e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Nobel - Steinbeck John (Books)

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. The Pearl (Centennial Edition)
2. The Short Novels of John Steinbeck
3. Travels with Charley in Search
4. Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck Centennial
5. Cannery Row: (Centennial Edition)
6. Tortilla Flat (Penguin Twentieth-Century
7. The Steinbeck Centennial Collection:The
8. To a God Unknown (Penguin Classics)
9. Sweet Thursday (Penguin Classics)
10. Of Mice and Men
11. East of Eden
12. The Long Valley (Penguin Modern
13. The Grapes of Wrath (Penguin Classics)
14. Steinbeck: A Life in Letters
15. The Moon Is Down
16. The Red Pony (Steinbeck "Essentials")
17. Once There Was a War (Penguin
18. Steinbeck Novels 1942-1952: The
19. John Steinbeck, Writer: A Biography
20. John Steinbeck: The Grapes of

1. The Pearl (Centennial Edition)
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 96 Pages (2002-01-08)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$2.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142000698
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A fisherman finds the great pearl, only to lose it again. Re-issue of Steinbeck's classic. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (516)

5-0 out of 5 stars Works well for students with auditory learning styles
This audio recording, while on cassettes, is a huge boost for our students whose primary learning style is auditory.

4-0 out of 5 stars This review is from an 18 year old girl..
I'm 18, and in my opinion, this is a very good book. There were parts of the book where I got bored because they described things that I didn't care about like the animals, or the water or the trees. But other than that, I have zero complaints. I would've liked it to end different because...well, I cant say or I will ruin it. But the way it ended didn't ruin the book for me. The baby's name is hard to pronounce. Oh and to those of you who like books with no "strong language", just to warn you, it does say the word "breasts" in it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Pearl paperback
Received this book in a timely manner & it was in good shape.I would recommend this seller.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite from him
I want to first start out by saying I understand why this book was written. I also understand his message of how greed and wealth kill. I was just not excited about the way the book was presented.

I think the main reason for me not liking the book was Kino. Being a poor diver from Mexico, it is understandable why Steinbeck chose to fill most of the novel with descriptions rather than dialogue. This was thought out and deliberate but I just plain didn't like it. Steinbeck made Kino the perfect character for the intent of the book. There was nothing wrong on the author's part.

I feel like Kino had a definite paralysis in which he suffered a great deal from. On one hand, his very ill son needed to see a doctor which requires money, but, he never wanted to lose his appreciation of his family. Sadly, he had to pick one or the other, and in consequence had to say goodbye to his son. I'm sure for his entire life he longed to be rich which to use a terribly overused saying of "The grass is greener on the other side", is true to Kino. It's heartbreaking that he had to lose a son to see if the grass is greener.

Going from GRAPES OF WRATH with vivid descriptions and ample dialogue and the gripping tale OF MICE AND MEN, it was very hard for me to settle down and pay attention to the details and look at descriptions with limited dialogue that made me not like it. I appreciate the variety of writing Steinbeck has given to the American public but I very much had a hard time with this style. I came out feeling awfully depressed and so sorry for this family. Though wonderfully written, this was my least favorite writing of Steinbeck so far.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Pearl
A really, really good book.Easy and short and powerful.Steinbeck has a wonderful way with words.He uses simply vocabulary to say so much. ... Read more

2. The Short Novels of John Steinbeck
by John Steinbeck
 Hardcover: Pages (1973)

Asin: B00456VFRC
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Short Novels of John Steinbeck
This is a wonderful book containing several of Steinbeck's best short novels.He is one of greatest writers of modern or any other time.He is very descriptive so that you feel like your witnessing the events as they unfold.The book is very well binded, etc.This was a great buy.

5-0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down!
This is a nice edition (Kindle).Steinbeck's prose style is simple, yet he gives a sense of people and place that create vivid pictures of them.The most interesting aspect of these stories for me were how they reminded me of Classical Greek Tragedy -- that is they are about how people exercise their freedom of choice and express their dignity within the circumstances of their lives over which they have no control.However, unlike the gods and heroes of that genre, Steinbeck does this for very ordinary people.The stories make the reader think about how each of our lives are the same.We have circumstances, such as affluence or poverty, disability, the family we are born into, chance aquaintances ecountered in our work lives, people we just meet randomly under significant circumstances, war, etc. over which we have limited or no control.But it's how we decide to act within these circumstances that is the theme that makes these stories relevant for anyone's life.BTW, the story that impressed me the most was one I'd never heard about before, "The Moon is Down".

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing value - great collection of Steinbeck
First of all, this is a smart buy if you plan to read all (or most) of the stories because the cost is much cheaper than buying every one of the 6 books. The only downside I can think of is that it is a heavier book to carry (not a problem for the kindle edition) and you won't be able to share with friends the way you would with separate books.

All novels are compelling and this combo shines light on the multiple facets of Steinbeck the writer. While most people associate him to tough social novels such as "Grapes of Wrath", "Of Mice and Men" and "The Pearl", there is also Steinbeck the naturalist/philosopher/humanist/humorist that shines in "Tortilla Flat" (his first best-seller) and above all in "Cannery Row". "The Red Pony" is a moving, highly personal coming-of-age cycle of stories that is well-written, though not quite as gripping as the other stories. All the stories above, with the exception of the Mexican thriller "The pearl", take place in "Steinbeck country" that is the Monterey county in the central coast of California, which includes the agricultural riches of the Salinas Valley and the seaside beauty of Monterey Bay. That's where Steinbeck was born and grew up and he writes of the place and its people with unrivaled depth and love.

"The Moon is Down" is a different animal, a political war thriller of Nazi vs. Nordic people where the burden of war and occupation is viewed from both sides.

Steinbeck's writing style is accessible and vivid and can be easily enjoyed by most contemporary readers. I believe this combo to be a comprehensive and wonderful introduction to the author or, if you already know and like his work, a convenient way to own the stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
Very nice book to give as a gift.Arrived very quickly and in perfect condition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Steinbeck : Six Short Novels
Although no one else has reviewed this new edition of Steinbeck's shorter fiction, you'll find plenty of readers' comments on each of the component novels.Often readers are surprised that Steinbeck's works, being frequently cited as a modern classics, are easy reads.It is the characters and situations in Steinbeck's stories that are compelling -- not a lot of flowery language.I have to admit I somehow missed The Red Pony, but if it's as good as the other five (and people seem to agree that it is) this compilation easily deserves five stars. ... Read more

3. Travels with Charley in Search of America: (Centennial Edition)
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 224 Pages (2002-02-05)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142000701
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
With his dog Charley, John Steinbeck set out in his truck to explore and experience America in the 1960s. As he talked with all kinds of people, he sadly noted the passing of region speech, fell in love with Montana, and was appalled by racism in New Orleans. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (218)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Nice way to Tour the Country from your own Home
Travels with Charlie was the first book I picked for my new Kindle and my first non-fiction book by John Steinbeck.

It is a fantastic book as a travel memoir that really gives the reader a glimpse into the person that was John Steinbeck.I've always been a fan of his works although my breadth in reading his work has been limited to about 5 novels before this.

Travels with Charlie is a chronicle of the writer's journey from his 1960's home in Long Island across the Northern U.S. to the home of his youth in Monterey County (Salinas and Monterey) in California, back home by way of the south.

It is a relatively short book that perhaps provides the reader the best opportunity to get to know the person that was John Steinbeck.You'll find yourself a part of a journey just as you may have with the Grapes of Wrath only John and Charlie (his poodle) are your companions.Not only do you see the character of Steinbeck, you see the character of the U.S. at the beginning of the 1960's.The stories he tells, the people he meets, his interactions with Charlie are all fantastic.

If I had to make any criticism of the book, it would be that as the story progresses, things get a bit more sparse.However, this isn't really so much a fault of the book as a loss of patience on Steinbeck's part.You get the feeling during the beginning that this trip is going long, and it does.A lot of detail goes into the trip through the northern part of the country.I am not sure it is too much detail, but as Steinbeck gets exhausted with the length of his trip, so does his writing.From the beginning, I was interested in what his commentary would be as he came back around.Unfortunately, given the length of his trip, he became more rushed and the commentary more sparse.That doesn't necessarily hurt things as there are some interesting items from the South to be read about, but it is too bad there isn't a bit more.The end is a little too abrupt for the quality of the overall book.

Overall, it is a fantastic read, and the interactions with Charlie are really fantastic.He really does a fantastic job of showing the love that most people have for their dogs.I am thankful I gave this book a try as it really added to my admiration for John Steinbeck and gives the reader a window into a man who is obviously not perfect but is definitely respectable.

4-0 out of 5 stars Travels with Charley

I loved the first half of this book, the second half I did not like much at all.I've always been a fan of Steinbeck but never before had read any of his non-fiction works.I'm glad I did read this book, even if I was unsatisfied with the ending.

In his later years, Steinbeck, along with his older poodle Charley, decides to take a trip around the country to see how it has changed in the past twenty or so years (he spent a lot of time abroad).He buys a truck and a customer trailer he names "Rocinante" and stocks it full of supplies.Most notably enough liquor to fill a bath tub because he feels when you meet someone on the road, you can always use a good drink.He spends the first part of his trip in New England, seeing the sites there and tasting the local cuisine, and then moves on through the mid-west all the way to Seattle.He expresses an especial love for Montana and its "old-time" feel.

Once he reaches California, his original home, he makes a detour to see family and then resumes his travels towards Texas.For some reason, Steinbeck is a bit apprehensive about Texas and almost wants to skip it,but finds that he can't (especially since his wife's family lives there).He spends a couple days on a ranch and then moves on through the rest of the South.His trip isn't as pleasant through this part as the south during the sixties was full of turmoil due to the rights movement.He also learns the dangers of picking up Hitchhiker's who don't agree with your viewpoints.

Steinbeck meets several interesting people along the way.The best part about them is that they are all different, but the same in that they're just trying to make a better way for themselves.They share a drink and some interesting stories with him and help him from becoming too lonely on his journeys.However, some of the conversations seem a bit pretentious and I really do wonder if they were real conversations.Maybe its just being a product of my time but I don't think I've ever heard people talk as poetically as Steinbeck describes their conversations.His description of his dog is also wonderful.Just the conversations they had going back and forth, with sometimes the dog only saying "Fft" was funny reading to me.

