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The Honk and Holler Opening Soon

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  16,725 Ratings  ·  605 Reviews
Caney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma-the "opening soon" part was supposed to be just a removable, painted notice. But a fateful misunderstanding gave Vietnam vet Caney the flashiest joke in the entire state. Twelve years later, the once-busy highway is dead and the sign is as worn as Caney, who hasn't ventured outside the ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Amanda Lyons
May 28, 2010 Amanda Lyons rated it really liked it
Reading a Billie Letts books is like reading a Hallmark movie with none of the terrible dialogue and poor scripting. In each of her books you instead find valid characters, moving events and a great sense of both Oklahoma and the community these characters find there. All of these things are encompassed by a great story and succeed in conveying these things in a way that very few Hallmark films have ever been able to or honestly ever tried to do. In essence its feel good drama for the soul with ...more
Brent
Sep 08, 2011 Brent rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, americana
This book pulled me in right from the start, held me tight for at least two thirds of the trip but eventually loosened its grip and dropped me, disappointed and alone, in the Oklahoma dust alongside Route 66. I stuck out my thumb as the eighteen wheelers and F-150s flew past but, try as I might, I just couldn't seem to catch a lift. Meanwhile, up the road a piece, the neon sign outside the Honk and Holler sputtered and went out.

I was initially and immediately enthralled with the Honk's ensemble
...more
~*kath*~
Jan 20, 2008 ~*kath*~ rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves great characters
LOVED this book! I am a huge fan of Billie Letts now. I read Where the Heart Is many years ago and loved it, so I picked this one up in the US for something to read, didn't get to it until I got home but loved it the minute I started reading it. She creates the most wonderful characters, and like my other favourite author Tim Winton, her skill is in creating characters that are flawed but beautiful.
Dennis
Mar 29, 2014 Dennis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: so-gothic
This is a great read because it's like the comfort food served at the Honk. By the end of the book I cared a great deal about these quirky characters and their marginal lives. I finished the book on a road trip where it was reported Billy Letts had died. Her writer's voice was one on most naturally genuine and full of heart on the landscape of American fiction. I salute Billy Letts and wish she would have lived to produce a larger body of work. Her voice will be sorely missed.
Marleen
Apr 09, 2010 Marleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Billie Letts’ Honk and Holler Opening Soon is definitely one of my all-time top 50 favorite books. Re-reading it pleases me immensely.

The reader is introduced to simple but genuine, quirky and amazingly touching characters. Most of them are regular customers and patrons of “The Honk & Holler (Opening Soon)”, as they come together mainly to drink coffee, have breakfast, lunch or dinner, and visit at this side-road café, owned by Caney Paxton, a war veteran. The majority of the characters liv
...more
Miz
This was a book that took me on a nice, winding journey. "Nice" being the optimal word. I didn't find it particularly amazing but there was SOME character development and the bad guy got his/her comeuppance.

The Brenda storyline left me unsatisfied though, and while I released that not everything can be tied up in a nice tidy package, there were bits that didn't ring true for me - for example, the introduction and picture of my mind of Vena really didn't match up with eh outcome at the end of th
...more
Barb
Feb 22, 2017 Barb rated it liked it
Good story line and character development. Like a literary version of TV shows like Cheers that center around a place but the rich characters are what drives the story! Enjoyed it :)
Jessika
Jul 09, 2010 Jessika rated it really liked it
Ahh--now here is the type of book I've been waiting to sink my teeth into since summer rolled into town!

I feel like every time I write a review, my main focus is on characterization, but for me, the characters and how I feel about them are what really make a book for me. An author can write with the most elegant prose on the face of the Earth, but if I can't feel a connection to the characters, I can't get into it.

This is the first time I've ever read anything by Billie Letts, but I'm already
...more
L' Te
Jan 18, 2011 L' Te rated it it was amazing
Right off the top, I must confess that I hold a special place in my heart for stories that magically, profoundly, and brilliantly, bring together a collection of people that “normal” society has labeled “misfits”. Brown shriveled leaves, blowing with wild abandon and caught up in a maelstrom of loneliness and isolation. Emotionally crippled with the impossible reality of Never ... Never finding that place of belonging. No denying, Billie Letts has a special way of gathering these lost souls. Rev ...more
Anna Ligtenberg
May 16, 2012 Anna Ligtenberg rated it liked it
ISBN 0446675059 - I find myself put off by books that have a Reading Group Guide, which strikes me as wildly presumptuous on someone's part. That alone didn't have me thinking highly of this book, but it did get better.

