocks many of the sorts of settlers you learn about in history classes—land speculators that want to sell lots and get out before the town never gets built; gossipy families who can't quite manage to be successful as quick as they want, so the keep moving and never achieve that success; workgang "bosses" preying on immigrants adnd the not-so-bright. Definitely an interesting read, the second half is stronger than the first.

  • Stephany
    2019-02-05 11:46

    I read this in advance of a recent trip to Oregon, as Davis was born to a settler family there and wrote a great deal about his home state. The period (1930s) and regional slang is challenging but only because we don't know it; a dictionary neatly addressed this problem. I am grateful to Davis, however, for preserving this exact language. This is a coming-of-age tale, not sentimental, a sort of West Coast version of Huck Finn (though that's a stretch). It is full of entertaining and, by today's standards, surprising anecdotes: what, for example, will the main character do when a couple hundred head of sheep decide to drown themselves, in their herd mentality? Spanish moss kept cows alive when everything else was dead and frozen? Who knew? The book is also refreshing because, having written it in the 1930s rather than later, Davis does not romanticize either the people or way of life of long ago. We may choose to do that, and I found myself slipping into it a few times, mostly for how much responsibility we've taken from young people that we instead infantilize into adulthood, but that's our fault and not Davis's. I highly recommend this. I've read nothing else like it.

  • Richard Jr.
    2019-01-30 18:26

    H. L. Davis spins a tale that only a man who had lived through that period of time in Oregon, had picked hops, stacked hay, ridden the outlaw trail and listened to a whole lot of stories in bars could have written.As a native Oregonian (that's actually a new paper, not the real name we call ourselves) with ancestors and relatives living across most of the state at one time or another in the past 150 years, I have heard some of these stories from the Willamette Valley about the bums and the hops picker gangs. I've seen the coastal range forests and tried hunting them in the deep snow where a man can step off a log and disappear because of the undergrowth, and my grandmother and father told a number of stories about the wild country east of Eugene, OR up in the lakes above Oak Ridge where the McBee's lived every summer in the early 1900's picking berries, catching fish and shooting an occasional deer for the pot.Davis captures the real essence of the young Clay Calvert coming of age, realizing that he is growing up, becoming interested in women, wanting to move away from the authorities who have governed his life up to the moment. As you read the book you begin to understand how Davis' keen eye for the minutia of detail brought him the accolades and awards as a great writer.A scene that comes to mind is at the beginning of the book during the flood with Clay Calvert attempting to save a flock of sheep that had decided to follow the leader into the swelling river and drown. Only a man who has seen the floods of the Oregon rivers, been run over by a big old ewe or two, tried to pick up a sodden sheep or been wet to the skin in the Oregon rain can be so eloquent in writing about it. Another scene in the middle of the book when Clay is picking hops, has a blow-up with his girlfriend, and goes off to camp with an older single woman who plays guitar and is running from the law, captures the hand to mouth existence of many people at that time.Finally, for those of you who have a spot in your heart for scenes from Lonesome Dove like the hanging of Jake Spoon. Davis' description of the hanging of Wade Shiveley from the hay stacking boom will strike your heart as to how hangings did occur in those days, sometimes not for what you just did, but because of other things associated with your life outside the law that just finally caught up with you.It took me a while to get into the swing of the book, the paragraph long sentences, the language that is slow, deliberate and much like the true country folk still speak when they are at home or work, away from the rush of modern Californicated Oregon. You may not love the book, but you'll enjoy it and know you have read one of the best authors for writing about that period of time in Oregon history by the time you are done.

  • Sherry (sethurner)
    2019-02-09 15:17

    “There was a run-down old tollbridge station in the Shoestring Valley of Southern Oregon where Uncle Preston Shiveley had lived for fifty years, outlasting a wife, two sons, several plagues of grasshoppers, wheat-rust and caterpillars, and a couple or three invasions of land-hunting settlers and real-estate speculators, and everybody else except the scattering of old pioneers who cockleburred themselves onto the country the same time he did.”THe setting is the early 1900s of Oregon. The plot concerns itself with a young man named Clay Calvert, who gets himself involved with springing Uncle Preston’s no-good son Wade from jail. Afraid to be caught for this transgression, Clay takes off with an Indian boy for a bit, until he meets a horse trader and his beautiful daughter, Luce. Winning Luce is no simple thing, and in the course of this relationship’s development the reader learns about cattle and horses, shipping on the Columbia River, harvesting wheat, horse racing, whore houses, and pioneer justice. The tone is breezy, and the descriptions of the land often beautiful. The only sour note for me was the consistently derogatory language the author uses to describe the Native Americans. It certainly wouldn’t be acceptable if it were written today.