Steinbeck's writing is of course marvelous.He does a really wonderful job with the description in the first part of the book and you can truly tell what an enjoyable time he's having.He describes Charley humorously and it really is a trip for him and his dog in these descriptions.However, he loses this description and somewhat ignores Charley in the latter half of the book.He also spends less time on places and it almost seems rushed.I would have liked to see him spend the same amount of time detailing California, Texas and the South as he did New England.

Overall though, this was an enjoyable read.It was the type of book you could pick up and read in pieces without having to worry about forgetting detail.It was simply a man's journey with his dog in search of what makes America the way it is and how the people who live in it shape the whole experience.

Travels With Charley
Copyright 1962
277 pages

Review by M. Reynard 2010

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Gift
This book was purchased as a gift for a person who is an avid reader and enjoys reading about adventures of people in the different parts of the United States. She was so pleased and is eager to share what she has read with me.

5-0 out of 5 stars TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY
The book arrived in sterling shape with dust jacket attached and in excellent shape. the purveyor was prompt and the item arrived in good time. The content of the book is one of Steinbecks best late works in trying to recapture the flavor of the various sections of the United States during the 60,s. I was in my prime during the 60,s and can truly relate to the various characterizations of the sections of the country at that time.excellent read and the usage of his standard poodle as traveling companion was very amusing.a great book i reccommend to all animal lovers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still Revealing Truths Decades Later
Steinbeck's travels across the country with Charley the dog reveal a lot about human nature, self-discovery, attitudes and opinions of the "everyman", and so much more. Each chapter is a super focused slice that tells the truth and lies at the same time, while both romanticizing and bringing to solid-ground America and Americans. An absolute must read for Americans of all walks. ... Read more

4. Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck Centennial Edition)
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 112 Pages (2002-01-08)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$5.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142000671
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Tragic tale of a retarded man and the friend who loves and tries to protect him. With illustrations from the movie starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1176)

5-0 out of 5 stars A book everyone should read at least once
This is an amazing book. I've read it dozens of times and it never fail to tug on my heart strings. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a place in their hearts for a genuine classic piece of literature.

4-0 out of 5 stars Of Mice and Men
Our class had to read this book as part of the curriculum... and I am so glad we did! This classic deserves the attention it has gotten the past (almost) 100 years! Read this book!

Of Mice and Men is about a retarded man named Lennie and the man who travels and protects him, George, and their journey to work on a ranch during the Great Depression.

All of the characters in this book were complex and marvelous... even the ones who had less than 5 lines!

George- The man who gave up his happiness to help and love Lennie.
Lennie- A strong man with the mind of a toddler. He will do anything to make George happy.

Curley- He hates Lennie because he is intimidated by men who are bigger than him.

Curley's Wife- She flirts with every man on the ranch to make up for the loneliness Curley gives her.

This book was written amazingly... obviously, it's a classic! Even though it was written in the early 20th century, it is easy to comprehend if you are at least 12.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I ordered
I ordered the CD for the book Of Mice and Men so that my English students could listen to the book.It follows the book pretty accurately. I am very pleased with the purchase.

3-0 out of 5 stars Read the entire review before commenting
For all my reviews visit my website

I am NOT reviewing the edition. Just the movies unless otherwise stated.

Please note that the rating above is possibly skewed by the ratings on this specific site. There might be a slightly different rating at the end.

...You know...this has been one of the most challenged books of the 21st Century. Along with such classics as The Color Purple, The Two Towers, Harry Potter, Twilight, Catch 22, To Kill a Mockingbird (one of my personal favorite books), and tons of other great stuff. Does that mean that it is as good as the other ones? Well......as I've always said, IT'S DEBATABLE.

This pains me to talk about it, but if I don't talk about it, all we go astray with my socks. So let's go. Character Development- 1937? Awesome, because there were tons of people like this that you didn't know much about, just wandered around. Perfectly fitting for what was going on. 2010? Sucks @$$!!! YOU BARELY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THESE CHARACTERS! I'm not attached to any of the characters, except for their personal climaxes (dog, ending, "fist" fight, etc.) And those personal climaxes aren't so great either. Length? Is it reasonable? 1937-Of course, haven't you ever read Frankenstein or Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! 2010- Terrible. It's way too short, but even then you don't read it all in one go. And it all takes place within the same freaking 5 miles, mostly on the same "farm" (I believe.) Symbolism - 1937? Undetectable. 2010? Awesomely awesome, but not enough. There was really only 4 big symobls at the most in this book. Now don't even get me STARTED on To Kill a Mockingbird! (Seriously, don't.)

Story? 1937- There is no story! It's just a perfect depiction of the Great Depression! WOOO! 2010 - There is NO story!!! It's JUST a perfect depiction of The Great Depression!!!! wooo???.......Well, that's it at a glance. There's way more in the story, stuff about friendship, and what it takes to be part of a family/friendship. IT'S PAINFUL! You can't just be "HEY DUDES! WE GET DRINKEZ YALS!!!" And this book teaches us that, which does earn it another .7 stars than it would regularly receive. (Hey, that's another 14%.) Format of writing? 1937-How should I know? I'm lucky I can guess at the other stuff. 2010-Stays too close to the Beginning Middle and End format. There's no plot twists or anything. It almost seems like John Steinbeck was 14 when he wrote this! It's extremely crude and juvenile compared to some other books of the time. It's focuses to much on getting the story through, and the story itself, and not allowing itself to take any risks besides the ones set before writing such book, and thus is bland.

Now, what do I mean by bland? It's extremely graphic, and heart wrenching yes. But, that Wrench that is wrenching your heart is not close enough to your heart's very soul (my harts has souls?) To wrench your heart in the most gruesome ways. YOU SEE, THAT'S CALLED TAKING RISKS! The book doesn't get you close enough to the characters (refer to earlier in the review,) so that you can feel with the moments as much as you'd like. When someone main dies, it has equivalent feeling as if a side character in a great book would die. That's what I call, teenage writing. And how old was John when he wrote this? THIRTY FIVE. All time excuses included, that's unexceptable! ...but what else? This review is going places you cannot even imagine. Grammar is clever, giving the characters a distinct southern accent. Of course this affects spelling, but it's okay.

Overall, I can't really explain anymore without spoiling it unacceptably. It's like a Pizza from the average store. Either the Cheese, Crust, or Sauce is the best part, and the rest are all bland. So it's great for it's moments, BUT IT'S NO AMERICAN CLASSIC! Skip to the end, that's what I say.

The Rating? 2/5 would be it, but the .7 I promised comes in. 2.7/5

UPDATE: There's been one thing that bugged me during the entire book, that stupidly I left out of this review. So here's this one last detail that is majorly important. You ever read a book that grinds your psyche? Well, it's meant to, and it scares the crap outta you! Awesome. You ever read a book that is depressing for a reason? Well, it's meant to teach you morals! Awesome! Mixing the two flavors is like mixing a Banana Soothe and a Hamburger. They're great alone, BUT YOU DON'T MIX EM. It confuses the reader to mix the two flavors of psychological storyline. You don't know what to think, and affects you on a deeper level FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS. Case in point, John did not know which to choose. The ending is a beautifully depressing part. Killing mice and pups with your bare hands is not beautiful but serious grinding of your psyche. Don't mix it up!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Heart-wrenching..classic for a reason.
After reading this book, I couldn't stop thinking about Lennie and George.

It's highly emotionally impacting, and that is due to Steinbeck's outstanding story-telling.. excellent character development in a startlingly short amount of time..so you're not only invested in the story itself, but with each character - strongly so the supporting cast.It was so simple to paint a vivid image in my mind.

A story about the true testament of friendship, but not in the conventional way.A story about choices, consequences, lessons, control.. and how often times, the spirit is who it is..and controlling it or a destiny, will never be fulfilled. ... Read more

5. Cannery Row: (Centennial Edition)
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 192 Pages (2002-02-05)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$7.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 014200068X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Adventures of cannery workers living in the run-down waterfront section of Monterey, California. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (242)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing ability to write!
I cried at the end, and then read it again and cried again.Beautiful and amazing, and don't ask me how because the subject of the story is not really all that interesting!John S. is one of the greatest talents of all time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia

"Nostalgia - (from Greek nostos - return home) - the state of being homesick: HOMESICKNESS; 2. A wistful or excessively sentimental sometimes abnormal yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition" - Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary

In 1945 John Steinbeck, already a successful author, was recovering in New York from physical and psychological wounds received as an active war correspondent in World War II. He returned to his writing and to his memories of where he grew up in as a young man in the late 1920s and early to mid 1930s - to the Cannery Row of Monterey California where the canneries which lined the street extended out over the water to receive sardines by the tons from the sardine boats which brought them in until over fishing ended the catch in the 1950s, where his best friend Ed Ricketts ("Doc" in the book) had run the Western Biological Laboratory until it burned down in 1936, where good hearted people - Lee Chong, the Chinese grocer, Mack and the boys, Dora -the generous madam who ran the whorehouse called The Bear Flag Restaurant - helped the poor, where Gay, Henri the artist and Frankie, the poor lad who couldn't do anything right except love his fellow men hung out on means which were virtually non-existent. The result was this emotional lovely reminiscence of times past told as a novel without a plot but in form a series of stories about his friends who had lived on Cannery Row and what they did when he knew them.

It is writing at its best. The Model T, the frog hunt, the "party" given by "Mack and the boys" for Doc and then the real party given for Doc are episodes we will never forget. And, finally, when those of us who lived through these times, who remember simpler lives, and simpler times, who have walked down Cannery Row before it became a tourist spot and who have seen the shrimpers and the lifting fog and who remember in wistful nostalgia our friends now gone come to the end of the book and read Steinbeck's last stanza of the poem which ends his own thoughts, -the poem which echoes his own nostalgia -we have a tear in our own eye - rightfully acquired,

"Even now,
I have savored the hot taste of life,
Lifting green cups and gold at the great feast.
Just for a small and a forgotten time
I have had full in my eyes from off my girl
The whitest pouring of eternal light"

5-0 out of 5 stars Touching and Insightful
This short novella is a collection of episodes documenting the lives of several residents of Monterey during the Great Depression. Cannery Row, the book's title, is merely a fictional street in Monterey, but after the book's success became the name of an actual street in that city. Each chapter in the book is a more or less self-contained story, but all of them function cohesively in creating the overall effect of a unified narrative. There are certain characters that feature more prominently throughout the book, and they serve as fulcrums around which the book revolves. Steinbeck is a masterful storyteller, and his insights into human nature and our motives are as fresh today as they were when this book was originally published. His crisp, linear narrative style is a refreshing antidote to much of the experimental and conceptual fiction that was in vogue in the middle of the twentieth century. Whether you have read his other works or are new to this great American author, you will find a lot to enjoy and appreciate in this short book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Somewhere between _Cheers_ and _Deadwood_
Cannery Row is not Moby Dick or The Great Gatsby. That is, it's not a contender for `the great American novel'. But it is _a_ great American novel. Perhaps the great American anti-novel, for its loosey goosey structure, its whimsical shifting of tone and style, are likely to drive batty anyone who has a very rigid vision of what a novel must be.

