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The Grapes of Wrath | [John Steinbeck]

The Grapes of Wrath

At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are forced to travel west to the promised land of California.
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Publisher's Summary

The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized—and sometimes outraged—millions of readers.

At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck's, The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. From their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of this new America, Steinbeck creates a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, tragic but ultimately stirring in its insistence on human dignity.

©1939 John Steinbeck (P)2011 Penguin

What Members Say

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  •  
    Larry FRANKLIN, TN, United States 01-09-12
    Larry FRANKLIN, TN, United States 01-09-12

    I'm a nurse practitioner that loves to let my imagination run when listening to books. Takes me forever to read, so I love listening!

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    "Wonderful story of historical importance!"
    Would you listen to The Grapes of Wrath again? Why?

    Possibly, but doubtful. I tend to listen to books only once, no matter how great I thought it was. There is simply a lack of suspense during the second read.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hmmm...Difficult question. I liked the preacher's


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

    No, I don't think so.


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

    Few books or movies will make me laugh or cry. I did have a few guttural reactions, however. The very last scene was a surprise, but 49% bitter, and 51% sweet.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the great, interesting classics, written about a time in America's history that I really learned little about in school. Most of my generation, including me, don't understand what this lifestyle is like. I felt as if I were riding in the truck and camping on the roadside with them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laird Wytheville, VA, United States 12-31-11
    Laird Wytheville, VA, United States 12-31-11

    Mental Health Counselor, war resistor, socialist

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    "Tom Joad Rides Again"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Grapes of Wrath to be better than the print version?

    The crisp, clear, imagery with which Steinbeck evokes an era and the relevance of times that were harder than diamonds, comes forth again - read by a time machine/chameleon-impersonator, who had me wondering if someone hadn't brought Henry Fonda, or perhaps the real Tom Joad into our modern world.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tom Joad, the narrator and protagonist of the tale, now a classic, has no competition for the Favorite Character award. One could argue, however, that Ma Joad, being the glue that held it all together, showed the most character development. My favorite moment and the cathartic pivotal point of the story, leading up to the denoument, was when Joad meets up with Preacher Casey after having found him and lost him again, outside the scab prison, in which he and his family didn't even know they were breaking a strike, and as his epiphany breaks over him like a tsunami, how the


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Dylan Baker brings all kinds of characters to authentic life. From truck drivers, to scabs, to kids dancing for old time bands,. His work with the imagery that Steinbeck so miraculously paints almost leaves you thinking you can remember how the metaphorical turtle's Okie twang resounded through the shifting sands of the dustbowl.


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

    The emotional level is riveting. One of Steinbeck's ingenious devices, was to tell the story through the eyes of a recently released prisoner, who had learned the self discipline of a zen master (no references to zen in the book) in order to survive the penitentiary. I doubt that anyone will ever try to remake the old film that Henry Fonda starred in. And yet this book is able to bring it more to life than any movie could ever, precisely because not one excellently turned phrase is omitted.


    Any additional comments?

    I fell in love with this Penguin recording, apparently made a few years ago, when I heard a chapter or two on satellite radio. It was what lead me to Audible dot com, and what resulted in my discovery of a fully emerged new art form in oral interpretation of literature (which is what we called the required course back in my theater department days at S.F. State). If, like me, you read this book a long time ago, I would wager a bottle of Wrath Wine (which has aged remarkably well) that you will be surprised how much of it you passed over too quickly. I do believe it shaped my political thinking more than any other influence in my teens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jazijaz 10-31-11
    Jazijaz 10-31-11
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    "first time"

    The only reason why I bought this audio book was because I needed to buy something from this site in order to receive a promotion from amazon. I love to read but an audio book seemed so unappealing to me so I bought this audio book without good expectations.

    I loved it!! I actually read the book in high school but I simply loved the narration, the reader did a wonderful job portraying the characters and voices. This is a wonderful book and the narrator made me love audio books so I'm back, looking for more wonderful narrations!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Valencia, CA, United States 10-19-11
    Denise Valencia, CA, United States 10-19-11 Member Since 2007

    Native Californian, but lived in TX for 2.5 yrs where I joined a neighborhood book club and never looked back! I listen and read books! After 5 years of raving about audiobooks, I finally got my husband hooked!

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    "Could do without the Harmonica playing"

    Good Classic story, taken from a hard slice of life of the Jode Fambly. Besides learning about the Great Dust Bowl and the migration of the "Okies" in the 30's, Mr. Steinbeck weaves a tale of the Jode Family's dilemma of living day to day with little to eat but with the hope of a better life. Through it all, they remain giving of what little they have, while those with much more will kill the keep what they have. Every character is drawn out warts and all, with Ma the Matriarch, keeping the family together. The only downside to this audiobook was the annoying harmonica playing between each chapter. The narrator was good, with nice changes is voice style bwtn characters. Just get rid of the harmonica!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    watkins ardmore, OK, United States 09-17-11
    watkins ardmore, OK, United States 09-17-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Great classic, Im glad I listened to this book."

    With the conditions of America, this book is a must for your libary. It has so many usful ideas for hard times. Its well written and great to listen too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nola New York, NY, United States 09-14-11
    Nola New York, NY, United States 09-14-11
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    "One of the best narrations i have heard so far"

    I thought the narrator did a wonderful job, and expressed the characters well. The accents, tones of voice and inflections - all done beautifully. At first I found the harmonica interludes a bit jarring too, but as I got into the story I found them evocative and appropriate. Beautiful even. As a literary work, you won't need this review to tell you that this is such a crucial piece of American history that it should be on everyones reading list. Haunting and addictive - I found it hard to stop listening.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kosina 09-13-11
    Kosina 09-13-11
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    "Excellent story, masterful rendition"

    So like lot of people I skipped this one in high school, but now understand why its a classic. Steinbeck won a Nobel prize for literature for a reason.

    I really liked Baker's performance, too - it borders on acting, but never in an obtrusive way, he strikes just the right balance there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer NEWTON, NJ, United States 09-01-11
    Amazon Customer NEWTON, NJ, United States 09-01-11
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    "The Grapes of Wrath"

    This review is for the narrator as well as the book. Dylan Baker is a great great reader. He makes every character come alive with his own interpitation of there voices. I just finished The Grapes of Wrath and what a great book. Im 48 and never read this classic. I am so glad I did now. Every student should read this book just to see how hard our parents and grandparents had it in the 30's and 40's. The only thing I did not like about the book was the ending. What happened to the Jodes, it just leaves you hanging and I wish it was 42 hours long instead of 21.

    Again an A++ to Dylan Baker as the narrator.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen F 08-11-11
    Karen F 08-11-11 Member Since 2012
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    "Brilliant narration - Sad story"

    I really enjoyed listening to this narrator. He put you right there in the story. You could see, smell and feel the characters and all of their troubles. I had a hard time listening to the coarse language, but I realize that's how they were and that's how they talked. The story itself -depressing and sad. I'm glad I listened though, and will always feel grateful that I have never known the poverty that those people lived in and hope that I can appreciate the value of people rather than things as they did.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Leavenworth, KS, United States 06-30-11
    Jeanne Leavenworth, KS, United States 06-30-11 Member Since 2012
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    "The Grapes of Wrath"

    I have read the book several times and loved it each time. When I found out that it was coming out in audio I had to have it. I was not disapointed. It is still one of the greatest books out there. Hearing it put a whole new spin on the story and made it come alive. I would recommend it to anyone. I was in high school when I first read it and won't even tell you how many years ago that was. Was and still is one of the great classics.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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