3 reviews

The Honk and Holler Opening Soon
by Billie Letts

Published: 2004-07-01
Mass Market Paperback : 384 pages
4 members reading this now
10 clubs reading this now
5 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 3 members
Caney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma-the "opening soon" part was supposed to be just a removable, painted notice. But a fateful misunderstanding gave Vietnam vet Caney the flashiest joke in the entire state. Twelve years later, the once-busy ...
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Caney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma-the "opening soon" part was supposed to be just a removable, painted notice. But a fateful misunderstanding gave Vietnam vet Caney the flashiest joke in the entire state. Twelve years later, the once-busy highway is dead and the sign is as worn as Caney, who hasn't ventured outside the diner since it opened. Then one blustery December day, a thirtyish Crow woman blows in with a three-legged dog in her arms and a long-buried secret on her mind. Hiring on as a carhop, Vena Takes Horse is soon shaking up business, the locals, and Caney's heart...as she teaches them all about generosity of spirit, love, and the possibility of promise-just like the sign says.

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

The Honk and Holler Opening Soon is set in Sequoyah, a very small town in Oklahoma. Is it realistic to believe that a Vietnam vet, a Native American woman, an African American woman and a Vietnamese man night come together under the strange circumstances?
Which of the characters do you feel you have most in common with? Why?
Bui Khan, a recently arrived immigrant, understands little of the language and culture of the United States, yet he is in search of the American Dream. What are his chances of achieving that dream?
by Willow2676 (see profile) 01/22/10

I enjoyed the discussion on what would happen in the coming years with these characters..
by debflan (see profile) 01/22/10

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

We found these discussion questions in reading group guides.
by Willow2676 (see profile) 01/22/10
4. Caney Paxton stayed inside the Honk from 1973 until 1985. What major changes in this culture took place during his period of isolation? How will those changes affect his life outside the Honk? 5. Is the relationship that develops between Caney and Vena believable? Why or why not? 6. What do you believe is the theme if this book? Do you think the author fully developed that theme? 7. It seems that several story lines are not concluded by the end of the novel. Bui Khan's wife has not arrived; Brenda is "lost" out there in the bigger world; Molly O and Life are going out together, but there's no indication how their relationship will end; and although Vena and Caney are together, they still have problems to work through. Why do you suppose the author left so many issues unresolved? Do you find this frustrating? 8. Vena Takes Horse isn't "good at staying still" at the beginning of the book, but at the end, she returns to the Honk. Do you think she's changed enough that she'll stay? Do you think Brenda will return to her mother? 9. Are the problems between Molly O and Brenda common between mothers and daughters? 10. How do the regulars at the Honk contribute to the story? 11. Although all of the major characters in The Honk and Holler Opening Soon are adults, the role that children play in the novel is enormous. In fact, many of the novel's pivotal moments revolve around children. Yet Caney, Molly O, Brenda, Vena, Helen, and Bui react so differently to the idea of parenthood. Why is that? Is is easier for Caney and Bui to accept the fact that they are going to be fathers than it is for Molly O, Brenda, Vena and Helen to accept that they are going to be mothers? Is the connection between mother and child always stronger than the bond between father and child?
I made encilladas and dessert..didnt really do the food theme from the book
by debflan (see profile) 01/22/10
we had a great time discussing the way people get along in Chicago..and how they got along in the book.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "The Honk and Holler Opening Soon"by Gardenkeeper29 (see profile) 01/22/10

Loved all the fun characters.

  "There's alot to Honk and Hollar about!!!!!"by Willow2676 (see profile) 01/22/10

It is light reading but gives you lot to talk about and discuss. The characters seem real and you can't wait to find out what happens to them and then believe in the end that they are happy.

  "the honk and hollar opening soon"by debflan (see profile) 01/22/10

I really enjoyed the book..it was fast reading..but interesting...I liked the diverse group of people and the reality based lives that were introduced..I would stop by and can imagine being friends with... (read more)

  "This book lead a for very interesting discussion about many issues of life."by golflady (see profile) 02/12/09

I felt as did our book club that this was a book lead to a good discussion about life. The author did a good job of creating interesting people and their life styles to make each of us think as to how... (read more)

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