  • Robin
    2019-02-11 13:45

    This book offers an awesome look at Oregon at the end of the 1800's. I copied down several different quotes that were just philosophically awesome. There were terms in the book I'll never understand ("he dug the hole very jesusly") and explanations of occurrences I'd heard of, but with reasons I'd never heard (Davis claims the main reason immigrant workers (like the Chinese) were preferred for building the railroad because they often hired themselves out in teams with an american group-leader, and the leader knew the bosses didn't know who each worker was by name, so they would put extra names on the list and get paid for them. Actual caucasian, english speaking employees were much easier to check out and so the ruse didn't work as well with them).Anyway, this book is a great store of info and insight; it definitely earned its Pulitzer.

  • Roxanne Russell
    2019-01-27 17:23

    I really enjoyed this 1935 Pulitzer Winner about life in Oregon in the late 19th century. The author's colloquial style and tongue-in-cheek, though folksy, authentic narration style was masterful. The story of a young man and woman making their way in the Wild West was full of the usual guns, horses, wagons, Indians, fever and fire-cooked meals, but with more focus on the influence of women than usual and very little consideration for children. I particularly liked the opening passage: "He met her in the lane and laid her on a board, And he played her a tune called Sugar in the Gourd, Sugar in the Gourd, Honey in the Horn; Balance to your partners, honey in the horn."

  • jag
    2019-02-07 18:22

    A truly enjoyable and sometimes comic coming of age story set in Oregon, Davis home state. Clay Calvert, an orphan, is forced to flee his job as a ranch hand on a sheep farm and he falls in with some homesteaders seeking the perfect location. With them, he meets the lovely Luce who captures his heart. The story becomes their story, with all its quirky characters and its astonishing prose that details the native plants and describes the scenery so well. Davis' writing reminds me of Mark Twain's, for it has a sly humor much like his and is peopled with wily characters. It is the only Oregon book that has won a Pulitzer prize and richly deserved it.

  • Steve Thorp
    2019-01-23 18:46

    This book won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize - Fiction. A serious read about Oregon life in the homestead era (early 20th century). Indelible character portraits coupled with a great love for Oergon's natural beauty, plus a quiet sympathy for the Native American people. Very much like reading Mark Twain. Highly recommended if you're into Oregon history.

  • John Guffey
    2019-02-01 12:31

    A book that is first western, Oregon Trail epic, and then love story sounds like a winner. Honey in the Horn would be great if it didn't fall prey to the dreaded slow downs. The book was slow in several places, and it hurt the overall story. The characters were great though and the prose was surprisingly humorous.

  • Linda
    2019-02-15 10:44

    This book was a Pulitzer Prize winner in the 1930's. I wonder if it would have been today. Davis' voice is intoxicating. His descriptions of people and places reminded me of Annie Proulx. The story follows a 16 year old boy on a journey into manhood in the 1900's in Oregon.

  • Csatterw
    2019-01-21 10:40

    Raw account of rough life of Oregon homesteaders. Dense style loaded with wonderful and unsettling details.