This novel follows a long summer-fall season amongst those who lived in Cannery Row, Monterey, during the 1930s but who were not part of the business of canning sardines. That industry permeates their lives -- an endless supply of fish heads for cats, customers for the local businesses, etc. -- but the characters are not part of that industry or any other industry for that matter. They are all marginal to the rest of the world, from the Chinese store owner whose conversations with other people seem limited to discussions of the availability of credit to a male gopher who is conflicted because his paradise home is out of the flow of female gophers, which means he never gets laid. (I'm not making this up.)

The two most main characters, if they can be called that, are Mack and Doc. Mack is `one of the boys' at the Palace Flophouse. You'd call him chronically unemployed -- if the idea of being employed ever occurred to him. The boys individually and collectively don't seem to be playing with a full deck of cards but they live life so grandly and so philosophically that they are wiser than almost any other character or characters in fiction. (Many times, we're told a character is wise but the author can't back it up because they themselves haven't acquired that much wisdom.) Doc, whom I very affectionately envision as a younger version of the Doc in the HBO series Deadwood, is generous and compassionate -- yet lonely -- and the moral center of Cannery Row. [Deadwood with hindsight now looks like an ultraviolent and uncouth version of Cannery Row.] He runs a lab in which he catches animals, mainly from the tidal pools, to sell to schools and universities.

The other reviews note that this novel covers a range of emotions, from tragic deaths (off-stage) to the comic. The humor, however, is more salient: P. G. Wodehouse would have given his right arm to have written this. Many events that most people would cast in a tragic light are played lightly: even when depressed the characters are somehow irrepressible.

Much of the book, in fact, borders on slapstick. A major storyline involves the boys of the Palace Flophouse going on a field trip to catch frogs (to sell to Doc to fund a party for him, which seems perfectly reasonable on Cannery Row). I only have time to read these days when my newborn son is sleeping across my chest and I have to say he didn't particularly care for the frog trip because my continual laughing made his bed a little unstable. To give a flavor: the boys decide that in a trip to the country, the country would provide food, so they only bring salt and pepper. The description of gathering the other ingredients in their stew begins with reference to a rooster that wandered away from a farmhouse they're driving by (in a Model T whose acquisition and maintenance are stories in themselves). The meal begins to take shape: "Eddie hit him [the rooster] without running too far off the road." When Hazel, whose mother was undaunted in her choice of names despite the gender of her progeny, cooks him but warns the others, "He ain't going to be what you call tender."

I would in fact mull over whether this novel sentimentalizes poverty except for two things. First, the book is so extensively based on real life that it barely deserves the label fiction. (There's another book out there called Real Life on Cannery Row. I'm reading it now: one of the most interesting points is that the various buildings really were adjacent to each other and only occupied a small portion of Cannery Row.) Second, the day before I started reading this I spoke with a friend from years past who is larger than life in a Mack kind of way: if he had a $50,000 a year job, he'd be so afraid of being corrupted by it that he'd give half away to friends and then convert paychecks into beer until he hit the poverty line. Then he could relax again. So there are people like Mack out there.

On the whole, the novel is able to maintain a balance between the sadness and the joy. Indeed, it does so in such a way that it is one of the few novels in which you could learn something about life.

A lot of authors from the 1920s to the 1940s come across through their characters as perpetually inebriated. Reading Fitzgerald is has a kind of boozy but truthful sadness; Hemingway is like a permanent hangover. Cannery Row and its sequel Sweet Thursday are like perfectly hitting the right point of tipsiness: there's a gloriousness to it, the feeling of being part of a happy conspiracy of everyone drinking at that moment but knowing that come morning all you'll feel are pleasant memories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Steinbeck!
Classic Steinbeck!Great character sketches that are fun to read; I found myself laughing out loud in quite a few places.The characters are easy to relate to, with Doc and Mack being my favorites.When I read Steinbeck I see a little bit of myself in each of the characters - the good and the bad.It is therapeutic!

Cannery Row also provides a great look at early Monterey.Having been to the area several times, it makes it all the more enjoyable to revisit the streets, hills and coast through Steinbeck's descriptions and think about how the area might have looked, felt and smelled before I ever had the chance to see it.

Cannery Row is a fun, light read compared to many of Steinbeck's other works, but it is still a great book and a wonderful representation of the author's style. I would rank it #2 among my Steinbeck favorites, with East of Eden being #1. ... Read more

6. Tortilla Flat (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 208 Pages (1997-06-01)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$6.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140187405
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Today, nearly forty years after his death, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck remains one of America’s greatest writers and cultural figures. We have begun publishing his many works for the first time as blackspine Penguin Classics featuring eye-catching, newly commissioned art. This season we continue with the seven spectacular and influential books East of Eden, Cannery Row, In Dubious Battle, The Long Valley, The Moon Is Down, The Pastures of Heaven, and Tortilla Flat. PenguinClassics is proud to present these seminal works to a new generation of readers—and to the many who revisit them again and again. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (118)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you love Steinbeck, you'll love Tortilla Flats
A great story and one of Steinbeck's funniest.I wish I hadn't read it yet, so I could enjoy reading it all over again -- fresh and new.The characters come to life with all of the sadness and humor their choices and circumstances entail.Steinbeck is probably my favorite story-teller, and this is one of his best.

4-0 out of 5 stars Danny's house, but shared story
Glorious writing and style as to be expected, this short novel is chapters leading the reader into Danny's life, home, guests/friends and their lives over time in a humble area near Monterey, California.To his surprise, lifelong poor man Danny is bequeathed two modest houses in Tortilla Flat, the location reflected in the title.That influx of riches changes his status and his life.Through his friends' actions and Danny's acceptance, his home gradually is filled with others who genuinely care for him, but mostly have no ambition or desire to do anything, especially work, rather than drink wine, steal, and finagle sustenance however they might.The lone exception is Pirate, who actually does work but with a grand cause in mind.Danny's old friend Pilon's convoluted"logic" to justify unpalatable or inappropriate actions is a funny side angle.The characters are wonderful; the vignettes run the gamut of emotion from thoughtfulness to humor to incredulity, and end up weaving a story.For this reader, there was some wish for a more conventional problem to be solved, more than simply the stories of life in Tortilla Flat for our handful of good-hearted ne'er do wells, Danny and his friends.Definitely worth reading, but as much, definitely not in the same class as Grapes of Wrath or Of Mice and Men.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect
Others have already covered the Authurian/Biblical aspects of the novel, but I would reiterate that this is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.Rarely do you finish a book and the ending completes it perfectly.This one does.I've read it quite a few times, and always enjoy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
If you are not rolling on the ground laughing at least once while reading this book, then there is something wrong with you. I also found myself craving wine during my read of this book. Since all the characters are craving wine, this was a good indicator for me that this is a good book. I would recommend this book to any age reader. It is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

4-0 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 stars
John Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat, is a novella (fewer than 200 pages), but it packed a punch.The story takes place during the Great Depression, in a shabby town outside of Monterey, California.

Danny, the protagonist of this story, has returned from WWI to find that he has inherited two houses.One by one his friends, "paisanos", come together to stay at Dannys.The "paisanos", described early on by Steinbeck as, " a mixture of Spanish, Indian, Mexican, and assorted Caucasian bloods......he speaks English with a paisano accent, and Spanish with a paisano accent".

The paisanos have good intentions, but there always seems to be a little something in it for them.They are fiercely loyal to one another, and together they spend their days, jobless, drinking wine, debating, engaging in occasional fights, and spending time with the women of the town.They steal from their neighbors, but help people in need, and they seem perfectly content with their lives, living peacefully in poverty.

Reminiscent of the tales of King Arthur, Tortilla Flat was a wonderful story.Steinbeck's amazing ability to bring his characters to life, as only he could. The characters were flawed, but endearing men who will make you laugh and possibly even make you shed a tear or two. I was eager to turn the pages, and at the end, I only wished that the story went on for a while longer.If you have not read this book, do so soon. Recommended

... Read more

7. The Steinbeck Centennial Collection:The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, East of Eden, The Pearl, Cannery Row, Travels With Charley, In Search of America (Boxed Set)
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 48 Pages (2002-02-05)
list price: US$90.00 -- used & new: US$56.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0147716756
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Steinbeck Centennial Collection:The Grapes of Wrath, Of Miceand Men, East of Eden, The Pearl, Cannery Row, Travels With Charley InSearch of America (Boxed Set)Description:No writer is more quintessentially American than JohnSteinbeck.Born in 1902 in Salinas, California, Steinbeck attended StanfordUniversity before working at a series of mostly blue-collar jobs andembarking on his literary career.Profoundly committed to social progress,he used his writing to raise issues of labor exploitation and the plight ofthe common man, penning some of the greatest American novels of thetwentieth century and winning such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prizeand the National Book Award.He received the Nobel Prize in 1962, "for hisrealistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humourand keen social perception."Today, more than thirty years after his death,he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures.

The boxed set, containing deluxe trade paperback editions with french flaps,is being released in honor of the Steinbeck centennial being celebratedthroughout 2002.Penguin Putnam Inc, in partnership with the SteinbeckFoundation and the Great Books Foundation is sponsoring numerous eventsthrought the year. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars All Americans must read Steinbeck!!
Great collection!!Everyone must read Steinbeck...my personal favorites are East of Eden and Of Mice and Men.

4-0 out of 5 stars Who am I to review Steinbeck?
Frankly, I feel it would be a joke for me to actually review the works of John Steinbeck since the public has done that for over seventy years. So all I would like to review is the set of books.

It is a very good selection of the writings of Steinbeck, and I am glad to have them in my collection because I feel that his work is certainly worthy of reading more than once.Although I did read some criticism on the paper that is used, I am not versed enough in paper quality to judge that, so all I can say is the appearance is good and they appear to be well made.

I would probably bow to the judgement of thousands of readers and simply give the selection a five star rating, except for a long delay in shipping. Still, all good things are worth waiting for, so I will give the package a four star rating.

