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East of Eden Audiobook

East of Eden [Audiobook]

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Publisher's Summary

This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

©1952 John Steinbeck; Renewed 1980 Elaine Steinbeck, Thom Steinbeck, and John Steinbeck IV (P)2011 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (4473 )
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  •  
    MamaDee 12-13-11
    MamaDee 12-13-11
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    "awesome !!!!!!!!!"

    Absolutely fantastic book! No doubt about it, its in my top 5, maybe even 3 of hundreds......Just get it. You WONT be sorry. If you enjoy family epic dramas with an author who isnt afraid to do to his characters what most others wont, please get this book! I just downloaded another of his books and cannot wait to start tonight. Drama, love, hate, friendship, marraige, humor, brotherhood, family relations, culture, history, and on and on it goes. What more can I say????

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremiah Ogden, UT, United States 10-20-11
    Jeremiah Ogden, UT, United States 10-20-11 Member Since 2017

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Powerful book."

    This book has helped me better understand myself and other people from my life. Powerful message and griping story. Nararator Richard Poe does an amazing job.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Giorgio 01-30-12
    P. Giorgio 01-30-12

    TheWriter

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fabulous story -- flabby ending"

    Loved the book, couldn't wait to get all the outcomes of each very interesting character. Lots of them die, which I am not sure is terribly realistic, though this was an epic of three generations, and yes, folks die. But I am thinking that JS killed some off just to get back to the main story of the Trasks. I have read some analyses of the story, and many critics panned the book for its poor structure and irrelevancies. I think it was a terrific book/story. As the climax began to build, I was expecting a bigger bang at the end. I am sorry that it sort of fizzled. As I look back on it and think over all the characters, I might charge Steinbeck with using the character of Lee as too obvious a device for Steinbeck's own voice.

    Much like Tolstoy, JS is quite the philospher/moralizer, and he needed to constantly pound home his personal ideals; he used Lee to do that. The character of Cathy-Kate was obviously made from JS's own vengeance over something, yet he is not a mysoginist. in fact other women characters were very likable, respectable, flawed and generaly human. I tried very hard to impose the template of the Cain & Abel story on the book, but there were so many generations and so many brothers, it's hard to know just what he was trying to do. JS did a great job of using the Biblical story and changing it to a modern day (early 1900s) fiction; the hand of God was everywhere.

    It's a good investment of time, and yet I needed the Kindle copy to have and read along. Some passages were very deep, very lyrical, very thought provoking. I needed the text to be able to work through some of it.

    Only the ending kept me from making this a 5-star read.

    I will take on Grapes and Mice/Men. Since East of Eden was later than both of those, it will be interesting to see if the critics who cited the former as his peak and East of Eden as his less polished work were right. Did Steinbeck peak and wane with E/E? I look forward to both of them.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Colorado Springs 03-25-17
    Kelly Colorado Springs 03-25-17 Member Since 2016

    Reading allows me to travel through time; to visit the world's unique and stunning places. To become somebody I am not... It is glorious.

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    "Why have I avoided this Beautiful Book???"

    I do not know why I have never read this book. Perhaps I thought this classic would be dull and boring. Perhaps I thought it would be too difficult to enjoy. Perhaps I thought it wouldn't stand the test of time. Or, perhaps, I was simply an idiot who denied herself a deliciously beautiful story!

    There are many wonderful reviews of this book that will talk about the symbolism and allegory found here. I won't be talking about the Cain & Abel theme. I have no great insights into the Bible and am wholly incapable of doing more than mention to that aspect of the book.

    What I will say is this: the characters are deep, complex, real, and flawed. They are people you will find compassion for. They are people who will anger. They are depraved and loving. You will both like and detest each of them. They are people who will make you think and feel. Mr. Steinbeck has written each of them a profound and subtle touch which made me feel as though I truly knew them. Adam, Charles, Aaron and Cal became my neighbors. They became my friends. I saw in them all the things I see in the people who populate the real world.

    At the close of the book I was deeply sad to leave them behind and I find myself thinking about them often during the days that have followed. I will certainly visit the Trask family again.

