I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
I love Steinbeck and this has, for many years, been my favorite and was not available on Audible until recently. This early Steinbeck has exceptional writing and numerous elements appearing in his later works, in a pure, condensed, and powerful form. This novel has potent mystical imagery which might not sit well with some religious folks. Perhaps that is why this novel does not get the attention I think it deserves. The excellently narration complements the intensely beautiful and terrible writing. Like the Grapes of Wrath, this is an intense read without a lot of fun but with a thoughtful concentrated unflinching examination of life and death.
These short stories are lightly couple by their connection to a beautiful valley in Monterey California. I was entranced, moved and entertained by these wonderful short stories. I love short stories and love Steinbeck so perhaps this combination was destined to please me greatly. These stories merge the ordinary with the magical, the commonplace with the extraordinary, and the straightforward with the intricate These are among the best short stories available on Audible.
One review called this racist, colonial, and an absurd farce. Another that Henderson was a Baron Munchhausen. I could not disagree more. This is a humorous book about a man facing his own mortality and fretful desires with incredible energy and love. Henderson’s quest is improbable, adventurous, transformational, and funny, but not absurd or farcical. There is nothing here close to Munchhausen riding a cannonball or taking lunar excursions.
I found the writing quite conversational yet subtly superb. The characters are well written and I found Henderson eminently likeable. He was flawed, but not more so than most, and he had an admirable and indomitable love of life. The book at one level is gruff and oozes manliness, yet under this very thin veneer one finds fear, loneliness, and powerlessness. All this, with humor on every page.
The narration is darn near perfect. It is difficult for me to imagine how it could be better. Barrett is clear and bombastic and uses tone to express the emotions just under the surface.
This is a classic and worthy of it praises. Worth listening to again.