Do I recommend the set of books? Yes I do. But do not expect them to arrive as quickly as most of the purchases from Amazon.Once they arrive, I am sure you will feel they were worth waiting for.

Hungry Flats: East of Lucia

The Pleyto Hills

1-0 out of 5 stars pissed off!!!!!!!!
I wouldn't know. Because I ordered the books on Feb. 13, and here it is March 16, and STILL NO BOOKS!!!!!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Steinbeck Collection
I bought this as an encouragement gift for my 16 year old grandson.
He and his Mom thought the books were very nice in appearance and are both looking forward to enjoying the hours of escape

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazon is amazing
I bought 2 sets of this John Steinbeck Centennial Edition. One is for me, and another one is for my mum.
It's great because it's value for money and both mum and I have always loved reading John Steinbeck's creation.

Good one, Amazon! ... Read more

8. To a God Unknown (Penguin Classics)
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 240 Pages (1995-08-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140187510
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
While fulfilling his dead father's dream of creating a prosperous farm in California, Joseph Wayne comes to believe that a magnificent tree on the farm embodies his father's spirit. His brothers and their families share in Joseph's prosperity and the farm flourishes - until one brother, scared by Joseph's pagan belief, kills the tree and brings disease and famine on the farm. Set in familiar Steinbeck country, "To A God Unknown" is a mystical tale, exploring one man's attempt to control the forces of nature and to understand the ways of God. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (43)

4-0 out of 5 stars "This Man is Not a Man, Unless He is All Men."
(Spoilers) To a God Unknown is John Steinbeck's third published book.It is primarily the story of Joesph Wayne, a man in his thirties living in Vermont.He desires land of his own in California and after receiving a blessing from his father, heads west to claim a homestead.While on his ranch, he feels a strange sensation and comes to believe that the spirit of his father has entered an oak tree on his land.When he receives a letter from his brother informing him of his father's death, he's not surprised and invites his brothers to come to California, as there is plenty of land for them all.His brothers Thomas, Burton, and Benjy, as well as their families, soon come to join Joesph and his hand, Juanito.

The brothers are all very different.Joesph is an intense man, feeling a spiritual, almost sexual connection to the land and its fruits.Thomas dislikes the company of people, preferring to spend his time with animals.Burton is a devout Christian and Benjy is a womanizing drunkard.The brothers find that under Joesph's leadership, they become prosperous.With Juanito, Thomas and Joesph discover a little glade containing a stream issuing from a mossy rock.Juanito tells them that the place is sacred and Joseph believes it to be the heart of the land.This place comes to have special significance in the second half of the novel.

Joesph courts and marries a schoolteacher named Elizabeth, who tries to understand her new husband and his ways.Joseph talks to and makes small sacrifices to the tree he thinks of as his father's spirit, which angers his brother Burton.He leaves, but not before killing the tree.Whether that is the cause or not, the land soon after succumbs to drought and the brothers must make tough decisions or risk losing everything they have worked for.

To a God Unknown explores the nature of man's beliefs and the effect they have on himself and the surrounding environment.As with any Steinbeck novel, there are wonderful descriptions, especially of the natural surroundings.While not as fine as his East of Eden or The Grapes of Wrath (Penguin Classics), To a God Unknown is still a compelling read from an American master.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful masterpiece
This is John Steinbeck's second novel. `To a God Unknown' begins with the protagonist Joseph Wayne, third son of four, eager to leave Vermont and find his own way. After receiving his father's blessing leaves to homestead his own land out west in a town called Nuestra Senora. His brothers' Thomas a naturalist, Burton the zealot and Benjamin the drinking womanizer, move west to join their brother Joseph and homestead their own land after the death of their father John.

Joseph's relationship to his environment in evident in his belief that the lone oak tree is somehow his father's spirit. 'To a God Unknown' is one of my favorites books by Steinbeck, the book challenges the reader to think about his/her own relationships which hopefully evokes a desire to delve into their own beliefs about land, spirituality, family,love and God. This book is a quick afternoon read of 240 pages, and easily understood. This book is simple and beautifully written.

5-0 out of 5 stars My aunt read it long ago
I can't wait to read it my aunt read it when she was younger may she R.I.P

3-0 out of 5 stars A highwayscribery "Book Report"
Purple and brown, dusty wine shot through with wheat-colored sun.

John Steinbeck's, "To a God Unknown," is both love letter and a Dear John to his native Northern California countryside.

The author lingers often and long on the Salinas Valley landscape, now a land of milk 'n honey, moist, juicy, dashed with clover; now a dry and crusty graveyard frozen beneath a foreboding moon. These pastoral passages can transport. Steinbeck looks at the same places and renders them differently with each new encounter.

The protagonist is grafted by his creator to the land, and Steinbeck is an avid guide, reading the topography and its changes like a mood-ring, drafting his American rustics to rise and fall depending.

Steinbeck's dialogue, at this point in his life, was not as strong. The exchanges between country people, makin' butter and castrating cows, seems like they're chatting from the couch about their inner swoonings. But you move along with a sense of the things that are agitating them.

As Golden State portraiture, we can see how past is prologue. After Burton, Joseph's holy-rolling brother, leaves the farm in disgust with the devil's presence, the protagonist tells his wife: "We'll try to get along without another hand. If the work gets too much for us, I'll hire another Mexican."

Oh brother.

It is a dark and brooding book, mostly tragedy with redemption only in death. Steinbeck's characters shrink before the enormity of nature. Christians new to the heathen west are bent on exploiting and controlling the wilds. Others are more ready to make love with them.

Earthy stuff.

There are many ways to read "To A God Unknown," and with some work, you might find your own.

5-0 out of 5 stars A meditation on creation and destruction and the acts in-between
Though a fan of John Steinbeck's works for a great many years, I only recently took up "To a God Unknown," and it was with great surprise and joy that I discovered his greatest masterwork came early in his career.An alternately brooding and exalting meditation on self, nature, and God -- and the frayed connections amongst them, and amongst humans to one another -- "To a God Unknown" subsumes Steinbeck's trademark image specificity into a larger description of the life and death of land, and how we owe our own to its.

His characters are thoughtful, but confused -- certain of truths and sorrows that are secretly fringed with doubt.You will find no portrayals more fascinating or complex than in this book.I can honestly say that I cherish "To a God Unknown" as much as I do any art not spilled from the mind of Bruce Springsteen. ... Read more

9. Sweet Thursday (Penguin Classics)
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 288 Pages (2008-07-29)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$7.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143039474
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In Monterey, on the California coast, Sweet Thursday is what they call the day after Lousy Wednesday, which is one of those days that are just naturally bad. Returning to the scene of Cannery Row—the weedy lots and junk heaps and flophouses of Monterey, John Steinbeck once more brings to life the denizens of a netherworld of laughter and tears—from Fauna, new headmistress of the local brothel, to Hazel, a bum whose mother must have wanted a daughter. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dynamite book
Sweet Thursday is a dynamite book.It is a sequel to Cannery Row, set after World War II in the same location with some of the same characters.

Steinbeck is always insightful and unerringly descriptive but he wants to drift into the dark and depressing.He is certainly at his positive storytelling best here, though, and I feel like I'm sitting with him in the lab, sipping Old Tennis Shoes, and listening to him spin out this delightful yarn.

Buy this with Cannery Row and enjoy two thumping good reads.

4-0 out of 5 stars Cannery Redux
I read "Cannery Row" years ago with some generally good impressions.Later I watched the rather lame movie version and I was reminded that humor was not Steinbeck's forte.I mention this because the first few pages of "Sweet Thursday" led me to think that I was going to get more tired scenes of old reprobates catching frogs at night.I perservered and, as soon as page 22, I was making margin notes for future reference.There is humor in "Sweet Thursday" and some of it is pretty good.However, it is Steinbeck's frequent forays into human psychology that kept my attention.

I suspect that this group of misfits was a good laboratory for Steinbeck to tests his theories and write down his observations.There is a rather off-beat romance that seemed predictable although in an unpredictable way.I actually got to liking many of the characters although some were still a bit much.Somehow this mixture of high brow and low brow works out pretty well.I'm ready for some more Steinbeck!

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Steinbeck
I love what I call "adjective enriched" style of John Steinbeck.If you don't know the writing of John Steinbeck then you will appreciate the ability of Steinbeck to put you in the scene of every chapter.John Steinbeck takes great pain to describe the scene and characters by use of adjectives.This is not the type of book for readers that just read by skimming the text.

3-0 out of 5 stars Joe Elegant = Joseph Campbell??
In his early career when Steinbeck was married to Carol Henning, Joseph Campbell had a very public, and for John, a very painful, flirtation with her. As the rumor goes, Steinbeck got revenge by lampooning Campbell with the charactger in SWEET THURSDAY, Joe Elegant.

"Joe Elegant was a pale young man with bangs. He smoked foreign cigarettes in a long ebony holder and he cooked for the Bear Flag. ...He sneered most of the time, and except at mealtime kept to himslef in his little lean-to behind the Bear Flag from which the rattle of his typewriter could be heard late at night."

p. 133 "After lunch Joe Elegant read Fauna his latest chapter. He explained the myth and the symbol. 'You see,' he said, 'the grandmother stands for guilt.'
'Aint she dead and buried?'
'That's a kind of a messy guilt.'
'It's the reality below the reality,' said Joe Elegant.
'Balls!' said Fauna." (Fauna's the madam of a cheap bordello.)

I don't regard this as one of Steinbeck's better books, but Ch. 23, "One Night of Love," stands out for how it conveys a deep understanding and compassion for humanity and the transformational power of love. Steinbeck rarely comes right out and talks about love, but he does here and in a way that proves he's given it a lot of thought. Here, Doc and Suzy (a woman engaging in prostitution out of desperation) are dining in a restaurant in Monterrey (they've not yet had sex):

"The shock of a necktie was leaving Doc. He looked across the table and smiled at Suzy and he wondered, What is beauty in a girl that it can come and go? This Suzy did not faintly resembble the tough hustler who had screamed at hm the night before. He raised the coctail glass. 'You're pretty,' he said. 'I'm glad you came with me. Here's to both of us.'

Suzy swallowed a gulp, held back her tears, and waited for the spasm to pass."

