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The Grapes of Wrath Audiobook

The Grapes of Wrath

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (4778 )
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  •  
    William M Storm MILWAUKEE, WI, United States 10-07-12
    William M Storm MILWAUKEE, WI, United States 10-07-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Two Narratives"

    This book, an oversight in my own literary life, tells the struggles of life during the Great Depression and the journey West to California to escape the Dust Bowl. The issue with this book, I believe, is that you have two competing forces. You have the engaging narrative of the Joad family, desperately seeking a new start, and then you have the non-specific reflections on the Great Depression told through a series of vignettes involving unnamed characters. While the two strain are related, they work against each other. The non-specific vignettes never illustrate an unknown concern; rather, they work to illustrate the general struggles of the Great Depression. However, since the Joad narrative also does this, this non-specific narrative strain is superfluous. But what works against this strain is that the characters and experiences are painted in such broad strokes that the reader can never establish anything more than a passing interest. So while I found the Joad narrative engaging and well-sketched, the secondary story seemed to take away from the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 09-29-12
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 09-29-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Timely. Again."

    There's a reason they make you read this book in high school. It's brilliant on so many levels. But the best thing about this masterwork by Steinbeck is that it reaffirms the value of the human spirit over anything else in this world. Everything that is right and everything that is wrong about Mankind is laid out in simple, powerful, poetic prose. I'm kind of glad I was absent during that two week stretch in high school. I appreciate it so much more today than I would have then. And Steinbeck's take on banks and the wealthy versus the poor is downright prophetic in the context of today's political climate.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas 09-16-12
    Thomas 09-16-12 Member Since 2013
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    "stunning and magnificently performed"

    I read mostly nonfiction but this may change my mind.
    what a stunning book and portrayal and the performance is perfect.
    Especially in today's age of rising inequality, this book touches home.
    could not recommend more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy 08-05-11
    Andy 08-05-11
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    "Great book - great narrator"

    The Nobel Prize winning "The Grapes of Wrath" is a master work and the coloration contributed by Dylan Baker's brilliant narration is worthy of the great novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bethany SALEM, NH, United States 06-15-11
    bethany SALEM, NH, United States 06-15-11 Member Since 2015
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    "so far so good BUT"

    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

    18 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 11-16-12
    Ed Saint Augustine, FL, United States 11-16-12 Member Since 2017
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    "Classic Story Lacking Closure"

    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.

    22 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Sunshine Coast, BC, CA 09-07-11
    Kindle Customer Sunshine Coast, BC, CA 09-07-11
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    "A classic very much for our time"

    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_.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnny Excitement 08-05-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Excellent book; I actually liked the harmonica"

    I don't usually bother to rate books that have a lot of reviews, and since this book is a classic, I am sure it will get lots of reviews. I am 54 years old, and somehow I never read this book. I am giving this book a solid five stars, but I wanted to comment on the harmonica playing that many people said they didn't like. For some reason, I thought it actually added something to this book - normally I am somewhat indifferent to sound effects and music in audio books, but I thought it was very fitting in this book, and I did not find the volume objectionable. Having said this, I gave the book 5-stars; I am not rating the harmonica playing.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon A. Kimbell Auth Lakeport, CA USA 10-03-12
    Shannon A. Kimbell Auth Lakeport, CA USA 10-03-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Don't get this version!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    In "The Grapes of Wrath" Steinbeck tells of the story of the Great Dust Bowl. To tell it in both a personal and national perspective he alternates his chapters between the story of the Joad family and the broader story of the land and nation. Because he alternates the storytelling in this way, I thought the harmonica interlude spurned by many of the reviewers would actually be welcome, signaling the change from the personal story of the Joads to the collective story of the land and its inhabits.
    It was NOT welcome, but jarring. The harmonica was recorded so much louder than Dylan Baker, the narrator, that a number of times it literally made me jump, so startling and out of place did it sound.


    Did Dylan Baker do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Dylan Baker did a great job of differentiating between the characters, but the cadence was so slow I sped it up on my Kindle.


    Was The Grapes of Wrath worth the listening time?

    I eventually gave up on this version and read the book.


    Any additional comments?

    "Grapes of Wrath" is well worth the read, and maybe a listen, but not this version.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Perrysburg, Ohio 08-10-12
    Tom Perrysburg, Ohio 08-10-12 Member Since 2004
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    "Depressing, but the characters are memorable"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This is a very sad story, with very little that could be described as uplifting. While this book was probably a literary feat for its day, I found this story to be some sort of Socialist manifesto. The imagery was crisp, but I could not wait for this book to end.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The strength of the family's mother


    What about Dylan Baker’s performance did you like?

    He did a nice job with the voices and he added something to the life of the book that is not common for most readers.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    NO! - But Obama would . . .


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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