The best novels: No 65 – The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck () | Books | The GuardianI think the difference between a lie and a story is that a story utilizes the trappings and appearance of truth for the interest of the listener as well as of the the teller. A story has in it neither gain nor loss. But a lie is a device for profit or escape. I suppose if that distinction is strictly held to, then a writer of stories is a liar—if he is financially fortunate. It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them. John Steinbeck's art and career follow a typically American arc of the mid-twentieth century. The early hard-scrabble years of unadulterated talent giving creative and
Review: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
The 100 best novels: No 65 – The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)
About pure hatrded and unconditional love. You will love all the characters of the novel,. You will love all the characters of the novel, every last one of them. You will love the storytelling power of John Steinbeck. You will love his way of representing hope, falsehood, sadness. And you will hate, as if you were under the effect of a sick addiction, the moment you finish the book. In my humble opinion this is the best Steinbeck.
Of course, over time, as the idea of the novel matured, and its readership developed, these comparatively raw instincts would become more sophisticated, getting softened, deepened and tamed. More subtle considerations would come to dominate the genre. Yet this domesticated bourgeois pet would never, as it were, lose a capacity to bare its teeth and drag the reader back into the wild. The Grapes of Wrath , no 65 in this series, is a novel with blood on its teeth. The starkness of his narrative, and his sense of injustice, echoed the haunting photos of Dorothea Lange. Like her, he was not afraid to devote his art to the scandal of the Okies Oklahoma migrants who trekked to the fruit fields of the Golden State California in search of a better life, and suffered horribly in their search for a promised land. Tom Joad has just been paroled from prison.
Often described as Steinbeck's most ambitious novel, East of Eden brings to life the intricate details of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, and their interwoven stories. Steinbeck wanted to describe the Salinas Valley for them in detail: the sights, sounds, smells, and colors. The Hamilton family in the novel is said to be based on the real-life family of Samuel Hamilton, Steinbeck's maternal grandfather. According to his third and last wife, Elaine , Steinbeck considered it his magnum opus. The story is primarily set in the Salinas Valley, California, between the beginning of the twentieth century and the end of World War I, though some chapters are set in Connecticut and Massachusetts , and the story goes as far back as the American Civil War. In the beginning of East of Eden , before introducing his characters, Steinbeck carefully establishes the setting with a description of the Salinas Valley in Central California. Then he outlines the story of the warmhearted inventor and farmer Samuel Hamilton and his wife Liza, immigrants from Ireland.
Torrey Gazette is the combined work of everyday Christians blogging on books, family, art, and theology. So pull up a seat and join us. Family Table rules apply. Shouting is totally acceptable. There are names that echo down the corridors of American literature. Even the relatively ignorant like me could cite these names. John Steinbeck is one of them.
I read it for myself for the first time and then I had some friends read it. And we think it might be the best novel we've ever read! I read of mice and men in school and it was okay, but the East of Eden I enjoyed much more! John Steinbeck's way of writing is truly beautiful and he can evoke a scene so well that it makes me jealous. The story I thought this was an outstanding book which I couldn't put down!
The valley is a new world both idyllic and harsh, and Steinbeck sings to it with a personal nostalgia that is clouded by the knowledge that this valley-as all human dwellings-is the location for as much tragedy as triumph. The first family whose story is told in this novel is the Hamiltons, led by the charismatic poet-patriarch Samuel Hamilton, an Irish immigrant who raises a large and boisterous family on a mean and unyielding plot of land through charm, ingenuity, and adaptability. The children act out the numerous possibilities of American life, some making money in business and advertising, some seeking love and home life, others failing utterly in their struggle to find meaning and clarity in the chaotic possibility of a new century. The second family, the Trasks, is introduced to us as a Connecticut father-a false war hero with a fortune of mysterious origin-his used-up wives, and his two sons: the murderous Charles and the sensitive, searching Adam. After a stint in the army and aimless years as a hobo, Adam falls in love and migrates to Salinas, intending to create his own Garden of Eden.