Suzy's a prostitute. Doc knows she is, yet he treats her as a lady, and she behaves like one. Suzy turns heads when she walks in the restaurant. The maitre d' defers. Doc wore slacks, tie and jacket. This isn't a paid transaction, either, it's a bonifide date, arranged by Fauna, Suzy's boss and a trusted friend of Doc's. The entire book is worth this one restaurant scene in this one chapter.

4-0 out of 5 stars solid sequel to Cannery Row
John Steinbecks Cannery Row is one of his masterpieces. Sweet Thursday the sequel is not as good but solid nonetheless. Sweet Thursday is not as episodic as Cannery Rom and it is more philosophical and a stronger romanceelement but this is not always good the romance and philosophy sometimes dont work. INparticular the romance seems forced. The novel maintains a lot of the humor of Cannery Row and one doesnt need to read Cannery Row to enjoy Sweet Thursday though it would not hurt to do so ... Read more

10. Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
 Hardcover: 35 Pages (1992-11-19)

Isbn: 0749336072
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Poignant Classic
George and Lennie are two itinerant farm workers moving from one California farm to another. The two of them move together in order to avoid the loneliness and misery that usually accompanies nomads. Lennie is an incredibly strong and hard worker who has a mind of a child. Unfortunately for him, his strength and child-like instincts oftentimes get him in trouble. George has known Lennie since he was just a kid, and is the brains behind this unlikely duo. George dreams of a bigger life for the two of them, a life where they would settle on a small farm of their own. The questions remain, however, of how will they acquire enough money to purchase such a place and if they will be able to do so without getting into any really big trouble on account of Lennie's unpredictable behavior.

This is perhaps the most poignant and well developed of Steinbeck's short novels. The characters are some of the most memorable ones in all of the twentieth century literature, and are masterfully developed and vivid. The narrative is as compact and tight as they come. Steinbeck is nothing short of a pure genius when it comes to constructing stories: each element, each sentence has its place and serves the overall purpose. This novella is a textbook example of what good storytelling is all about and will be enjoyed by both Steinbeck's fans as well as those who are new to his writings.

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't be happier with this product!
Book came on time and was in great condition. I couldn't have been happier with the sender.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Influential American novel
One man's struggle is another man's accomplishment. "Of Mice and Men" is an intriguing book, which should be recommended to all due to the moral of the book, teaching you about friendship, and overcoming struggles.

"Of Mice and Men" is a touching tale of the friendship between two men set against the backdrop of the United States during the depression of the 1930s. The book draws a reader such as myself due to friendship that triumphs over the odds. After analyzing the reviews, I came to understand that "Of Mice and Men" was not just a book, but also rather a novel of its time. Many students and adults in the world read "Of Mice and Men" today. A book, which catches the eye of all ages is a book worth reading due to it meeting the standards of various styles of audiences.

The author uses variety methods of influence such as overgeneralization, bias, stereotype, and association in the novel. The novel examines many of the prejudices at the time: racism, sexism and prejudice towards those with disabilities. The significance of Steinbeck is that his writing treats these issues in human terms. He sees society's prejudices in the sense as separate (individual) problems and his characters attempts to escape from the prejudices. Steinbeck illustrates overgeneralization in the comment, "if you jus' happen to get in trouble like you always done before..."(pg. 15). This personal quote is considered as an overgeneralization due to Steinbeck prediction another's behavior.Another example illustrated was association, "guys like us that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family"(pg. 13). Steinbeck was a man with a great deal of imagination due to him speaking of hard work for the characters to come.

Steinbeck states, "Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the lonesome guys in the world" (pg. 13). This demonstrates validity and accuracy because Steinbeck illustrates the farming land in California where he was born. This quote also leads one to the belief of Steinbeck's background of always being away from family. Steinbeck also states in the novel, "Hit the jackpot" (pg. 10). This quote leads to Steinbeck's work being accurate because of the California gold rush.

After analyzing others reviews, I want to believe that I agree with others reviews posted on Amazon.com. Prior to reading this book, I learned a great deal about Steinbeck and his significant novels. Steinbeck was a man who wrote many great novels which are being read even today in high schools around the country. "Of Mice and Men" is a thriller, a gripping tale that you will not set down until it is finished.

"Of mice and Men" is a book which I not only recommend to students, such as myself, but also to a variety of audiences'. People should continue to read "Of Mice and Men" because it will not only teach you about friendship, butalso about overcoming struggles.

Shiv Mani, TJHS student

5-0 out of 5 stars All time classic-fast read
I was on a "classic" book binge this summer. This was the last on my list and it was the perfect way to wind down after books like "To Kill a Mockingbird", "The Great Gatsby" and "The Bell Jar".

5-0 out of 5 stars About the Heritage Edition in Slipcase
In a royal blue, cloth-covered slipcase reminiscent of denim. The book itself is bound 3/4's denim with a brown leather spine with dark brown details.

An over-sized book with many Fletcher Martin illustrations: 18 two-color drawings, and six double-spread water colors.

With an introduction by Winterich. 165 pp. ... Read more

11. East of Eden
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 601 Pages (2002-02-05)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$10.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142000655
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Today, nearly forty years after his death, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck remains one of America’s greatest writers and cultural figures. We have begun publishing his many works for the first time as blackspine Penguin Classics featuring eye-catching, newly commissioned art. This season we continue with the seven spectacular and influential books East of Eden, Cannery Row, In Dubious Battle, The Long Valley, The Moon Is Down, The Pastures of Heaven, and Tortilla Flat. PenguinClassics is proud to present these seminal works to a new generation of readers—and to the many who revisit them again and again. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (536)

5-0 out of 5 stars Possibly the Best Work of Fiction in the 20th Century
This is my favorite work of fiction, and I think it could be in contention for the best work ever.

5-0 out of 5 stars Real Literature
I really enjoyed this book. I liked "figuring out" the biblical parallels, and didn't mind that some of the characters weren't entirely believable, as some critics have pointed out.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good vs. Evil
I enjoyed this book.Steinbeck used Genesis and the story of Cain and Abel as a setting for the characters in this novel.It is amazing the magnitude of abuse a parent can thrust on a child, how a child can endure that abuse, then end up being horribly abused by a spouse who also had no maternal instinct or feelings whatsoever for their children. Her lack of any emotion at all except hate almost makes Cathy inhuman, an evil presence that those around her feel, but can't quite put their finger on what is different about her. All that to say that this novel carries some very difficult subjects.In smaller amounts, it carries the love and devotion of family.

5-0 out of 5 stars A book about life
I picked up "East of Eden" more than 15 years ago in my native language (not English) and I was deeply touched by the characters and the story.I was 20 at the time and perhaps more easily impressed than I presently am but nevertheless, this book has a profound influence in the way I live my life.

It's a story about life.About soul searching.About family and friendship.About darkness and light. But mostly about what it means to be human.

The read is a tapestry of connected stories, of characters you can fall in love with and such you wish you never meet in life. Steinbeck describes their movement, actions and thoughts with such a mastery that I felt I lived inside their world.Every time I picked the book I was entering a submarine that would take me under water where the early 20th century California reality awaits.It felt like magic.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read.
I do not usually like long books, or books that include insanely long descriptions of settings, towns, and people.However, this book was different.It is so long for a reason.You get to know GENERATIONS of a family.You meet the parents when they're young and their children when born.You leave the book feeling like you know the history of this family... like you KNOW them... not just know how they acted in one or 2 different situations.Like you know them inside and out.I loved this book and put it right up there with The Catcher in the Rye as books that have made a difference in how I live & view my life. ... Read more

12. The Long Valley (Penguin Modern Classics)
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 272 Pages (2000-11-30)
list price: US$17.39 -- used & new: US$13.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0141185511
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This classic collection of short stories serves as the ideal introduction to Steinbeck's work. Set in the idyllic Salinas Valley in California, where simple people farm the land and struggle to find a place for themeselves in the world, these stories reflect many of the concerns key to Steinbeck as a writer; the tensions between town and city, labourers and owners, past and present. Included here are the celebrated tales, The Murderer and The Chrysanthemums. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

2-0 out of 5 stars Lackluster collection of short stories
While John Steinbeck is a master of Literature, The Long Valley's stories are all dull and some don't even feel like stories, but just descriptions of things (the short story "Breakfast" was overly pointless). This collection starts off great, with a couple of wonderful stories, but the second half of the book (along with The Red Pony parts (another of John Steinbeck's drab writings)) is very bad and yawn-inducing.

My favorite story was "The Flight", and that is the only reason I am rating this 2 stars instead of 1. "Johnny Bear" is also a good story in this collection, and a fairly humorous one as well.

Check this out at the library for a couple of good stories, but do not purchase it as it would be a waste of money. If you want to read great works by Steinbeck, check out East Of Eden, The Grapes Of Wrath, and Of Mice And Men.

5-0 out of 5 stars Of the Doomed and "Virgins By Intent"
Of Steinbeck's short stories, I wonder if "The Red Pony" is perhaps the best known, or at least the most widely read in high school or college literature survey courses?Or perhaps that distinction belongs to "The Chrysanthemums."In any event, those are the only two stories from this collection that I can recall having read elsewhere, leaving the other eleven to delight me with their novelty.The "delight," however, is that which comes with the discovery of intensely thought-provoking stories, not, with one exception, the delight that comes from encountering light-hearted, uplifting tales of an optimistic bent, for that is far from Steinbeck's style.

For the most part, the short stories reveal the same dark universe in which unenlightened and certainly unsaved men struggle to survive, a struggle that they occasionally lose, spiritually if not physically.A certain hunger, an unfulfilled need, and a pre-ordained suffering doom most of Steinbeck's characters. Existence is filled with cruel ironies that dash hope upon the vicious and inescapable rocks of reality. We see happiness in a vicarious dream of escaping the entrapment of an unchanging existence dashed by a pile of flowers unceremoniously dumped in the road.A youth's attainment of manhood is marked not by joy but by the guilt of a murder, ruthless pursuit, and a hard rifle bullet.We see the cultural anchor of a town destroyed by an unimaginable sin.And so the stories go.

Apropos of Steinbeck's view of the human condition is the title of the collection.While "the long valley" certainly describes California's Salinas River valley, the general setting for many of Steinbeck's stories, it also suggests the spiritual valley in which his characters typically dwell.

One may argue that the people in Steinbeck's stories bring suffering upon themselves through their own ignorance and unthinking acts. Yet, if we look closely at their intents and motivations, we often see situations unfold that seem to force the characters into the acts that in turn become their undoing.It is as if the Fates play with men and rejoice in their destruction.

