We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The Pearl | [John Steinbeck]

The Pearl

In this short book illuminated by a deep understanding and love of humanity, John Steinbeck retells an old Mexican folk tale: the story of the great pearl, how it was found, and how it was lost. For the diver Kino, finding a magnificent pearl means the promise of a better life for his impoverished family. His dream blinds him to the greed and suspicions the pearl arouses in him and his neighbors, and even his loving wife cannot temper his obsession or stem the events leading to the tragedy. For Steinbeck, Kino and his wife illustrate the fall from innocence of people who believe that wealth erases all problems.
Regular Price:$16.80
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Of John Steinbeck's many classic novels, only one is beloved by ninth graders everywhere. Finally in a definitive audiobook edition, The Pearl as read by Hector Elizondo is a long overdue treat for listeners of all ages. Whether you skipped this required reading in high school or simply don't remember much about it, now is the time to revisit Steinbeck's excellent little vision of an ancient Mexican folk tale about the perils of obsessive greed. A story of great symbolism and unflinching morality, the lessons here are no less true in our contemporary circumstances than they were hundreds of years ago.

Hector Elizondo is a perfect fit for this narration. Winner of an Emmy and an Obie, veteran of both screen and stage, Elizondo is no stranger to the gravitas of parables. Although he has contributed voice work to a dozen audiobook dramas with ensemble casts, this is the first time he has narrated a book completely on his own. What a treat to hear his familiar grizzled voice painting the scene of a tiny, impoverished town in need of a miracle. When a scorpion bites a young family man's infant son, the man becomes desperate for money to pay the doctor that can save the child's life.

Upon finding an enormous pearl deep in the water and just in the nick of time, the family begins to dream of their son's bright future. Elizondo puts his grit and gravel to good use conveying the tenacity with which the family clings to the idea of sending their son to school, thus escaping their meager life of poverty. But the enchanting music of the pearl speaks to the whole town, and soon all are clamoring for a piece of the family's good fortune. Hector Elizondo impeccably renders John Steinbeck's haunting admonition against avarice, and this short novel is a must-have for any audio library. —Megan Volpert

Publisher's Summary

In this short book illuminated by a deep understanding and love of humanity, John Steinbeck retells an old Mexican folk tale: the story of the great pearl, how it was found, and how it was lost. For the diver Kino, finding a magnificent pearl means the promise of a better life for his impoverished family. His dream blinds him to the greed and suspicions the pearl arouses in him and his neighbors, and even his loving wife cannot temper his obsession or stem the events leading to the tragedy.

For Steinbeck, Kino and his wife illustrate the fall from innocence of people who believe that wealth erases all problems. Originally published in 1947, The Pearl shows why Steinbeck’s style has made him one of the most beloved American writers: it is a simple story of simple people, recounted with the warmth and sincerity and unrivaled craftsmanship Steinbeck brings to his writing. It is tragedy in the great tradition, beautifully conveying not despair but hope for mankind.

©1945, 1973 Elaine Steinbeck, John Steinbeck IV, Thom Steinbeck (P)2011 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (196 )
5 star
 (102)
4 star
 (63)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
4.3 (170 )
5 star
 (92)
4 star
 (50)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.5 (168 )
5 star
 (107)
4 star
 (43)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kathryn Atkins Southern California 12-06-12
    Kathryn Atkins Southern California 12-06-12 Member Since 2013

    Let me write for you!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Short and Powerful"
    Where does The Pearl rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Steinbeck's words brought me to the scene, let me walk in his characters' shoes, helped me understand love, hate, anger (no make that rage), and the timelessness and humanity in all of them. Elizondo's narration added to the poignancy. I'd put this as one of my favorites.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 10-31-11
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 10-31-11 Member Since 2015

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1916
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    690
    662
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    138
    25
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stay poor"

    I am a fan of JS, but not of this book. I like JS style of writing and how he writes about the down trodden of society. In this story we have a couple who are so poor, they live in a straw hut, often go hungry and can't afford medicine for there child. In the beginning their child gets stung by a scorpion, but the doctor will not help, because they do not have money. The same day they find a pearl the size of a goose egg. It should be worth lots of money, but collecting the money is not that easy. The pearl brings them an unimaginable amount of bad luck. The story is extremely depressing and irritating. JS's message seems to be that if you are dirt poor, you should stay that way and not try to better yourself. If you have not read JS, I would suggest you start with Cannery Row.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 08-28-13
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 08-28-13 Member Since 2014

    54 yrs, ,memb 12yrs,library -75%nonfic 10% fiction,15% classics. History, all sciences, bio, classics,diverse other interests.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    320
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    308
    106
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    38
    18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "OVER-RATED"

    Why is this little story rated so high? for me it was a predictable reasonably written little story. Unfortunately that's all I can say about it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 10-10-12
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 10-10-12 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    126
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    208
    204
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "not steinbeck's best but still enjoyable"
    If you could sum up The Pearl in three words, what would they be?

    money brings out the worst in some peple.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    it was ok. not special but i did not feel cheated or unsatisfied.


    What about Hector Elizondo’s performance did you like?

    crisp voice. easy to listen to.


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

    yes, it was a very short book. in fact the shortest book i have read.


    Any additional comments?

    what will i do when i have read all of steinbeck's books?? i have lots of books to read right now, but none compare to steinbeck!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Providence, RI, United States 05-28-12
    Charles Providence, RI, United States 05-28-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very moving story"

    Character development is wonderful. It is a very moving story with a very important message. It is a short story that will be read straight through. If you are a Steinbeck lover, this is a must read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-15 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.