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To a God Unknown | [John Steinbeck, Robert DeMott (introduction)]

To a God Unknown

Set in familiar Steinbeck territory, To a God Unknown is a mystical tale, exploring one man's attempt to control the forces of nature and, ultimately, to understand the ways of God.
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Publisher's Summary

Set in familiar Steinbeck territory, To a God Unknown is a mystical tale, exploring one man's attempt to control the forces of nature and, ultimately, to understand the ways of God.

©2012 Penguin Audio (P)1933 John Steinbeck

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (31 )
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3.7 (25 )
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4.2 (26 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 04-28-13
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 04-28-13 Member Since 2002

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My Favorite Steinbeck; Terrible and Beautiful"

    I love Steinbeck and this has, for many years, been my favorite and was not available on Audible until recently. This early Steinbeck has exceptional writing and numerous elements appearing in his later works, in a pure, condensed, and powerful form. This novel has potent mystical imagery which might not sit well with some religious folks. Perhaps that is why this novel does not get the attention I think it deserves. The excellently narration complements the intensely beautiful and terrible writing. Like the Grapes of Wrath, this is an intense read without a lot of fun but with a thoughtful concentrated unflinching examination of life and death.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 05-27-13
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 05-27-13 Member Since 2011

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

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    "Interesting minor, early Steinbeck novel"

    An early Steinbeck filled with amazing biblical, pagan, and Greek images. The novel essentially relates the relationship between Joseph and his homesteading out West with his family. It is a story of four brothers who move from the East (Vermont) to the West (California) to homestead the land. Joseph Wayne isn't the oldest, but he is the leader/patriarch of the brothers ever since their dying father gave him his blessing (hints at Isaac’s blessing on Jacob). Joseph is convinced that his father's spirit abides in a large oak tree on his farm. He communes, talks, seeks advice and sacrifices to the Oak.

    It isn't my favorite Steinbeck, but there were parts that were amazing and powerful.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica MACON, GA, United States 10-08-13
    Jessica MACON, GA, United States 10-08-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Classic and Amazing"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book is so good, and the narrator's voice matches the idea of the characters and setting perfectly. Such a good listen. :)


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Turner Temecula, CA USA 07-11-13
    James Turner Temecula, CA USA 07-11-13
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    "Early Steinbeck and Good Narrator"

    I've recently read and listened to most of Steinbeck's major works, and now want to work through his lesser known works.

    To a God Unknown was a good story. The subject matter and themes were interesting to me, so that probably helped my appreciation of it all. While this book definitely isn't as good as his other pieces, it was interesting to see all the hints of things to come.

    Jonathan Davis did a very good job as the narrator. Very professional and he suited the material very well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Omer Morashti 07-06-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Great performance, very good story"
    Where does To a God Unknown rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A very well narrated audiobook. Solid performance!


    What other book might you compare To a God Unknown to and why?

    Compared to other works by John Steinbeck I'd say this one is a bit less compelling.

    Definitely a good read, full of symbolism in the good old-fashioned and thought provoking Steinbeck style, but (to me) it still ranks below his other works.


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

    Although I occasionally disagreed with the narrator's interpretation of the tone, he brought a very credible rendition of the characters' voices, accents and feelings throughout most of the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer San Jose, CA 07-04-14
    Amazon Customer San Jose, CA 07-04-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Very, very slow... pacing is terrible"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The description and dialogue are pretty decent, but the book is really, really slow. You deserve an award if you can finish it.


    Has To a God Unknown turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Pacing... it just really dragged. You can tell that Steinbeck had trouble finishing it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Spoiler alert!The main character finding out his brother had cut the roots off the tree. Outside of that, everything else was predictable.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from To a God Unknown?

    I'm not sure outside of scrapping it completely. It needs to be about 1/4 of its current size. There is just so much unnecessary content between the conflict. You are constantly wondering when it will pick up again.


    Any additional comments?

    Skip it.

    If this didn't have John Steinbeck's name on it, it would have an average score of 1-2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Marion, IN, United States 02-23-14
    Rachel Marion, IN, United States 02-23-14
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    "Meh"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This was not one of the easier Steinbeck novels to read, I prefer some of his other works


    What didn’t you like about Jonathan Davis’s performance?

    Davis' voice is difficult for me to follow, making it difficult to pay attention through the novel.I should have listened to a sample before purchasing.


    Was To a God Unknown worth the listening time?

    Not with this reader- and maybe no anyways.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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