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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Great classic, has some issues with racism. If you can get past that then you'll have an enjoyable, and memorable story.
If you believe that John Steinbeck can do no wrong this book might be for you.
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!
Well, it must be Richard Poe's doing that I managed to listen to the whole book, to the bitter end.
At times the story looked as though it might take off. Only looked, never did.
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!
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!
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.
Man of means by No means...
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.
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.
Well, one sitting would be a bit much, but, yes, I was always eager to listen too more.
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.
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