Earlier, though, I mentioned an exception to this dark, brooding atmosphere and theme.The exceptional story is "Saint Katy the Virgin."This story is not what one expects to find in Steinbeck. It is a wonderful bit of humorous satire, lightheartedly poking a little fun at some of the tenets of Catholicism.Had Steinbeck written his major novels in this vein, his reputation would have been that of a sublime humorist.

I recommend this collection of short stories to two very different groups of readers, those who have never read Steinbeck before and wish to sample several brief selections before investing their interest in a major novel, and those who have enjoyed Steinbeck's other works already and should not neglect his short stories.All will discover that these stories are fast paced, interest holding, and thought provoking.I believe I shall now go light a candle to Saint Katy the Virgin.Won't you come along and join me by enjoying her story also?

4-0 out of 5 stars Disjointed
The Long Valley is a series of short stories that Steinbeck had published in periodicals at varying times in his career.Unlike Pastures of Heaven, there is not an underlying theme to connect the stories.While none of the stories are particularly noteworthy, they do demonstrate the early stages of Steinbeck's development as a writer.

Several of the short stories are just plain strange.In Saint Katy the Virgin, a evil pig is converted to Christianity and sainthood.In The Murder, Steinbeck seems to be encouraging spousal abuse.I am still not entirely clear about the author's point in Johnny Bear.Other stories have similar flaws in being outlandish.The one story that reflects Steinbeck's future brilliance is the three part story (the fourth part is under a different name), The Red Pony.It is the one story that has a sense of purpose.It is a coming of age story, set during Steinbeck trademark time period. In The Red Pony, a young boy accepts responsibility for a two different ponies and gains respect for his elders.I also found The White Quail to be enjoyable.

Fans of Steinbeck's other work may find some measure of disappointment in these stories.While none of the stories seem awful, they do not measure up to the standard one expects of Steinbeck.

5-0 out of 5 stars The heart and soul of California
All of the short stories are unforgettable. My favorite is Johnny Bear, which is almost Hitchcock in its eerieness and structure. Get this in hardback. Definitely a keeper for one's library.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not a stand-alone
I'd have to give this one a slightly lower cheer than the other of the pair if I was forced to see the two as separate works.Pastures of Heaven and The Long Valley are a matched set in the Steinbeck library.The two should probably be included together as a single work.It's difficult to separate the two books because they overlap so.With a writer of the Steinbeck sort a reader might experience difficulty declaring, "This is my favorite."I agree completely.However, if John Steinbeck had never written Of Mice and Men, Tortilla Flat, Cannery Row, Sweet Thursday, and Travels with Charlie, I'd probably have to say Pastures of Heaven and The Long Valley are my favorites. ... Read more

13. The Grapes of Wrath (Penguin Classics)
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 464 Pages (2006-03-28)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$7.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143039431
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Today, nearly forty years after his death, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck remains one of America’s greatest writers and cultural figures. Over the next year, his many works published as black-spine Penguin Classics for the first time and will feature eye-catching, newly commissioned art.

Of this initial group of six titles, The Grapes of Wrath is in a new edition with a completely revised introduction and, for the first time, detailed notes by leading Steinbeck scholar Robert DeMott.

Penguin Classics is proud to present these seminal works to a new generation of readers—and to the many who revisit them again and again. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (671)

1-0 out of 5 stars The paperback title is cheaper than the kindle edition.
The book was, is and will always be one of the best books ever written by a north American author. I just can't believe that it is more expensive to get it delivered by the kindle than paperback.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Learning Tool
I bought this book to help me understand the depression in a macroeconomics class and although it has its slow points it really is an interesting and well detailed book. Recommend this for ANY college student!

5-0 out of 5 stars summer reading
The only thing I can say about the purchase that was somewhat negative, wasnot realizing that the year of print was different from the copy we had taken out from the library.We decided to buy, since the book was due and had not been read through.All the notes taken on particular pages had to be searched for in the new book since the pages were different.A lesson learned!

5-0 out of 5 stars Kindle price is unbelievable!
I would like to get this book for the kindle but I cannot bring myself to pay 50% more for the Kindle edition versus the physical book.
Hopefully these publishers will wake up and realize that they can sell an E-book at a lower sticker price than the dead tree version and still make plenty of profit. If they are not careful these publishers are going to price themselves out of business!!!!!!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars The Grapes of Wrath
Before this amazing novel, my previous experience with John Steinbeck's work was reading Of Mice and Men for my 10th grade literature class and not being able to get the phrase "an we're gonna live off the fat a' the lan'" out of my head. In Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck shows us the heartbreak and strife of one family struggling to survive after they lose their farm during the great american dust bowl of the 1930's. The Joad family consisting of Granpa, Granma, Ma, Pa, Uncle John, Noah, Rose of Sharon, her husband Connie, Ruthie, Winfield, and Tom decide to strike out for California after the bank takes over their unprofitable land and tells them to get off the property. The family which is quite large to begin with, is also joined by the former preacher, Casy. They pile everything they own on top of an old Jalopy, pile themselves on top of their possessions, and set off.

The family is held together by Ma who is the hearbeat of the entire Joad family. You really feel for this family throughout the book because they maintain such hope for a brighter future even though they have many struggles along the way, little to no money, and every indication that California is not the land of milk and honey like the handbills they received promised.

The reader travels along with the Joad family as they face hunger, fear, prejudice, abandonment, and death, but also kindness on the part of the other migrants. As Ma states half way through "the only people willing to help out is other poor people" which rang true throughout the entire book. You get a true sense of the migrant "Okie" experience in California during the 30's. I'll be surprised if I run across a book that gives a better fictional account of this time period. I am very interested now in reading Timothy Egan's The Worst Hard Time which tells the story of those who survived the Dust Bowl.

For anyone interested in more about this time period I suggest this link from the Library fo Congress which is a collection about migrant workders in California in 1940 and 1941. Fascinating Stuff.
[...]. ... Read more

14. Steinbeck: A Life in Letters
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 928 Pages (1989-04-01)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$16.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140042881
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Nobel Prize-winner John Steinbeck was a prolific correspondent. Opening with letters written during Steinbeck's early years in California, and closing with an unfinished, 1968 note written in Sag Harbor, New York, this collection of around 850 letters to friends, family, his editor and a diverse circle of well-known and influential public figures gives an insight into the raw creative processes of one of the most naturally-gifted and hard-working writing minds of this century. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Intimate Life Details of a Great Writer's LIfe
This 900-page tome contains rare insights into Steinbeck's life and his views on writing and the creative process. Well worth the time if one is interested in these subjects.

The content is chiefly Steinbeck's letters; so he is the author, but editorial comments are carefully distributed throughout, along with occasional excerpts from related correspondence. This is a selection of correspondence initiated by Steinbeck, chosen and edited with loving care by Elaine, his third wife, and Robert Wallsten. This is the meat, the good stuff, including the intimacies he was willing to reveal to those closest to him.

What has been left out is as important as what was included; therefore Elaine's bias must be taken into account. To the extent possible, what is revealed is the Steinbeck that she wanted remembered. For example, I expected something of the highly public flirtation of Carol, Steinbeck's first wife, with Joseph Campbell, and of Campbell's influence on Steinbeck's writing style. There was no mention of Campbell nor the affair, which I find highly dubious, given how painful the matter was.(John's revenge, an academic told me, was to model a character in SWEET THURSDAY after Campbell.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Steinbeck: A Writers Writer

John Steinbeck never wrote an autobiography, but his letters probably reveal more about the writer and the man than an autobiography could have hoped to.
We have the time in which he lived to thank for the Steinbeck letters. For the art of spontaneous letter writing was on the wane and these letters are a good reminder of that great loss. Phone calls and emails are not very good substitutes, for while they do suffice the moment they don't sustain over time.
John Steinbeck was everyman, suffered every weakness, stood up to every task, doubted his own talent, feared every beginning and grew with every experience.
In one of his early letters he admitted his shortcomings when he was cornered by academia. He hated the idea of proper spelling and punctuation for a clean manuscript in his first draft. He said, `I put my words down for a matter of memory. They are more made to be spoken than read. I have the instincts of a minstrel rather than those of a scrivener... when my sounds are in place, I can send them to a stenographer who knows his trade and he can slip the commas about until they sit comfortably and he can spell the words so that schoolteachers will not raise their eyebrow when they read them. There are millions of people who are good stenographers but there aren't so many thousand who can make as nice a sound as I can.'
That letter should give heart to storytellers that are challenged in the ways of Steinbeck.
Here's a scene written in 1936 that reoccurs throughout the book. He speaks of being scared to death, as usual, miserable, sick feeling of inadequacy as he begins a new work. But says he loves it once he gets down to work.
He also has trepidations about dealing with death. In a letter to a friend that has just lost his mother Steinbeck shares a feeling of inadequacy that most of us feel when he says, `there's nothing for the outsider to do except stand by and maybe indicate that the person involved is not so alone as the death always makes him think he is.'
On April 29, 1948 he says he's about to embark on a marathon book about the Salinas Valley. `It is what I've been practicing to write all my life. Everything else has been training. I feel that I'm about ready to write it. It may take three years to write and it will be the best that I have learned and a lot that I have never even indicated.'
It is obvious that Steinbeck used a long period of time to work up to that major project for it was more than two years later, August 30, 1950, when he mentions the Salinas Valley story again as he talks himself toward the beginning.
Then in a letter written to Mr. and Mrs. Elia Kazan from Nantucket July 30, 1951 Steinbeck is six hundred pages into the book with about three or four hundred pages to go. In that letter he gave the title as East of Eden and goes on to tell how perfect it is for the book. It comes from the first sixteen verses of the Fourth Chapter of Genesis. The title comes from the sixteenth verse, but he says the whole passage is applicable.
In a letter written to Kazan on October 14, 1958 he sums up his love for writing. `...I like to write. I like it better than anything. That's why neither theatre nor movies really deeply interest me. It's the fresh clear sentence or thought going down on paper for the first time that makes me pleased and fulfilled.'
In a letter April 18, 1952 he mentions Kazan and the House Un-American Activities Committee. Said he read his full statement to the congress and hoped that the communist and second raters don't cut him to pieces.
Then on June 17, 1952 he said Kazan called that morning from Paris said he was absolutely crazy about East of Eden and wants to do it. He also said the American communist and the Hollywood left had done their best to destroy him, but he could live with the truth.
In 1955 Elia Kazan produced and directed the film, East of Eden.
Steinbeck was generous in sharing his thoughts and methods he used when writing with other writers.`...Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm, which can only come with a kind unconscious association with the material. `
`...the more one learns about writing, the more unbelievably difficult it becomes. I wish to God I knew as much about my craft, or what ever it is, as I did when I was 19 years old. But with every new attempt, frightening though it may be, is the wonder and the hope and the delight.'
Those are just a few notes from a writer's perspective that I came away with and I'm sure you'll come away with a set of your own.
The book is so rich in day to day living that you almost forget that you are in the presence of a man that over his writing career had won a room full of awards along with the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962.
Tom Barnes author of `Doc Holliday's Road to Tombstone,' The Goring Collection,' `The Hurricane Hunters and Lost in the Bermuda Triangle.'

