This is a medium length novel by John Steinbeck published in 1936. It is about labor relations and strife in California. It is the first and, I think, the least known, of what is referred to as The Dustbowl Trilogy. The other novels being "Of Mice and Men" and "The Grapes of Wrath". I am not sure why this novel seems so much less known than the other two. It is almost as good, but perhaps not quite the equal of the others.
I did not know myself that there was a so called Dustbowl Trilogy. I have read them in reverse order of their publication. I now wish I had read them in order. This novel seems much more like "The Grapes of Wrath" than "Of Mice and Men".
I am a student and not a scholar or expert. It seems to me that John Steinbeck uses a lot of symbolism. I do not wish to do anything to risk being a "spoiler" so I wish to be vague. In this novel there is some scenes referring to "cocks crowing". I cannot help but wonder if there is symbolism in that regarding the New Testament and treachery. In this novel as well as the "Grapes of Wrath" there are some interesting scenes about females nursing, that is, breast feeding. In this novel I probably would not have made anything of that if it was not for a very unusual moment in "The Grapes of Wrath". I am not sure what, if anything is to be made of that.
The novel is well written and shows a sophistication by the author. However it is interesting to me that the "f word" appears, I think one time. I only mention that in case an adult might recommend this book to a youth. Other than Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer", published in 1934 and a book I consider to be filthy, poorly written, and unworthy of high regard, I cannot recall any novel from this era with that type of language. I also cannot recall that word in the subsequent two Dustbowl Trilogy novels. It may be unimportant, I just found it interesting.
In summary I am really glad I have read this novel. If I had known, and had it to do over again, I would have read these three novels of the so called Dustbowl Trilogy in the order of their dates of publication. Thank You...
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; 1 edition (6 February 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014118602X
- ISBN-13: 978-0141186023
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 281 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)