Larry Haun is an old time carpenter and contractor that has written dozens of articles in various trade magazines through the years and has produced many excellent carpentry videos and books.
A big departure from a standard technical or trade instructional manual, Larry lately wrote a book entitled, "A Carpenter's Life". This is not a book about the methods of construction or building, rather it's a book about the lifestyles and habits of the people who live in different types of houses. The book describes the organic process of living in a unique geographical area and how people adapted to using the materials that the land had to offer for their shelter. Larry then goes further and describes much more including the trials and difficulties associated with the different lifestyles; and he discusses the earlier more primitive technology that our ancestors worked with in order to "make a living".
Part sociologist, part ethnologist, and part master-builder, Larry Haun rolls these many perspectives seamlessly into a story to tell. By his writing and insights the reader discovers that Larry is a decent, hard working man who sees the world through the ethics of the building trade, that of honest hard work and square dealings. There's no need for myth or tall tales in Larry's writing, there are no Paul Bunyon's or Blue Oxes in the story, just plain-living working folks earning their bread and living in different housing styles depending upon chance, and their time and place in history. Larry weaves these stories into an interesting tapestry that's both educational and entertaining with lots of dry humor and local colloquialisms thrown in.
Larry's book views the world through the practical design of home and hearth, and this works as a literary perspective for Larry's writing because he loves and understands the world of design and structure, and this is the medium he uses to tell his stories. Larry gives a voice and color to all the many houses we see all around us, structures created by the hands and ingenuity of men through sweat and blood, with no little effort. Larry Haun brings these buildings, and the people who live in them, to life.
What I like about Larry is he's able to project himself into the lives of those he's writing about and he's able to discuss the lifestyles and habits of earlier generations without prejudice or criticism. What I also like about old Larry is he's a poet, and his writing takes on a sing-song warmth while he writes about homes and those who abide within them... In a nod to Will Rogers, Larry Haun could probably have written that, "he never met a house he didn't like."
While writing this review of Larry's book, we learned about Larry Haun's untimely demise. We are saddened to think that so insightful and dynamic a voice is now silenced, he was an interesting man. Fortunately, Larry Haun leaves his book behind for us to enjoy. Thanks to men like Larry Haun, none of us have to sleep in the rain... Thank you, Larry, and thanks for your book. Hopefully you too will enjoy it.