5-0 out of 5 stars Every fan of Steinbeck`s should read this book
I really enjoyed this book. It is a must read for the ones interested in his life as well as in his writings.

5-0 out of 5 stars A life told in letters
This book of letters tells the story of Steinbeck's life. As his third- wife the book's co- editorElaine Steinbeck makes clear in her introduction Steinbeck was a life- long letter-writer. Steinbeck usually started his day writing letters to his friends, and business- associates. They were the warm-up for his real writing.
Steinbeck speaks frequently in these letters of his love of writing. He writes with a refreshing frankness and directness. The book tells in no doubt an incomplete way the story of his struggle for literary success, of his three marriages, of his relation to his parents, children and a number of friends.
Steinbeck seems in these letters a fundamentally decent, loyal , hardworking person. However one of the interesting elements in the letters is seeing how his relation to certain people, most notably his wives, changes in time. His first wife Carole in the early years is described and written about almost exclusively in superlatives. After his divorce from her he speaks about those years as ones in which each was angry at the other much of the time. His second wife, the mother of his children left him after five years, and his initial enthusiasm for her naturally cooled. Though he vowed not to marry again when he met Elaine SCott, who was then the wife of the actor Zachary Scott he found apparently the great love of his life. In one especially moving letter he will thank her for their life together and for her especially good relation to his two sons. Another exceptionally good letter is written to Elaine's daughter who is about to marry. His advice to her again shows him to be caring and non- conventionally wise.
One especially notable set of letters are those he wrote to his lifelong friend Carlton A. Sheffeld( Duke). Another are those to his publisher Pascal (Pat)Covici.
I have never been a special fan of Steinbeck, but reading these letters I have a sense I somehow did not fully appreciate his work. So these letters will probably move me to reading more of his work.

5-0 out of 5 stars couldn't put it down
Can't put it down in any sense.This collection goes right through Steinbeck's life, from his twenties into old age, and contains many letters to key people in his life interspersed with helpful commentaries by his wife to give the reader a sense of what Steinbeck was facing when he wrote.Highly recommended, and very moving in many places, whether humorous, joyful, or passionately angry.

"I learn that all of my manuscripts have been rejected three or four times since I last heard.It is a nice thing to know that so many people are reading my books.That is one way of getting an audience."-- JS

"One very funny thing.Hotel clerks here [Monterey] are being instructed to tell guests that there is no Tortilla Flat.The Chamber of Commerce does not like my poor efforts, I guess.But there is one all right, and they know it."-- JS in the years before the Chamber of Commerce boosted Cannery Row as a tourist shrine

"I'm trying to write history while it is happening and I don't want to be wrong."-- JS before penning the Grapes of Wrath ... Read more

15. The Moon Is Down
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 144 Pages (1995-11-01)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$6.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140187464
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Today, nearly forty years after his death, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck remains one of America’s greatest writers and cultural figures. We have begun publishing his many works for the first time as blackspine Penguin Classics featuring eye-catching, newly commissioned art. This season we continue with the seven spectacular and influential books East of Eden, Cannery Row, In Dubious Battle, The Long Valley, The Moon Is Down, The Pastures of Heaven, and Tortilla Flat. PenguinClassics is proud to present these seminal works to a new generation of readers—and to the many who revisit them again and again. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (69)

1-0 out of 5 stars Not Worth Your Time.
The Moon Is Down is a story of war.Of a conquered people and their conquerors.You cannot tell from the story when or where this book really takes place.The British and Germans are involved but that is about all you can really tell.The story is about a small town with a coalmine and the conquering forces trying to get coal out of the mine.My issue with this story is that it was written in such a pedantic way that you never seem to make any progress.And at the end, are you no further along than you were at the beginning (you still have people being occupied).I finished reading it thinking it wasn't written very well, the plot was terrible and the characters never developed because they had no depth to begin with.A real waste of my time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prefect Transaction
The book came in perfect condition just as stated.Fast delivery.It was the prefect transaction.

4-0 out of 5 stars Theatrical style with an ethos of propaganda
This story takes place in a small mining town located close to the sea.The town is in a Northern European country, which, judging by the last names of the characters could be Norway.One Sunday morning at 10:45 AM a foreign force of gray uniformed soldiers drives into town and occupies it.Two officials, the postman and the policeman, are out on the ocean, on a fishing trip, in Mr. Corell's boat.The shopkeeper, Mr. Corell, has also organized a shooting competition for the local troops.They are out of town when the gray uniformed soldiers arrive.The occupation goes off without much of a hitch.A bad of occupying soldiers plays for the entertainment of the citizens.All seems calm, but in time the town's people become shocked, then angry, then view the new soldiers with great resentment.In order to gain the support of the people Colonel Lanser, the commanding officer of the occupiers, hopes to enlist the co-operation of Mayor Orden and Doctor Winter.Lanser reveals to these two that Mr. Corell has in fact been co-operating with them for some time.That is how the invasion went so smoothly.The Colonel asks why don't Orden and Winter co-operate as the shopkeeper did?Orden and Winter are greatly surprised.They wonder world the town's people follow them even if they did co-operate?The mayor and the doctor see no alternative but to quietly resist.Indeed the whole town will in secret resist.

This book was first published in 1942.Although the invaders are never clearly identified as Nazis the text reveals that: (1) they are at war with England and Russia, (2) they follow a revered Leader, who must be obeyed at all costs, and (3) they remember defeats in Belgium and France in a previous war 20 years ago.

John Steinbeck is of course a famous author and a winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature.This book was written about one third of the way into his writing career.By then he had written many of the books he is most famous for, such as Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck Centennial Edition) and The Grapes of Wrath (Centennial Edition).All this of course leads the reader to expect that this will be a great work of art.Unfortunately reading it is a little like seeing those old black and white World War 2 movies, where the heroes, little men, struggle on valiantly against the implacable enemy.The book was in fact almost immediately on publication made into a movie.Steinbeck wrote the book "... to motivate and enthuse the resistance movements in occupied countries ..." (Wikipedia) and editions were indeed secretly published in occupied France, Norway, Sweden, Denmark the Netherlands and Italy. (Wikipedia)The propaganda ethos is strong and to modern readers a little false.It should be noted that when Steinbeck wrote the book he had no experience of war, or occupation, and had never been to Europe.This is perhaps why the novel lacks the authenticity of his well knows depression and rural American novels.

To give Steinbeck his credit, though, it should be noted that, unlike those old movies, the Nazis are not faceless enemies of ultimate evil.We are presented with a very human array of soldiers, each one with his own motivations and reactions to various circumstances.Colonel Lanser is indeed the most interesting character in the book.He remembers the mistakes of the previous war and has doubts about his superior's orders.He is a man who looks for the path of least suffering, yet he is still a Nazi.Mayor Orden is also of some interest.He is a simple man, at times almost a buffoon, yet he knows what is right.

The novel reads very easily and the plot moves along at an interesting pace.Chapter Six, revolving around Molly and Lieutenant Tonder, is perhaps the best written, very human but somehow not quite poignant.Steinbeck writes in a very theatrical style, with much dialog, interior, one room sets and minimal narration.At times this style works and on other occasions it seems stilted.

In the past this book was a great commercial success and I do not mean to be overly critical of it.Let's face it, even today; people still like those old war movies.This novel is not bad, but not great.

5-0 out of 5 stars Earning Your Nobel
It's fashionable these days to dismiss Steinbeck's Nobel Prize as an example of the bad judgment of the Committee. In fact, Steinbeck is the one of "the big three" (Papa, Bill, and John) most likely to hold his preeminence among American novelists in a century. I don't know of a writer who more truly represents his own century than Steinbeck, except perhaps Mark Twain.

If you want to know why the Committee chose Steinbeck, The Moon Is Down is a painless way to find out. Everything is there -- the brilliant, understated, economical writing, the visionary faith in the common people, the embracing spirit that understands without applauding or condemning. You can find all that in other books, familiar ones like Of Mice and Men or Grapes of Wrath. Of Mice and Men has become such a staple of obligatory writing that it's hard to appreciate, and Grapes of Wrath is dauntingly long for Twitterers. But The Moon Is Down can be read in a couple of leisurely hours, and Steinbeck walks the slack rope between sentimentality and simplicity as deftly as Thomas Paine, creating a story simple enough for children that ends, with enormous cheek, by recreating the death of Socrates.

Steinbeck's instincts are refined to a kind of purity here. He makes fun of the pretentions and priggishness of young officers, confronts one of them with the crude reality he disdains ("love" costs "two sausages, nice plump ones"), and yet allows the woman in question to keep her honor and dignity. He never says so in so many words, but the leader of the Resistance is not the honest and courageous mayor, it's his cook, an aging curmudgeon who fights the Nazis because she has a bad temper she can finally be proud of. His "sympathetic" German officer is all the more noxious because he comprehends the moral degeneracy he serves. When the Mayor observes "It is always the herd men who win battles and the free men who win wars," the platitude resonates through every page of the book.

