Essays and Reviews – Frederick Niven

In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Monday, January 31, 1927, p. 15, Neihardt reviewed Wild Honey by Frederick Niven:

Frederick Niven is said to have had some hobo experiences in the Northwest; and in view of the fact that there have been thousands of hobos, there is nothing particularly striking about the information. In “Wild Honey” he tells of some trips he once made with two bindle-stiffs known as Hank and Slim. The opening chapter induces the reader to hope for much entertainment from these “two queer men”: but nothing manages to happen, and expectancy wears out with the turning of the pages.

There is a curious notion abroad to the effect that if you have ever been a hobo–and not a few of us have–you are qualified to write a whoppingly good book: but there seems to be a mistake somewhere.

Once upon a time there was a soaring tree aloof in violet air upon the shoulder of a lonely mountain, let us say; and, being tall, it caught the music of the master winds when lesser trees were silent; and in the hushed nights with its head among the stars it was a holy thing to see. It is cut down now, and part of it is the paper upon which these mild and inconsequential adventures have been recorded by human labor that might have been used in the potato patches of the country.