Jess Michaelangelo's Reviews > The Honk and Holler Opening Soon

The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts
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Jul 18, 11

bookshelves: fiction, southern-lit
Read from July 13 to 18, 2011, read count: 1

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 anxious to read more. I have "Where The Heart Is" on my shelf, and I know I'll be reading that soon! There is something about the way she writes her characters--they are so authentic and real. This is a fiction novel that I would not have a hard time imagining actually taking place. Actually, it's kinda weird to think that Molly O isn't out there waiting on Brenda or that Caney isn't wheeling around the Honk somewhere. Letts fills you in about her characters in such subtle ways, too. It almost brings to mind how you get to know people in real life--you don't sit down and hear their life stories all at once (usually). Bits and pieces here and there are dished out to clue you in on a person, and that's how Letts writes her characters. Even her minor characters were paid due attention so that even the regular Joes who came to the Honk had a voice. The dialogue was to die for--I could "hear" each of the characters as they spoke. I just loved it.

I was also kinda surprised by how fast of a read this was. I'd sit down and look up 150 pages later shocked that I had read that much in seemingly so little time. This is an incredibly "readable" novel. Letts is not heavy on the descriptive language--hers is a more straightforward style. But certain passages really did take my breath away, such as the part where (without giving too much away) Caney finally faces his demons and sees the world around him. I loved flipping back to those pages again and again to immerse myself in that simple and yet poignant writing.

Overall, Billie Letts has given us a story that everyone can relate to. It is a story about regular people living their lives and yet discovering the meaning behind it as they go along.
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Reading Progress

07/13/2011 page 52
16.0% "The story is still setting up, but I'm really liking how easily the story reads and flows." 1 comment
07/15/2011 page 159
50.0% "I'm surprised by how fast of a read this is--not only that, but how attached you get to each of the characters and their stories!"

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