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3.8 out of 5 stars15
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 1 March 2013
For those who only know Woody Guthrie through his raw and honest songs, and perhaps through his auto-biography, 'Bound for Glory', this book will come as a revelation. As is to be expected, given Guthrie's life story, it is a harsh and uncompromising evocation of the Dust Bowl era. It tells the story of a couple, their grappling with the land to make living, and the birth of their first child. The characters - and apart from Tike and EllaMay Hamlin there is only the itinerant midwife, Blanche - are not so much created through words as hewn from them. Tike's dreams of building an adobe house for his family, of owning a spread of his land, and raising a family, combine with EllaMay's dreams of a better life, run through the story like forked lightning. The dry lands of the Texas Panhandle, and the winds and rains that sweep across the sun-burnt plain are evoked in a unique prose style. The regional dialect, in Tike's voice in particular, is brought to life in a memorable and brilliant way. Although Woody wrote the book in 1947, this is the first (2013) publication. With illustrations by Woody, and an introduction by the editors, Douglas Brinkley and Johnny Depp, this book is yet another reminder of the genius that was Woody Guthrie - a wonderful book that sits proudly among the pantheon of Great American Novels, and astonishing hymn to survival.
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on 1 March 2013
A wonderful account of the battle of every day folks against the powers that be. This book is way before it's time in denouncing the effects of greed in the guise of the quest for progress. The optimism and energy of the characters jumps off the page, making their plight all the more tragic. Nature is personified in all it's glory and destructive power, and has it's say in every living moment. I, for one, was swept away.
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on 1 June 2013
A prolific song writer, but I never ever realised he wrote novels.

Enjoyed this book a great deal. - The sex scene must have been very raunchy for the 1940's!!!!
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on 20 February 2015
Only part way through reading this but finding it very interesting. His idea of building Adobe dwellings in the Texas Panhandle seemed very sensible.i
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on 5 May 2013
Fantastic quirky view of life for poor farmers during the 'Dust Bowl' period.
Woody Guthrie shows his sheer genius as an author.
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on 16 June 2016
He's an amazingly raw writer and very descriptive. It's quite risky for its time so maybe this was why it wasn't published earlier . An American Classic and I think it's trumps all others in its class and time . He actually lived it and there's no sentimentality. It's raw ,honest , gritty and funny . A first hand view of tramping the rails and the dust bowl tramps . I love Steinbeck,but too studious . This is so real and in its time .
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on 24 June 2014
I saw bound for glory on my bookshelves from 40 years ago and should have given that book a reread.Instead I bought House of earth.
It is written in an almost childlike fashion and often does not make any sense.I read half before I died of boredom and it is now beside Bound for glory but this book is not covered in glory at all.
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on 26 August 2013
Its not going to grab you this book and make you read it right through to see what happens next. If it was not written by Woody Guthrie then it would have never been published.
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on 26 November 2014
Reminds me of John Steinbeck. Not exciting but a good portrayal of hard times in the dustbowl.
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on 18 January 2014
I've listened to many Woody Guthrie songs, he's a great writer - but not of novels.
This book, about poor farmers trying to make it against the banks and the landowners, goes nowhere very slowly. It has one of the more embarrassing and badly written sex scenes that I've ever read. It's also right at the beginning of the book and kind of colours your view of the whole work.
Poor man against the big machine: Guthrie is on the side of the poor man, but he's dogged by his own dogma and we're used to a more balanced and structured argument these days. If you want downtrodden farmers struggling to survive read Steinbeck.
This was an awful book and if it hadn't been written by Woody Guthrie it would never have seen the light of day.
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