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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

4.5 (1477 )
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4.6 (1281 )
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4.6 (1266 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Bev Jackson, OH, United States 10-10-12
    Bev Jackson, OH, United States 10-10-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "One of my best listens"
    Would you listen to East of Eden again? Why?

    Yes. There is so much insightful material beyond the actual plot. I would like to listen more closely to those passages.


    Have you listened to any of Richard Poe’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Labadieville, La, United States 10-09-12
    Michael Labadieville, La, United States 10-09-12 Member Since 2012
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    29
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    "insight, philosophy, demons in us all found here"
    Where does East of Eden rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top 5


    What was one of the most memorable moments of East of Eden?

    the realization that the object of your love is everything you made of her but not what she is


    Which character – as performed by Richard Poe – was your favorite?

    Kate, living ice. Goat eyes is sodescriptive. Steinbecdk writes so clearly you can see and feel the places and people.No wonder he is one of our great writers.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    the insights are so real and characters so alive that this is a book that requires further study.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff visalia, CA, United States 08-20-12
    Jeff visalia, CA, United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2010
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    12
    2
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    "One of the best"
    Would you consider the audio edition of East of Eden to be better than the print version?

    This is one of the best books I have listened to or read in a long time. I think it is the best Steinbeck has written. A must read.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Interior Design PT Upstate NY, USA 08-06-12
    Interior Design PT Upstate NY, USA 08-06-12 Member Since 2011

    Ellie K

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    1
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    "Stunning story, exquisite writing"
    What made the experience of listening to East of Eden the most enjoyable?

    Steinbeck's writing is so beautiful, and listening to it enhanced the experience.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of East of Eden?

    The ending was absolutely overwhelming. I was stunned by its eloquence.


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

    He brings expression, dialect, and mood to the experience


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The first two thirds were terrifying. One of the main characters is a horrifying character, and I almost couldn't read it because I was so afraid of what she would do next. However, once she meets her demise, I relaxed into the rest of the book, and cried for a long time when it was over.


    Any additional comments?

    An unforgettable book--beautifully written, a slice of life that has never been described in such a way before, terrifying and deeply moving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 07-01-12
    Mark 07-01-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listen start to finish."
    If you could sum up East of Eden in three words, what would they be?

    California's colorful history.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lee was my favorite character. Lee is the Chinese cook and house help, but more than that--he is profoundly aware of the people in his life and the culture he is a part of. His is a deep character and, along with neighbor Sam Hamilton, Lee offers the listener an objective view of the characters Steinbeck creates, warts and all.


    Have you listened to any of Richard Poe’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my only Poe listen. I found his pacing, voice, and the recording in general to add to the overall story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    facing your inner demons


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mj South Haven, MI, United States 06-03-12
    Mj South Haven, MI, United States 06-03-12 Member Since 2007
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    49
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    "Best listen ever!"
    What did you love best about East of Eden?

    The language of the story. Many stories are interesting but few authors have such a great command of language. It adds an exquisite dimension and was a delight to my ears.
    I also enjoyed the Jewish - Chinese midrash! again..it is the language as a actor in the story!


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

    I am a listener by nature. Poe read the book so well; he honored each character with a unique voice. Hearing the great language from such a gifted teller added to my pleasure. I could indulge myself because my brain only had to process the sound - not the sight that then creates the sound.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Thou mayest!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ari New York, NY, United States 05-22-12
    Ari New York, NY, United States 05-22-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a journey!"
    Any additional comments?

    I felt that the story, although long, was well told and the Poe did a pretty good job at narration. I have liked other Steinbeck novels more, like Cannery Row, but I was glad I stuck it with this one. Worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Modiin Israel 05-21-12
    Amazon Customer Modiin Israel 05-21-12 Listener Since 2009

    Joshua Kulp

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Must-listen classic"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Cal Trask was a wonderful character - so complex and multi-dimensional. I was deeply touched by his struggles, much more so than the other characters.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The writing was wonderful and universal. I found myself wanting to copy down many passages.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JanBreesmom MIRA LOMA, CA, United States 05-07-12
    JanBreesmom MIRA LOMA, CA, United States 05-07-12 Member Since 2012

    Breesmom

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fathers, Sons, & Brothers: Their Legacy"
    Where does East of Eden rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It would probably be in my top ten. I learned a great deal from this book--about life in general, men in particular. It was not a book to enjoy, I don't think...rather a book to contemplate; to ultimately inspire the reader that there is hope and a future in the struggle of everyday life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was epic in scale. t told the story through the life of a few families in two generations in the Salinas Valley, California at the turn of the 20th century, just before the first World War.


    What about Richard Poe’s performance did you like?

    He did a very good job as the narrator. He has a good voice for this material.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The life of the Chinese servant and his decision to leave and move to San Francisco to open the book store he had always dreamed of having he had always looked forward to this independence--- but when he left to fulfill his dream, he quickly realized he was an important part of the family and his own home and freedom lie with Adam, Caleb, and Aaron Trask.


    Any additional comments?

    A classic book for so many reasons...I think it might be best appreciated by readers over forty or so....so much layered material, it seems to me that a mature, seasoned reader might better appreciate and understand the material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tater 04-21-12
    Tater 04-21-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Steinbeck still intrigues! A master writer!"
    If you could sum up East of Eden in three words, what would they be?

    You'll live this novel with the characters!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Other than the fact that I love anything Steinbeck, the story was deeply structured and the characters intensely developed. I did get a bit tired of Lee's moralizing, but that was a part of his character that he completed it very well. There is a richness to Steinbeck's novels that I find missing in most modern novels, so "reading" East of Eden was most satisfying.


    What about Richard Poe???s performance did you like?

    Richard Poe performed the roles excellently as well. I have no complains. These characters now live in my memory as if they actually existed.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There is little laughter in East of Eden. Still it is not a tragic novel, but yes! I did weep during some parts.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't listen to this book if you expect a plot that follows a perscribed formula. You won't find it here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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