Had never slogged through this book before...looked pretty grim. But I was totally caught up in the audio version...it's a transforming book....most of us never experience anything like this, but at least this gives us an idea of what it must have been like for these migrant workers (and still is to some extent). Don't miss this experience!
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
The Grapes of Wrath is about family and its disintegration under the grips of the Great Depression. The mother, the main character, is an icon of strength and determination -- that's the only positive. You can’t help but admire her determination and leadership. I wish more people today would demonstrate her will for family unity and well-being. There are many lessons in this novel and a great deal of symbolism. As with many stories of this era, much is left unresolved and riddled with symbolism, which is not the style of today’s novels. Today we want everything tied up in a nice little package at the conclusion.
I enjoyed the work but I have to say it was not a favorite. I am pleased to have met the mother, but I think the other characters didn’t do anything for me and were rather flat. I remember being required to read this in high school – I didn’t, I read the Spark Notes instead and aced the test. Coming back to it 35 years later, I feel like I didn’t miss much. Unlike a Tale of Two Cities which I felt was a homerun and was pleased, The Grapes of Wrath left me flat just like the Jode family.
I love to listen or read books...I have always got one or two books on the go at any one time. I am happily married, and live a quiet life.
I loved this book, it engulfed me from the beginning. Showing the human suffering and bondage, was riveting. Always wondering how they are going to make it through another day. The bonds of family when it was tough just to survive on nothing was endearing...I would say that this is a must read book...my heart ached for each character in their individual struggles for survival and self worth...and survival, never loosing hope for a better day.
I woul rate this as one of the best, Dylan Baker adds the extra dimension, that my inner reading voice lacks. Steinbeck has an illustrative nature that puts you right in the middle of the dust bowl.
After writing multiple book reports though out my education (all based on Cliff Notes) I am proud to say I now have read this entire book and while it was not all that interesting at 15, it certainly was this time around....
The audio version, with the expert handling of Dylan Baker, is far more enjoyable than the print version, because he brings the just-right tone of voice to each of the characters. The inter-chapters can be tricky to navigate and fully comprehend, in terms of their purpose, in print, but Baker made them sensible and clear-of-purpose. I am deeply impressed by this audio book!
If I could've spent the hours it takes for Baker to make his way through this tale in one sitting if only I didn't have a full-time job and family to mind...his reading was brilliant and the story--dare I bother to say?--is riveting.
This is not one to miss...if you are questioning whether or not to listen to this classic on audible.com, I implore you to buy it and listen. I have no doubt you will be glad you did!
The story is more like a meditation and the narrator navigates it beautifully.
Tom Jode...because he was so compelling. But I loved his inflection with the priest. And his women's voices were outstanding. Truly remarkable considering the scope of the story and the range of characters.
"A true American classic." (I've never read this book and I don't consider myself to be overly patriotic, but this story wouldn't be quite the same in any other setting)
This was my first experience with an audible "classic", with this story, with this length in audio form, and with this narrator. I truly can't imagine a better experience with this story.
Love this book. The narrator was just great - perfectly suited to the story. Real art on both sides of the equation. Then... there's that the harmonica. Not that I have problem with harmonicas perse, but... not ramrodded into your brain in the dead of night... And! It's really good harmonica--but I need that harmonica in this recording like I need a toaster in my bathtub.
In "The Grapes of Wrath" Steinbeck tells of the story of the Great Dust Bowl. To tell it in both a personal and national perspective he alternates his chapters between the story of the Joad family and the broader story of the land and nation. Because he alternates the storytelling in this way, I thought the harmonica interlude spurned by many of the reviewers would actually be welcome, signaling the change from the personal story of the Joads to the collective story of the land and its inhabits.
It was NOT welcome, but jarring. The harmonica was recorded so much louder than Dylan Baker, the narrator, that a number of times it literally made me jump, so startling and out of place did it sound.
Dylan Baker did a great job of differentiating between the characters, but the cadence was so slow I sped it up on my Kindle.
I eventually gave up on this version and read the book.
"Grapes of Wrath" is well worth the read, and maybe a listen, but not this version.
This story still holds up as a great american story, I loved listening to this true classic..