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
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
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.
"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
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.
This book is so good, and the narrator's voice matches the idea of the characters and setting perfectly. Such a good listen. :)
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.
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!
YES. I WOULD HAVE NOT LEFT READER HANGING. WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS SON? WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS FAMILY?
IT WAS NOT SLAM BAM ENDING. IT WAS OK.
WHY WAS IT SO DISJOINTED? I HAVE LOVED HIS WORKS BUT THIS ONE IS A DISAPPOINTMENT.
A very well narrated audiobook. Solid performance!
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.
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.
The description and dialogue are pretty decent, but the book is really, really slow. You deserve an award if you can finish it.
Pacing... it just really dragged. You can tell that Steinbeck had trouble finishing it.
Spoiler alert!The main character finding out his brother had cut the roots off the tree. Outside of that, everything else was predictable.
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.
If this didn't have John Steinbeck's name on it, it would have an average score of 1-2.
This was not one of the easier Steinbeck novels to read, I prefer some of his other works
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.
Not with this reader- and maybe no anyways.
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.