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
I've literally waited 5 years for this audio to be released of what is hands down the best piece of American literature ever written. I think the pace and clarity of the narrator is perfect. It does have odd, blunt interludes of harmonica music that can snap you out of the trance the book puts you in, but other than that its a pretty flawless rendition of an American Classic.
Dorthea Lange and Walker Evans captured the great depression in images. John Steinbeck captured it in words. Dylan Baker does an excellent job of bringing Steinbeck???s beautiful words to life. The plight of the Joad family, which has become a pseudo family for all the victims of the dust bowl, is the touching reality of the dark days that our ancestors endured in the 1930s. In my opinion, The Grapes of Wrath is one of the greatest American works of literature and a classic that should be listened to by all. I have had this audio book on my wish list for 5 years. It was worth the wait. Audible you didn???t disappoint. Thank you.
I like to listen to books and knit.
I really enjoyed the many characters and couldn't wait to see what happens to the Joads next. This is definitely well worth the listen!
There are certain novels and works of art that one simply must engage and come to terms with. Grapes of Wrath is among these works. Moving through the story certainly is a strain of political commitment that will be unpopular to some, eye-opening to others, and surprisingly lacking in our current political debates. Both the tale, and the facts of history recounted by the tale, are parts of American history. To be more deeply American, you could do worse than to become familiar with this novel.
AND, I can highly recommend the reading of Dylan Baker. He is a virtuoso of American dialects and timbres. His creativity in voicing the (many) characters deserves a special award. BRAVO, captivating. Keeping Tom Joad's voice close to Henry Fonda's was wise as it strengthens the resonance of the character.
Some here have criticized the harmonica, and they have a point. It is a bit high in the mix and sometimes jarring. But then, Steinbeck references and described the harmonica in the book, and it seems not so alien. It captures a different flavor. Imagine setting on the running board of your broke-down jalopy and the guy in the next tent slides 'er out of his pocket. And he puffs his cheeks like a son of a bitch and damn near wakes up the whole camp. You can almost smell the gasoline and woodsmoke. Like a lot of things, once you make your peace with it, you would miss it if it were gone.
Great work. Thanks to the producers, narrator, and author.
Semi retired magazine editor and part time university adjunct instructor who is often distracted by his 10-year-old daughter.
The ride on this story was magnificent. The destination left me a little wanting. I like closure in my stories and this one could have kept on going without missing a beat, although the conclusion probably has kept this book out of some classrooms. I don't remember this book being included in the curriculum in high school and I now realize some of its content was probably titillating to the point that it would be banned. The writing is so good, though, that I'm hopeful high school students today have the opportunity to read it. Although it was set in the 1930s, it could easily be adapted to modern times and many of the prejudices and settings would be applicable. I'm pleased that I finally took the time to listen to this Steinbeck work. Well worth my time and credit.
birds and more birds
just purchased this today & have been listening for a few hours, the pace of the narrator is a little slower compared to what i am used but he is excellent for this story & voices are great, i have tried "reading" grapes of wrath many times but could never get through it.
the only draw back for this audio book is the startling harmonica music at the end of each chapter, it is so loud it shakes you out of the mood the narrator has created, i had to rush to turn down the volume & then turn it back up to hear the narrator again.
i would already have given this 5 stars but the music is just so annoying, i am listening to it on my kindle it may be better if i listen to it on my laptop when i can possibly have the volume spikes adjusted.
overall excellent for only 1 credit
Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
There's a reason this is considered a CLASSIC. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. The writing is some of the best descriptive writing of all time. Steinbeck really puts you IN with these destitute individuals. You feel their pain, see their tears, and live their heartache. This book will not leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, BUT it will make you appreciate what you have. Narrator is outstanding.
This is a superb reading of one of the most compelling and well-written books of American literature. I wanted a book that would be good for a long trip, and it's certainly that. But I had no idea how much I would be drawn into the story of the Joads and of the destruction wrought by the disks of the combines. There are timely and cogent lessons here for us today, with entire states turned over to a mono-culture of corn. But forget the lessons, forget that it is literature, forget that you read it because you had to in school. Read this book because you can't put it down. Even when you know it all ends badly, you _care_.
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
I'm glad I waited to read this until I was in my late 30s, with kids, during the Great Recession and OWS.
It is a rare book that pinpoints culture in every era. We all read this as children, and I hope today's students are taken through it step by step, but reading it as an adult is a reminder that things, no matter what we think, always stay the same.
The book should be required reading in grade school, high school and college. It goes to Economics, History, Social Justice, sociology, etc. I wish I hadn't waited so long to take it up again.
Wonderful language, superb plotting, pacing, characterization -- all wonderful. Unfortunately, the subject offers no satisfying ending. The closing scene, however, is so startling it will resonate differently with me at my advanced age than it did the first time through.
The narrator was wonderful.
Worth reading again.
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