Twelve years ago, when his small roadside café was about to open its doors for the first time, Caney Paxton ordered what he knew would be the biggest, brightest neon sign in this neck of eastern Oklahoma. "The Honk and Holler" the bright red lights were supposed to say, with a smaller sign below announcing that it would be opening soon. What Caney got instead was six hundred dollars worth of red neon flashing "The Honk and Holler Opening Soon." The town's laughter eventually died down. And the sign remained. Caney had come home from Vietnam in a wheelchair, and from the time he opened The Honk and Holler, he had never stepped off the premises. But one blustery December morning, the door flew open and in walked a young woman holding a half-dead three-legged dog. Against the advice of the locals, Caney offered Vena Takes Horse a job, then a bed, and finally, his heart.
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Billie Letts is the author of The Honk and Holler Opening Soon and Where the Heart, an Oprah Book Club selection. Both are available from Brilliance Audio. She lives in Oklahoma where, until recently, she was a professor at Southeast Oklahoma University.From AudioFile:
The "Honk" is a roadhouse cafe akin to dozens of others scattered across the country--a little run-down, mostly regulars, the center of a small universe. Billie Letts opens the door on this bit of America, and Dick Hill takes listeners there with her heartfelt story. A young drifter happens upon the Honk and, in no time, brings more business and vitality to the place than it's seen in the last dozen years. Hill details each character with distinct, yet subtle, vocal color. He's amazingly good with the women--even though many of his other fine narrations feature tough cops. He beautifully expresses the author's warmth and feeling for the characters without overdoing it. Through his narration, he ably captures sweet sadness, a brief glimmer of hope, the slow kindling of trust. This fine example shows the life that skilled narrative can bring to a simple, well-crafted story. R.F.W. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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