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Extended Audio Sample House of Earth: A Novel Audiobook, by Woody Guthrie Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Woody Guthrie Narrator: Douglas Brinkley, Will Patton Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2013 ISBN: 9780062263025
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Featuring the song “House of Earth” performed by Lucinda Williams

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. 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. Living in a wooden shack, Tike yearns for a sturdy house that will protect them from the treacherous elements. He has the know-how to build a structure made from the land itself—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. Thanks to larger forces, their adobe house remains painfully out of reach. House of Earth is a searing portrait of hardship and hope set against a ravaged landscape, a powerful tale of America from one of our greatest artists.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Guthrie was] a brilliant and distinctive prose stylist, whose writing is distinguished by a homespun authenticity, deep-seated purpose, and remarkable ear for dialect. These attributes are on vivid display in Guthrie’s long-lost House of Earth.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Its voice is powerful, and to read it is to find kinship with an era whose angers and credulities still seem timely…There is a surprising electricity in House of Earth.”

    USA Today

  • “What a combo! Johnny Depp and Woody Guthrie…This belongs on a shelf alongside Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.”

    New York Post

  • “Guthrie demonstrates an easy facility with language and the words of the people of the Great Plains. The opening lines strike a note of simple poetry…House of Earth will certainly be essential reading for Woody Guthrie fans.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “The style of House of Earth is strange and lyrical…House of Earth becomes an invaluable addition to the literature of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, one with an eerie relevance in today’s America.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • House of Earth is an artifact, of course, but so is any buried treasure…House of Earth is well constructed, like a good song or house should be, but it’s also a bit flawed and unruly, exactly the way American literature has always been.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • House of Earth seems the perfect match for [Guthrie’s] powerful autobiography Bound for Glory, carrying with it strong portrait of rural resilience and social activism. Though grounded in the Dust Bowl era, this fiction will speak to readers more acquainted with more recent hard times.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “With dialogue riche in ‘hillbilly’ vernacular and a story steeped in folk traditions, Guthrie’s drought-burdened, dust-blown landscape swirls with life…His heritage as folksinger, artist, and observer of West Texas strife lives on through these distinct pages infused with the author’s wit, personality, and dedication to Americana.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Almost more a prose poem than a novel, this is an impassioned tirade against agribusiness and capitalism. Like Guthrie’s songs, the novel presents concerns of the Everyman…Readers who appreciate Jon Steinbeck and Erskine Caldwell, as well as fans of Guthrie’s music, will want to reach for this folksy novel.”

    Library Journal

  • “Guthrie’s straight forward depiction of his raw rural characters are reminiscent of not any of his fellow Americans so much as they are of Mikhail Sholokhov. The folksy, incantatory exuberance is all Guthrie…An entertainment—and an achievement even more than a curiosity, yet another facet of Guthrie’s multiplex talents.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Told in the unmistakable vernacular of Woody, at once earthy and erudite, House of Earth is less a novel than an extended prose poem interrupted by healthy smatterings of folksy dialogue.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Barnes & Noble Recommends Selection, February 2013
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
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About the Author
Author Woody Guthrie

Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie (1912–1967) was an American folk balladeer whose best-known song is “This Land Is Your Land.” His musical legacy includes over three thousand songs, covering an exhaustive repertoire of historical, political, cultural, topical, spiritual, narrative, and children’s themes. Guthrie was a prolific writer and visual artist. His papers, artwork, and recordings are preserved in the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Woody Guthrie Archives. Guthrie was a major influence on hundreds of musicians, including Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, Joe Strummer, John Mellencamp, Ani DiFranco, and Billy Bragg.

About the Narrators

Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Six of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and The Great Deluge won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He lives in Texas with his wife and three children.He has published several essays on Carter’s post-presidency, which have appeared in World Policy Journal, Foreign Affairs, Diplomatic History, and the New Orleans Review.

Will Patton is an award–winning actor who has narrated audiobooks by such authors as Charles Frazier, Larry McMurtry, Don DeLillo, and Ernest Hemingway. He has won thirty-two AudioFile Earphones Award for his narrations. His numerous film credits include Remember the Titans, The Punisher, The Mothman Prophesies, Armageddon, and The Spitfire Grill. He starred in the TNT miniseries Into the West and on the CBS series The Agency and won Obie Awards in the theater for his performances in Fool for Love and What Did He See.