Shocking and controversial when it was first published, Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning epic remains his undisputed masterpiece.
Set against the background of Dust Bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel west in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires, and broken dreams, yet out of their suffering Steinbeck created a drama that is intensely human, yet majestic in its scale and moral vision; an eloquent tribute to the endurance and dignity of the human spirit.
©1939 John Steinbeck (P)2010 Hachette Digital
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"best book ever"
trump and uk pm should read thes a story of now
"A Powerful Novel"
Remarkable... I see why this is book is a classic. The narrator is excellent too.
This book was an absolute joy to listen to. The narrator does such a brilliant job, I felt like I was in the book the whole time. The accents for the different characters are really well done too. I had no idea what the story line was before I started and found myself very pleasantly surprised at how engaging and funny it was. I caught myself laughing out loud in the car a couple of times! I would definitely recommend.
"An astonishingly brilliant work."
Tough and beautiful and heartbreaking, this is as scarily relevant to our world today as the 1930's depression era America it depicts.
"Simply the best"
This was one of the best books I have ever listened to. I will buy the book and read it properly now. The characters, the stories, the historical references, the story, the ending - all just magnificent.
"Amazing. Awesome. Harrowing. powerful."
What can I say? Everyone should read this book. So sad and yet beautifully done
"Gripping and heartwrenching migrant insight"
I really was blown away by Steinbeck's lucid prose but especially the excruciatingly vivid insights into the appalling plight of the migrants, equally relevant today. I was surprised how much this book gripped me. Steinbeck does sometimes picture scenes in rich detail which can make the pace seem slow at the start but this is absolutely worth sticking with because the tension ratchets up as their situation worsens and it adds to the painful suspense.
I thought the Joad family were really brought to life by the different voices used by the excellent narrator. All in all I would highly recommend this - not just for a compelling story but for the thought-provoking illumination of the emotional and physical struggle of any migrants forced from their homes against their will.
"What can you say?"
Brilliant reading of Steinbeck's classic. The reader's voice melts away as the storyline leaps off the page and the characters become real and their plight immediate. Like his contemporary, George Orwell, Steinbeck's political message suffuses his writing and like Orrwell his lightness of touch means this just adds to the drama. If like many, you read this book in your youth I recommend you read it again as an adult. The struggle of the Joad family and their bitter, rapid journey from being kindly, proud farmers to a life of impoverished misery is as important to understand now as it was in thirties America.
Incredible experience, couldn't be more appropriate for the times we are now in. Man's struggle against Corporate greed. Steinbeck is a genius of a writer and this a read beautifully.
Thank you for the journey.
"As shocking now as it was then"
I came to this novel with some ideas of what to expect - I knew it was long, and I knew it was regarded as Steinbeck's most important work. Despite these preconceived ideas I was blown away.
The tale itself shouldn't be that effecting. It is fairly standard Steinbeck territory - people moving through their world, not rich, trying to make their way. They encounter a vast cast of others also making their way. But, the Joad family become more than just characters as you see their ups and downs.
Anyone in their right mind feels the anger and injustice at how the Joads are treated and the things they come to have to do to just subsist. Steinbeck highlights this through social consciousness musing through and about his characters. As in many things, he is almost prophetic.
In our current world, the plight of other migrant communities and the welcome they receive springs to mind. As it should. This isn't meant to be a nice read - the message is one of pity and rage. Worthwhile for the ideas as much as the story.
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