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The Grapes of Wrath | [John Steinbeck]

The Grapes of Wrath

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Amabetare
    2/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing story telling"

    the narrator was brilliant, he has a great range of voices that were distinctly unique.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zoe
    2/6/15
    Overall
    "So glad I've finally read this!"

    Wow, this book was wonderful. There are so many layers to peel and themes and imagery to discuss - I felt like I wanted to write an essay on it all when I had finished. Didn't manage that though, but keep having to discuss things with my friend who also read it as I just can't get it out of my head! It's not what I would call uplifting, but it does get you thinking. The narrator is one of the best I have ever listened to and his character voices are superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • hfffoman
    Kent
    1/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the great 20th century novels"
    Any additional comments?

    The Grapes of Wrath is one of the most famous, most highly regarded and most widely read American novel of the twentieth Century. Steinbeck's Nobel prize for literature is due in large part to it.

    For once I agree with the publisher's hyperbole: "Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and powerlessness, yet out of their struggle Steinbeck created a drama that is both intensely human and majestic in its scale and moral vision.". There is not much one can add to the heaps of justified praise the book has already received but I have a couple of comments which I hope will be helpful.

    It is an overtly anti-capitalist book, describing the plight of starving itinerant unemployed during the great depression of the 1930s. If you are interested in this subject I would recommend How Green was my Valley, describing the life of Welsh miners, and No Mean City, describing life in the Glasgow tenements. Both are good novels and, like Grapes of Wrath, describe the unjust treatment of the undertrodden and the rugged honesty with which they do their best to cope.

    I put off reading Grapes of Wrath for many years because I knew it was about injustice and misery and it didn't sound very enjoyable. Also when lots of people tell me a book is brilliant it often fails to live up to my expectations. This one surpassed them. I was really gripped by the realistic, accurate portrayal of humanity.

    It is actually a novel punctuated every 2-3 chapters with a vignette or essay about the causes and consequences of the depression. I hesitate to say anything against such an important book but I found some of the intermittent essays little more than a rant. They appeared to analyse the causes but offered little insight. My feeling was that the author had a deep insight into the people but little understanding of economics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • R. Tibbs
    1/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it."

    What a story of humanity vs inhumanity! I'm not sure about the ending but I loved the rest of it too much for this to taint my overall view.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • danleighton
    12/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant reading"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    An extraordinarily powerful reading by John Chancer. Utterly compelling. Cannot recommend it more highly. He manages to convey each character distinctly without ever appearing to put on 'voices'. Lifts the wonderful power of Steinbeck's dialogue off the page and places it in your brain. Particularly effective reading of the interstitial thematic chapters exploring the wider repercussions of the events of the time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    10/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfect"
    What did you like most about The Grapes of Wrath?

    Just beautifully written and such an amazing journey described so well you feel it


    What about John Chancer’s performance did you like?

    Well read and easy to listen to


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

    Hard to put down. Certainly a book you want to keep on listening to


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    10/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing narration"
    What made the experience of listening to The Grapes of Wrath the most enjoyable?

    The guy reading this is magnificent. A different voice for all of Steinbecks carachters.


    What other book might you compare The Grapes of Wrath to, and why?

    It's the great American novel. The antithesis of Gatsby in terms of the section of society it captures, but is similar in its sadness and how it picks America apart.


    Which character – as performed by John Chancer – was your favourite?

    Grandpa or the preacher. Brilliant performance.


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

    Both. Reminded me of emigrating to find work and the hopes and fears I had on the road. The description of Al listening to the engine of the tired old truck and watching the dials hit me, as did the promise of great work and wages in the far off land.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • bstokes
    9/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic Steinbeck"
    Would you listen to The Grapes of Wrath again? Why?

    I have revisited this book for the third time over a period of 40 years. Each time I had forgotten how harrowing and compelling this book is. It is Steinbeck at his best. The Joads, tenant farmers living in the dust bowl of Oklahoma, are thrown off their land during America's great depression and head west to California. Their harrowing journey takes them to the very brink of starvation and into complete destitution. Steinbeck compells the reader to travel every inch of the Joad's downward journey into sickness and squalor. However, Ma Joad attempts to hold the family together through determination and dignity. Her unswerving belief that the family will survive makes this book an inspirational lesson for us all.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This story allows the reader to emphasise with all of the characters, from the grandparents who in their old age are wrenched from their home to the Joad children who are one moment elated by the adventure of the journey and the next moment confused and distressed by the harshness of their new world.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Ma Joad holds the family together with dignity even though they have absolutely nothing. When they arrive at the government camp she insists that the whole family including the children and Rose of Sharon her eldest daughter wash and put on clean clothes to meet the women's committee at the camp. She sweeps the dirt floor outside the tent and presents herself to the women, newly bathed and in clean clothes as a gentile, proud, respectable wife and mother, even though the family have work, no money, no food and no hope.


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

    The concluding chapter in the book is particularly moving. Without spoiling the ending, it can be said to be one of the finest conclusions ever written. Steinbeck uses biblical imagery and symbolism to portray a shimmer of hope in a ghastly cruel world.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    7/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping story of poverty"
    What made the experience of listening to The Grapes of Wrath the most enjoyable?

    A believable and descriptive story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The charcters optimism and belief in the future.


    What about John Chancer’s performance did you like?

    He brought the characters to life and made me really care about them.


    Any additional comments?

    A tough story with an ending that shocked me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Laura
    Woking, United Kingdom
    4/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent narration and story"

    The story is great and the narrator does a good job. Some of the sentences are very descriptive and it would probably work best to read yourself so you could pause and take in the full weight of the text

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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