  • Jimmy
    2019-01-24 12:26

    From my perspective, this is just a mediocre book. Not bad, not great. I probably wouldn't have chosen this book for a Pulitzer, but I guess I can sort of see why it was chosen. In a sense, there is nothing more quintessentially "American" in the United States of America sense of the term than a western story. And this is exactly what the book is: a western. Cowboys, Indians, hunting, cattle, hangings, outlawry, frontier justice, etc. The fact that it takes place in the Northwest, in Oregon, makes it a tad more interesting to me because of my understanding of Westerns as stereotypically understood had more to do with the central plains and southwestern regions of the US. So this book was a needed tonic for me in terms of dispelling some elements of Western mythology from my imagination. And I guess the Pulitzer committee can't always just pick the non-westerns over the westerns, can they?The story itself was nothing to speak of. It just basically followed the roaming travels of a rather loner young cowboy and his dealings and path-crossings with other similar characters of the time and region. To the extent that there was a kind of mystery about certain shootings and the resultant misappropriation of justice, I had that figured out about halfway through the book, though the actual revelation itself doesn't take place until the last 5 pages of the book, as part of a very uncharacteristic spasm of philosophical commentary about the ruggedness and meaningfulness of the roaming and semi-communal lifestyles and peoples of the region.There were occasional moments of cleverness and atmosphere in the writing, but for the most part it was typical western fare. The book also lacked, in my opinion, any real character development. The only other Pultizer winning western novel I've yet read was McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove" and that was an infinitely better book in terms of rich character development. With "Honey in the Horn," even after 500+ pages, I still don't feel like I really know the characters at all, though I get the feeling that I am supposed to know them better. But it's just not there. I mean, really, I challenge anyone who has read the book to tell me what they really and truly know about Clay and Luz. What shaped their thinking and orientation? What formed their spirit? How did their work and shooting skills develop? What other events in their early lives shaped who they are? We really know nothing about them. And the same is true really for every other character in the novel.Finally, the mass-market paperback edition I read was rife with horrific editorial mistakes and oversights. More misspellings than I can count, a number of times text lines were repeated, etc. It was a sloppily edited book; and the sloppiness of the editing can't help but transfer to a perception of a kind of sloppiness in the story itself.I'm glad I read it as a matter of discipline and to see what kinds of Western literature appealed to the readers of the day as award-worthy literature; but, unless you REALLY like westerns, and/or have a personal fascination with a fictionalized history of frontier and settler life in Oregon and the Northwest in the late 19th/early 20th century, I'd not really recommend it.

  • Jeff Stern
    2019-02-03 18:37

    A few funny lines and a portrait of homesteaders culture that I've never read about before.

  • Gary Lindsay
    2019-01-24 16:34

    This was last month's selection of the Pulitzer reading club I belong to.I started it a bit late, but I am so glad I read this. The most amazing thing about the book is the voice of the narrator. Set in Oregon at the end of the 19th century, the book shares the traditions of authors like Mark Twain and Bret Harte. It is a vehicle for the author to develop a wide variety of characters from that place and era, and his descriptions and use of dialect lets these characters emerge clearly. At times, the book's plot seems to get lost in all the development of minor characters and in description of the setting that raise it to the status of a major character itself. The plot centers on a young man, Clay Calvert, who without family to hold him back, goes where the winds of fate blow him. He resembles Huckelberry Finn in this and some other respects. One way they differ is that Clay lacks Huck's good heart, and that lets him follow the moral precepts of his times without must hesitation.When the plot finally emerges, the reader realizes that the book has been driven by this all along, and the end moves very quickly.

  • Marie Carmean
    2019-02-13 13:37

    Honey in the Horn by H.L. Davis was a delightful journey through an era and a geographical place that I will not easily forget. This classic has been reprinted at various times throughout the years and I happened to catch one of the new re-printings which acquainted me with a truly unique tale. Davis's prose reminds me of Mari Sandoz but maybe more so of Mark Twain. The book is filled with colorful characters and some chuckle-inspiring moments. You have the sense of sitting around a campfire one autumn night during your trek out west and hearing about all that happened to young Clay Calvert. It covers a complex string of events, and follows Clay across miles and miles of Oregon back country from the high desert plains to the ocean, as he finds work in at least a half dozen different occupations from the early 20th century, and meets probably one hundred interesting characters in the process. He is running from something, but also eventually finds he is running toward something even more. The book is rich with detail and leaves the reader with a sense of what life was like "way back then." Loved it!

  • Lynn Derks
    2019-02-10 14:27

    (From the Introduction) - Nowhere does the story explicitly identify a particular narrator, although many of Davis's other stories do so. However, the tone suggests Davis had in mind the presence of someone other than an "authorial voice" or implied author as narrator. It is a notion for which we have no ready-made critical language, however much we could use some. And, of course, Davis's response carries implications for identifying the narrative line itself, for if the narrator is more important than Clay (the main character), then the narration of the story is inseparable from the narrative, and the plot -- concerning Clay, Luce (his love interest), and the settler's quest -- count less than the "line" he gives us.And, from the NOTE - I had originally hoped to include in the book a representation of every calling that existed in the state of Oregon during the homesteading period -- 1906-1908. I had to give up that idea, owing to lack of space, lack of time, and consideration for readers. Within the limits set me, I have done my best.

