Martin Chilton examines Woody Guthrie’s heartfelt, sex-packed novel House Of Earth, which has an introduction by Johnny Depp.
Where the novel dwells on his visions of adobe houses it feels dated and slow, but it has more to it than this. Guthrie was a great observer and his time in the Thirties roaming through the Dust Bowl states of Oklahoma and Texas (as John Steinbeck did) enabled him to write with a homespun authenticity, and a fine ear for dialect. His two main characters – hardscrabble farmers Tike and Ella May Hamlin – use the language of the time, and colloquialisms such as “don’t git hurried”, "shore cain't" and "goshamighty" abound.
House of Earth by Woody Guthrie (234pp, Fourth Estate)