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East of Eden | [John Steinbeck]

East of Eden

This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.
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Publisher's Summary

This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

©1952 John Steinbeck; Renewed 1980 Elaine Steinbeck, Thom Steinbeck, and John Steinbeck IV (P)2011 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (1868 )
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4.6 (1628 )
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4.6 (1613 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Parola138 Czech Republic 10-15-12
    Parola138 Czech Republic 10-15-12 Listener Since 2005

    We bite

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Flawless"

    I had always considered "Grapes of Wrath" the best book ever written. I figured for someone to write a masterpiece like that, their other books couldn't be any good. This book is so completely different and better in a lot of ways. I was blown away. Also, the narrator is absolutely flawless. I could listen to a 500 hour audiobook narrated by this guy.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 09-27-13
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 09-27-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great classic realist novel"

    This has everything you want from a classic realist novel: superb descriptive writing, omplex characters, engrossing storyline, and some philosophical depth. The narration is very good.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Keen 10-06-14
    James Keen 10-06-14 Member Since 2015

    J.K

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    "Great story, a tad racist."
    What disappointed you about East of Eden?

    Some of the language used in this book shows it's age. If the "N" word offends you, or derogatory terms used towards Asian cultures than you should prepare yourself. There's a few chapters where you'll here both with prevalence.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would not have changed this story at all. There are some life lessons that don't perhaps go to these extremes but it definitely makes a case for not having favorites among your children.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't want to spoil any of the story for those who have not read it, but I'll say my favorite scene is definitely early in the book.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from East of Eden?

    I wouldn't have cut anything as the author does a good job crafting the set pieces. I would however change the way some of the characters are referenced. (Though I suppose it's accurate for the time in which the characters live)


    Any additional comments?

    Great classic, has some issues with racism. If you can get past that then you'll have an enjoyable, and memorable story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JB Hamilton, New Zealand 09-30-14
    JB Hamilton, New Zealand 09-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Big Letdown"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If you believe that John Steinbeck can do no wrong this book might be for you.


    What was most disappointing about John Steinbeck’s story?

    A gallery of unidimensional characters, the story of Cain and Abel repeated ad nauseam... The most disturbing is the underlying and often naked racism: Lee, in the end and despite his intelligence and ambition, could never escape the destiny of one born into a class of servants. Then, of course, the N word, repeatedly, to refer, I can only surmise, to an African-American who had dared to run a bordello, seemingly with success.

    I was disappointed because I had been so impressed with John Steinbeck's other book, The Grapes of Wrath. I find it hard to believe both books would have been written by the same person!


    What does Richard Poe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Well, it must be Richard Poe's doing that I managed to listen to the whole book, to the bitter end.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    At times the story looked as though it might take off. Only looked, never did.


    Any additional comments?

    The book should come with a warning: If you enjoyed The Grapes of Wrath and wish to keep John Steinbeck on his pedestal, avoid this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lina Simoni Southern California 03-04-13
    Lina Simoni Southern California 03-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Beautiful rendition"
    What does Richard Poe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I read the book a couple of times before and I though I knew all about it. But Richard Poe surprised me by bringing to life aspects of the characters I never knew existed. Bravo!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 02-14-13
    Jennifer 02-14-13
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    "Good but not Great!"

    I thought this book was good, the story was thought provoking and I liked the symbolism. However it was a bit long and uneventful at times.

    The book end quickly and that was disspointing after such a long intro and middle. The last part of the book seems to lack any time perameters and detail. It fell apart for me.

    Glad I read it, but Im not sure I could say I loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremiah 12-12-12
    Jeremiah 12-12-12 Member Since 2009

    Man of means by No means...

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    "Cali"
    Would you listen to East of Eden again? Why?

    If you have any love for the state of California, you will enjoy this story. As I deal in the Produce world and spend a great deal of time in the Salinas Valley. This story had a greater impact with me. The trails and tribulations of mans joys and follies through life was portrayed and executed very well throughout the story line. The Choices one makes early in life can have an everlasting affect through his life while trying to overcome the ties to the past.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Ann Arbor, MI, United States 11-19-12
    Mike Ann Arbor, MI, United States 11-19-12
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    "Very good listen"

    I've read this before, and knew it was an excellent book. The narration was excellent and only added to the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Turner Temecula, CA USA 10-11-12
    James Turner Temecula, CA USA 10-11-12
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    "Very compelling book and great narration"
    What about Richard Poe’s performance did you like?

    Richard Poe did a great job. Very professional and pleasant all around. He really brought the book to life and his voice suited the material very nicely.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Well, one sitting would be a bit much, but, yes, I was always eager to listen too more.


    Any additional comments?

    Glad I was finally able to experience this classic. I've been enjoying Steinbeck lately. I'm new to Audible, and this is the type of book that I'm most interested in: classics with great narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    denise Brookfield, WI, United States 10-08-12
    denise Brookfield, WI, United States 10-08-12
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    "East of Eden"
    Any additional comments?

    Best Book ever and the reader did an excellent performance with the voices!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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