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East of Eden (Penguin Modern Classics) New Ed Edition, Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Length: 612 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||Language: English|
"A fantasia and myth . . . A strange and original work of art." --The New York Times Book Review
"A moving, crying pageant with wilderness strengths." --Carl Sandburg"When the book club ended a year ago, I said I would bring it back when I found the book that was moving . . . and this is a great one. I read it for myself for the first time and then I had some friends read it. And we think it might be the best novel we've ever read!" --Oprah Winfrey --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
From the Back Cover
'Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man.'
California's fertile Salinas Valley is home to two families whose destinies are fruitfully, and fatally, intertwined. Over the generations, between the beginning of the twentieth century and the end of the First World War, the Trasks and the Hamiltons will helplessly replay the fall of Adam and Eve and the murderous rivalry of Cain and Abel.
East of Eden was considered by Steinbeck to be his magnum opus, and its epic scope and memorable characters, exploring universal themes of love and identity, ensure it remains one of America's most enduring novels.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B002RI9K5Y
- Publisher : Penguin; New Ed edition (7 September 2000)
- Language : English
- File size : 1773 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 612 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 9,851 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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I give up. In The Grapes of Wrath at least there was some glorious writing amid the misery, but here the writing ranges from mediocre to poor, with some of the most unrealistic dialogue I’ve ever read. The Chinaman who manages to convey all the worst stereotyping while supposedly showing how silly the stereotyping is. The ranchers who sit around discussing the meaning of the Bible, including varying translations of the original Hebrew. The spell-it-out-in-case-you-miss-it religious symbolism laid on with a trowel. The women who are all victims or prostitutes or both. The casual racism. And the misery. The misery. Oh, woe is me, the misery!
Looking at my notes for my first reading session of about fifty pages, I see that one man lost his leg in war, one wife died of suicide after contracting gonorrhoea from her adulterous husband, wife #2 is dying of consumption, one brother beat another to a pulp, and a father has gone off after his son with a shotgun. Admittedly no one could say nothing ever happens, but it’s hardly a barrel of laughs. At this point I was wondering if the rise in use of anti-depressants could be dated to the time when Steinbeck was included on the curricula of schools and colleges.
Then there’s the evil woman – you know, the one who destroys good men by tempting them with her nasty womanly sex stuff. Not that I’d call Steinbeck a misogynist, exactly – he really hates all of humanity. But his hatred of men is pretty much all to do with violence and greed while with his women it’s all to do with sex and with their little habit of causing the downfall of men. Not that the women enjoy any of it – by my reckoning at least three of them killed themselves, a couple contracted sexually transmitted diseases, several were beaten up by various men and the solitary “happy” one had a stream of children and spent her entire life in drudgery, cooking and cleaning and then watching her children go off and make a miserable mess of their lives.
I do feel sorry for Steinbeck – I assume he must have had a rotten life. But I’ve decided to stop allowing him to strangle my hard won joie de vivre while emptying my half-full glass. I finished this one, and sadly feel that it wasn’t worth the effort – and boy, was it an effort! Into each life some rain must fall, for sure, but Steinbeck is a deluge. I’m putting up my umbrella, and writing Steinbeck off my reading list permanently. And I feel happier already...
This is a wonderful book. Part novel, part autobiography, part philosophy journal. As often with Steinbeck there are some morals to learn. Some people strive for wealth at all cost but it doesn’t make them happy. Some people are better suited to being leaders, some are better suited to following them. Some will bumble through life, not make lots of money, but earn the respect and love of others. Others will have lots of money but nobody would speak well of them if they died.
Fascinating insight into the human mind and definitely recommended.
Not the easiest book to get into so make a start when you have a few hours to spare.
It's just the wave after wave of 'history' and new generations; it didn't help that the portrayal of at least two of the women seemed so stereotypical - and not in a good way all the time.
Perhaps my attention-span is too short?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 October 2018