  • Ben
    2019-02-06 10:17

    Pulitzer 1936 - Harold Davis's book is an account of Clay Calvert a 16 year old kid and ranch hand. He is forced to flee from the law due to committing a crime while obeying his employer. While on the lam he meets and falls in love with Luce, a horse-trader's daughter and someone who is rather untrustworthy. The story takes them through their romance and the trials of living in the Oregon wilderness. This is another one of those - didn't like it/didn't hate it books. There were parts that flowed pretty well and other places where it slogged through. And as with other similar books in the "eh" range I just never really got into a rhythm with the author. He characters are fine but I felt that in places he would change scenes and topics with little and no segue. I occasionally found myself reading several pages and thinking of other things at the same time and forgetting what I had been reading. Clay and Luce are interesting characters that are fleshed out fine but something was lacking in the plot. It just wasn't enough to keep me interested.

  • Tome Reader
    2019-01-20 11:25

    I liked this book better than I expected which will teach me, yet again, not to rely too much on a book's star rating (this one sits at 3.60) and judge for myself. You're going to meet people in this book. A lot of them. Naturally some are more memorable than others. Clark Burdon, Wade Shiveley, the horse trader, the miserly lumber mill owner, Old Savage, and yes, the shop keeper in the middle of nowhere but just within listening distance to the ocean that he's never ventured to look at. The dialog is sparse but terrific when it's present. I half expected this book, from reviews, to not have much of a plot, but it has one and it allowed for us to get a good look at the Oregon coast and countryside in the early 20th Century. Davis has a wonderful talent for description. Just beautiful.And humorous. This book has humor in it, which drove up the stars. This would have been a 2.5 or 3 star book without it. Would I recommend "Honey" to a friend? Only if that friend was really into frontier, pioneering, literature. I enjoyed it enough to put it on my keeper shelf.

  • Angela
    2019-01-20 15:22

    I'll just quote the review:...What was missing in Davis's 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Honey in the Horn was the romantic stereotyping and moralizing that could be found in much of the regional literature of the time. Instead, this is essentially a coming-of-age novel with complex, finely wrought, often humorous characters who are just trying to make a life — though the going isn't easy. Davis's rendering of the rugged Oregon landscape is simply gorgeous. Reminiscent of Stegner's Big Rock Candy Mountain, but with much more humor, Honey in the Horn is a great gift.....And add that though it is a slow read (life was slower then) there are some real gems here. Note to EC - if you can't read the whole book, read pg 100-107 and tell me if it reminds you of anyone.

  • Kevin
    2019-01-18 13:38

    I was intrigued by the story line. It takes place in the final years of the old west in the Oregon territory. I think this book cannot make up its mind what type of book it wants to be. I think it is an early twentieth century coming-of-age story, but there are also elements of protest as to the way native Americans are treated and also elements of man versus nature as the homesteaders attempt to scratch out a living and finally there are hints at class injustices. It is all written with magnificent prose, but the end left me a little flat. The young couple are left finding out about terrible secrets kept throughout the novel and the heinous acts appear to have no repercussions. By the end it seems as though none of the goals of the book are met.

  • Denise
    2019-02-06 10:17

    I enjoyed the lively writing, am not sorry I read it, but wouldn't recommend that anyone go out of there way to read it. It felt kind of dated and I got a little tired of it at times. All of the characters were poked fun of, but some of the characterization of Native Americans was cringeable. I was going to quote a paragraph or two just as an example of his entertaining style, but I can't remember where I put the book. Going through the Pulitzers, it's kind of nice to read one set in the Northwest.

  • Joanne
    2019-02-04 12:17

    What a surprise to enjoy this book! Sometimes when it's really thick and written ages ago, I go in hesitantly. This book was pretty dang funny, astute in it's understanding of people with a good story line to pull me through. I recommend it. It's about settlers in SE Oregon who are on the road a lot, running into all sorts of odd ball types. The story follows a young man, Clay on his adventures. He gets into a bind and has to stay on the run. There's a love story, of course. It did a great job of placing the reader in that time and place.

  • Adam Reimer
    2019-01-25 15:36

    It's a strong 3 stars. Love books that invoke vivid imagery of the outdoors and this one fills the bill, repeatedly, as the setting is ever changing. In the forward the author mentions an unfulfilled goal to include every profession in homestead era Oregon within the book. He came close. It was fun and well written but the story felt rushed and/or disjointed at times, because of the goal to throughly document the time.

  • Amanda
    2019-01-28 11:25

    This took me a long time to read, but I'm blaming that more on the physical condition of the book itself: I had to get an interlibrary loan for this one and it came in a BOX marked "Fragile", which really made me question why I don't use my Kindle more...but anyway, it was ok. There were a lot of words and side stories that had nothing to do with anything. The characters were all kind of terrible people, and they didn't do much other than wander around. Not my favorite.