    Richard Poe perfectly narrated this book. He was spare with emotion, allowing the listener to see how closed these men were with their own emotions. He also didn't try to impose much accent on the voices of the Trask men which allowed Lee's accent to standout which felt appropriate.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phyliss Shanken Colmar, PA 06-08-16
    Phyliss Shanken Colmar, PA 06-08-16 Member Since 2012

    Phyliss Shanken

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    "Modern Fiction Writers take Lessons From John Steinbeck"

    Full characterization . Sequentially told. Show not tell. One point of view yet periodically multi views within a chapter. Reader has opportunity to get inside characters without prejudice. Non-predictable. Rich language without self-consciousness. Philosophical message imbedded through lovable and believeable characters. Economy of sentence structure yet natural. Audible version: great narrator. Didn't force dialect or tone of different persons but easily distinguishable. I will now read more of John Steinbeck!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    paula 06-13-15
    paula 06-13-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Superb!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, Of Course. This book is a classic. The story is beautiful. I have seen the movie on TV, but the audible version is exceptional due to the superb narration.


    What other book might you compare East of Eden to and why?

    The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens. Not because the stories are even close, but because the story brings you from tears to laughter and back again, over and over again. Also, it is hard to put the book down even though you wish the story to go on and on and you hate to see it end.


    Which character – as performed by Richard Poe – was your favorite?

    Lee- of course. The accent was beautiful with just enough Chinese accent to make Lee believable and his character loveable.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The times in the Trask home when Lee told Abra that he wished she were his daughter. This scene was so moving because Lee had always spoke of himself as a servant and did not require anything for himself even though his wisdom was basically what kept the story moving along.


    Any additional comments?

    There is nothing to add to any review of this book. It has been around for such a long time and I hope that the next generation can appreciate it as much as mine has.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henry Jenkins Kirkland, WA 04-07-15
    Henry Jenkins Kirkland, WA 04-07-15 Member Since 2014

    endersc

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    "The best book I've ever read"

    The book was perfect - wise beyond all expectations, a book to live your life and understand the world by, and yet a total page-turner. The suspense kept me listening for seven hours at a stretch. The performance was perfect - full of humanity, gravitas and a true understanding of the words. I recommend every word.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S MA 08-22-14
    John S MA 08-22-14 Member Since 2014

    Avid audible listener for over 10 years.

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    "Take a break from trashy novels."

    This book as the title indicates is about brothers. East of Eden refers to the biblical story of Cain and Abel. There are two generations of brothers in this book, with each generation representing "Cain", the the other "Abel." Although it was written decades ago, the storyline is as relevant as ever, just as Shakespeare and Dickens would be. This book is overshadowed by Steinbeck's book "of Mice and Men", but is just as relevant. It combines a great story, historical facts (civil war and early California), and is why Steinbeck won a Nobel Prize. Take a break from trashy novels and listen to this.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sebastian East Wallingford, VT, United States 12-30-11
    Sebastian East Wallingford, VT, United States 12-30-11 Member Since 2017
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    "A Greater and Lesser Novel"

    I would have bet that Steinbeck wrote this long before The Grapes of Wrath because it is the lesser novel, but evidently he wrote this much later. It is too sprawling for even his control and stretches rely on narrative exposition rather than dramatic action or nuanced description. Perhaps it should have been longer still! No doubt my world is enriched for having read this and it is still a masterly work of fiction--it's in the top 500 novels ever but not the top 10 like Grapes of Wrath, and some of the characters will endure long into the future. Thematically more ambitious than Grapes of Wrath, the Cain and Abel structure is enlightening but less meaningful and less tangible than the historical forces at play in Grapes, at least for me. No Steinbeck enthusiast should miss this but a newcomer would be advised to start with Grapes. The reader is excellent and helps shape the experience.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Freeman 09-08-11
    Freeman 09-08-11 Member Since 2014

    Conservative, wars history Iraq, Civil, WW's classics, Twain, Steinbeck, Hemingway, my first audio bk old man and the sea. Addicted to audi

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    "could not wait to get in my car"
    What made the experience of listening to East of Eden the most enjoyable?

    the story was great, i had read it when i was young . the history and lessons are about life. it was a wonderful book to listen to.


    What other book might you compare East of Eden to and why?

    for whom the bell tolls, a classic and a classic


    Which character – as performed by Richard Poe – was your favorite?

    lee


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

    no


    Any additional comments?

    i am looking for another stienbeck to listen to right now

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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