Caney Paxton, wheelchair bound but broken in far more important ways, returned home from Vietnam and opened a cafe. One drunken phone call changed the name from "The Honk and Holler" to "The Honk and Holler Opening Soon", a name that - considering the people it is home to - is mor
...more
Carla Hostetter
Dec 06, 2016 Carla Hostetter rated it it was amazing
A group of the most down and out characters come together at the Honk and Holler cafe. Written over twenty years ago by the time I read it, it is a little dated. Caney, a paralyzed Vietnam vet owns and runs the little Oklahoma restaurant in the middle of nowhere. He never sets foot outside. The war is still fresh enough for a few folks to call the little oriental man who shows up looking for work a "gook." Bui soon makes himself valuable as does Vena, a female drifter who appears around Christma ...more
Nancy Brady
Mar 02, 2010 Nancy Brady rated it really liked it
A very character-driven novel which at its core is a love story. Flavored by distinctive characters, the restaurant provides the setting for the rebirth of the Vietnam vet, his employees and friends, and the welcome for two strangers who just add spice to the mix. Love Vena and Bui as characters who change the town (and Caney) for the better. Two errors seen: it should have been stent, not stint and jonboat, not johnboat.
Vicki Tate
Aug 16, 2011 Vicki Tate rated it really liked it
I really loved this book - it was a very quick read for me. I instantly became caught up in the lives of the crazy and quirky characters that inhabit the town of Sequoyah in Oklahoma and either work at or frequent the Honk and Holler. Letts does a fabulous job with the dialogue and the characters ring true. No great themes or layers of deep symbolism here, but definitely lots of
good laughs and cries for the shenanigans of those that mingle regularly at the diner.
Molly
Oct 12, 2007 Molly rated it really liked it
Recommended to Molly by: random used bookstore find
This was a surprizingly good book- I would almost say "amazing" but it was more like super good. It is about a group of people (locals and 2 strangers) who's lives revolve around a small, remote town cafe mistakenly called Honk and Holler Opening Soon. Its a bit much to review, bit if you liked Where the Heart Is, you will most likely enjoy this book.
Hal
Jun 28, 2013 Hal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book this afternoon and stayed with it 'til I finished it late this evening. Needless to say I was enthralled by it -- all 371 pages of it.

I won't make any attempt to summarize "Honk and Holler...." You easily can find a summary of it yourself, and, also, I don't want to spoil anything for you as Goodreads reviews have occasionally done for me.

What makes this book so delightful are the characters delineated by the author's craftsmanship. You'll meet a young Vietnam vet con
...more
Louise
Mar 22, 2009 Louise rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Another great read from Billie Letts, author of Where The Heart Is.

The Honk & Holler introduces us to some very interesting characters, their life in a small town cafe and a great story line.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and look forward to Billie Letts' next book coming out in July 2004 called "Shoot The Moon".

From the back cover:
"Caney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma-the "opening soon" part was supposed to be just a removable, painted not
...more
Sophia Musgrave
Jun 09, 2009 Sophia Musgrave rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna Marie
Jan 14, 2015 Anna Marie rated it it was amazing
My second favorite book in the ENTIRE world is 'Where the Heart Is' (DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE - they *SLAUGHTER* the book). I'm quirky, though... and had to tape all of the Willie Jack chapters closed once he dumps Novalee, so that I could enjoy the novel.

In this one? I didn't have to tape a THING shut. It was beautiful, descriptive, suspenseful, amusing, heart-rending, and perfect - completely Billie Letts - from start to finish.

Caney Paxton was paralyzed in Vietnam. He was seventeen, and had bee
...more
Krissy
Jul 05, 2009 Krissy rated it really liked it
I really didn't think I would like this book at first. It just didn't seem that interesting. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, and I would definitely read other books by this author. I especially liked the Vietnamese character, Bui. He seemed so cute and I wish I knew someone like him.
Cindy
Oct 25, 2012 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book. The simplicity, yet complex lives of small town people. Ms. Letts led us through a journey where you fell in love with the characters and left you wanting more. I highly recommend!
Book Concierge
Letts has a gift for dialogue. You can "hear" the voices of her characters: small-town whites, Vietnamese immigrants, elder Native Americans, preachers, diner cooks, car hops, etc.

She's a joy to read.
Barb
Oct 17, 2010 Barb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny and poignant. Likeable characters.
Marybeth
Mar 01, 2016 Marybeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved everything about this book!

Fastest book I've read in awhile. I got attached to each character quickly and loved the way the author puts you right there in cafe. Great book!
Bridget
Jun 19, 2014 Bridget rated it it was amazing
One of my all time greatest ever in the world books. Must read it again one day.
Sarah
Aug 11, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Couldn't put this one down...
Teresa
May 22, 2017 Teresa rated it really liked it
First Billie Letts book I've read and I look forward to more of them. Great characters...all a little quirky...but they'll touch your heart and have you laughing at their antics. Story about love and loss and how we handle each of these as they appear in our lives.
Randa
Jan 12, 2017 Randa rated it liked it
This book is a microcosm of American life. The characters have a lot of baggage and they all lean on each other to get through the challenges of life. It's a sweet story and I highly recommend -- I would give it 3 1/2 stars if I could.
Kathy
May 14, 2017 Kathy rated it it was amazing
A great read! The characters were well developed and the reader could easily relate to them. A real page turner.
Paula
Mar 21, 2017 Paula rated it really liked it
Great characters
Sharon
Mar 13, 2017 Sharon rated it it was amazing
A delightful story of what a family truly is. The story is full of lost and broken individuals who end up at the Honk and Holler Opening Soon diner located in Oklahoma. Each one of them has every reason to distrust strangers and new circumstances and all of them have put up walls to protect themselves from ever being hurt again. But through a series of tragedies each of them learns how to trust again and to realize that family isn't necessarily those to whom you are related to by blood but those ...more
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Billie Letts (born in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American author. Earlier she worked as a professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. She was married to Dennis Letts until his death in 2008, and is the mother of playwright and actor Tracy Letts and jazz musician and composer Shawn Letts.
More about Billie Letts...

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“I don’t care what you’ve done. I didn’t know the person you were… I only know who you are now.” 1 likes
“She’s trying to sleep with every boy on the football team before her junior year. If she does, she wins five hundred dollars.” “Now who would pay her to do a thing like that?” “The football team.” 0 likes
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