This is an ideal introduction to Steinbeck -- didactic without being preachy, amusing and heartbreaking, as focused as an Ansel Adams landscape, as universal as breath. Any writer would be proud to have written one book this good; Steinbeck wrote nearly a dozen.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good, but not what I wanted
This book is fantastic!I can see why it was so popular at the onset of WWII.However, I was expecting to receive a paperback, but what I got was a cheap high school issued small hardcover.If I want a hard cover I buy something with historical value - with the original dust jacket, perhaps.But if I buy a paperback it's so I can stuff it in my pocket, enjoy it on the train, etc.I e-mailed the seller as soon as I received the wrong item, but they never replied.Again, I enjoyed the book but am disappointed with the customer service. ... Read more

16. The Red Pony (Steinbeck "Essentials")
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 112 Pages (2001-04-26)
list price: US$14.23 -- used & new: US$5.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140292950
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
John Steinbeck's masterpiece celebrates the spirit and courage of adolescence. Jody Tiflin has the urge for rebellion, but he also wants to be loved. In THE RED PONY, Jody begins to learn about adulthood - its pain, its responsibilities and its problems - through his acceptance of his father's gifts. First he is given a red pony, and later he is promised the colt of a bay mare. Yet both of these gifts bring him tragedy as well as joy, and Jody is taught not only the harsh lessons of life and death, but made painfully aware of the fallibility of adults. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (181)

2-0 out of 5 stars Very Lazy.
The Red Pony, notwithstanding ninety pages, ends at a third of the way, and the rest of the novella is basically nothing. The momentum is pretty much dead after the pony dies, and I am like, "Now what?" Wait a minute...why is this called The Red Pony? That's what I thought the novella was supposed to be all about. All I get is a glimpse of a kid who is a soon-to-be serial killer based on his anger among animals that he comes contact with. Really, who cares about an old man who repeats himself over and over? And who cares about the old paisano that demanded to live in Tiflin's house just because he was born on the land? Honestly, where is the plot? Where is the novella going? Sheesh, I am presented with four disjointed chapters. Why can't John just focus on the first thirty pages and expand it because that was already a winner? I just wanted to get entrapped by the typical Steinbeck language. The Red Pony is quite a lazily written book. All John did was paint pictures of the natural surroundings, throw in useless details about physical features of the characters, and offer useless moments such as where Jody makes inferences from the sound of the boots and then looks down to make sure they are...*gasp* boots! And as always, John never disappoints me...he once again mentions the word of his native town Salinas because, of course, it sounds pretty and brings the Steinbeck flavor to his novella. There is a great loss of growth or depth among the characters when time is suspended and passed on. Kids from Jody's school show up to see the red pony, and then they are forever gone. There is no developing relationship between them and Jody whatsoever afterwards. Whenever Jody and Billy Buck are getting together, there is a feeling that they just met each other for the first time each time. Of horses, Billy Buck sure likes to bash their heads and carve them up, doesn't he? All in all, The Red Pony didn't require much of an effort. Come on...I expected more from the man who actually wrote The Grapes of Wrath and Tortilla Flat. Whatever you do, don't get suckered into the description at the front of the book, "The moving and beautiful story of a boy, a sorrel colt and the sun-drenched California earth" or at the back of the book, "The Red Pony is the story of a boy who dreamed great dreams, of the sorrel colt that was the focus of those..."

After The Red Pony ended, I was introduced to a random short story called Junius Maltby. My sole question at the end of the story was: "So?"

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great 20th Century Classic
I picked up this little novel last week for a quick read because, "it was a thin book and Steinbeck is a good writer".Boy was I stupid.

My read of The Red Pony reminded me that Steinbeck was one of the greatest novelists of any age, and this small book is a multi-layered treat with so many layers of implication that I am tempted to begin an immediate re-read.

The setting is an early 20th century Salinas Valley small ranch.This world is seen through the eyes of the young boy, Jody.The book is comprised of four loosely interlocking stories.It is a feast of observations of nature and people.Both the very good and beautiful, and at times the heart-wrenchingly difficult (nature AND people).

Don't count on all "feel-good endings" here.Rather bittersweet, but one of those books that can make you a wiser person for having read it.

Recommended without qulaification.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Tale
Jody and his family live on a farm where Jody helps take care of the chickens, cows and other things. His father decides that he is old enough to take care of his own horse, and gets him a red pony named Gabilan. After months of taking care of the pony and becoming attached to it, Gabilan becomes ill, and the emotional impact of that effects everything about Jody's view of life and how he deals with loss.

I decided to read this because this book, like many of Steinbeck's other books, was mention in the young adult book Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee. I had never read anything by him before, but knew the basics about some of his big ones (East of Eden, Of Mice and Men, and Grapes of Wrath).

The Red Pony was very different from any book I have read.A little less than half way through, the pony is no longer in the story and basically we see how Jody deals with his emotions after losing the pony.Then some random life events come into the story, and I am not sure what their point was, except maybe that life goes on.

I did enjoy this book because it was different and I didn't know what to expect. I would be interested in reading more Steinbeck because I still don't understand his greatness or what makes his books classics.

4-0 out of 5 stars A perennial classic
This short book is comprised of several stories that take place during the formative years of a boy named Jody who is seen growing up on a farm in the countryside close to Salinas, California.

A keen observer of human psychology and an even better writer of it, author John Steinbeckcan construct complex and life-like characters from a very small number of incidents in someone's life. His style of writing is immensely realistic, and yet neither dry nor familiarly journalistic. The stories covered here are only loosely related to each other, and each one of them can be read independently of the others. They center around typical aspects of rural life - taking care of a sick pony, witnessing the birth of a farm animal, dealing with a stranger who intends to stay on the farm without being welcome to do so, and the sudden visit of a relative.

Despite their rural setting, the underlying themes that Steinbeck explores are eminently relatable: learning for the first time about life and death, poignantly realizing that adults, despite their best intentions, are not always correct in their predictions, and having the epiphany that most interpersonal relations are not as straightforward and smooth as one might have previously thought. These are universal themes, and aside from the elegant writing style, are the main reason why this book has endured over the ages and become a classic.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Red Pony
Outstanding classic, perfect for any age. Teenagers can read, enjoy and write a book report for school on this wonderfully written classic. ... Read more

17. Once There Was a War (Penguin Classics)
by John Steinbeck
Paperback: 208 Pages (2007-08-28)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0143104799
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Nobel laureate John Steinbeck's bracing from-the-frontlines account of World War II-now with a new cover and introduction

In 1943 John Steinbeck was on assignment for The New York Herald Tribune, writing from Italy and North Africa, and from England in the midst of the London blitz. In his dispatches he focuses on the human-scale effect of the war, portraying everyone from the guys in a bomber crew to Bob Hope on his USO tour and even fighting alongside soldiers behind enemy lines. Taken together, these writings create an indelible portrait of life in wartime. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars War from the eyes of those who lived it.
Wow!Steinbeck is amazing.This is a compilation of his work as a war correspondent during WWII.But, in contrast to what most correspondents were reporting, Steinbeck conveyed the emotions and life-changing experiences of the people who lived the war, soldiers and civilians alike.His words draw you in and take you to the front lines as seen through those he met while in London, Africa and Italy.It is Steinbeck's ability to capture the essence of war through his brilliant style of writing that is what impressed me the most.His compilation adds the human side of a most brutal period of times, not just for the soldiers, but for the citizens in both the Allied and Axis countries.War is not glamorous and Steinbeck's choice not to simply recount the sensationalistic aspects of the war is what sets him apart from other war correspondents.A definite read for Steinbeck fans as well as WWII followers.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Once There Was a War"
prompt delivery, book in great condition. My 12 year old son who asked for it will enjoy reading it this summer.Would buy from again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Steinbeck at his very best
Among all of his writings about the American scene, it is often lost that Steinbeck was a war correspondent for the "New York Herald Tribune" during the Second World War. He spent time in England and was with the troops during and shortly after the invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Italy. This book contains some of the dispatches that Steinbeck posted and from them, it is clear that he was often very close to the action and he paid very close attention to the troops and their environment.
Professional writers can make some of the best reporters of major events because they are so good at putting down what is happening, using simple yet effective prose where journalists tend to overdo their verbiage. Steinbeck was a man of economy, these are very short stories, and in only a few pages he describes the situation so well that you can easily visualize it. He talks about his fellow American men as soldiers, reluctantly drawn from their lives yet eager to get the dirty job done. These are some of the most intelligent and revealing short stories about modern war ever written.

5-0 out of 5 stars Once There Was...a great war correspondent
It is no wonder that most of the war correspondents, in Europe, were jealous and resentful of John Steinbecks' abilities as a writer.Even with all the censorship the correspondents had to deal with, Steinbeck wove truly interesting and compelling stories while revealing little or nothing that would affect the security of our armed forces.He could, and often did, find a story where other correspondents saw nothing.
In my opinion, he is one of the great writers of our time.
I hole heartedly recommend this book to anyone interested that tumultuous time of our past.

2-0 out of 5 stars Start with Steinbeck's introduction to the 1958 edition!
This book was published originally in 1958, collecting Steinbeck's WWII reports from 1943. He wrote an introduction, which is among my favorite Steinbeck texts (and I am a critical admirer of the man, he was a first class conventional writer, just below the level of creative genius).
Steinbeck actually suggest we ignore these reports. He gives a brillant reflection on war reporting: censors plus voluntary efforts to support the war effort conspired to produce a castrated kind of texts. All American soldiers were heros. No American general officer was a blunderer or a bad leader. No American war campaign was a flop, and if they appeared to be such, it was for a greater and as yet not understood good.
In other words: stay away, go straight away for the 'truth' as e.g. in Mailer'sThe Naked and the Dead.
Actually, not even Herodotus' report on the battle of Salamis was printable, it contained too many place names.
And Steinbeck is totally right. His texts are corpses. Not remotely in the same bracket as e.g. his 'Russian Journal'.
I wonder how his introduction passed censorship. Definitely bad marketing on his part. ... Read more

18. Steinbeck Novels 1942-1952: The Moon Is Down / Cannery Row / The Pearl / East of Eden (Library of America)
by John Steinbeck
Hardcover: 983 Pages (2002-02-18)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$10.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931082073
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This third volume in The Library of America's authoritative edition of John Steinbeck's writings shows one of America's most enduring popular writers continuing restlessly to explore new subject matter and new approaches to storytelling.

The Moon Is Down (1942), set in an unnamed Scandinavian country under German occupation, dramatizes the transformation of ordinary life under totalitarian rule and the underground struggle against the Nazi invaders.In Cannery Row (1945) Steinbeck paid tribute to his closest friend, the marine biologist Ed Ricketts, in the central character of Doc, proprietor of the Western Biological Laboratory and spiritual and financial mainstay of a cast of philosophical drifters and hangers-on. The comic and bawdy evocation of the main street of Monterey's sardine-canning district has made this one of the most popular of all Steinbeck's novels. Steinbeck's long involvement with Mexican culture is distilled in The Pearl (1947). Expanding on an anecdote he had heard about a boy who found a pearl of unusual size, Steinbeck turned it into an allegory of the corrupting influence of sudden wealth. The Pearl appears here with the original illustrations by José Clemente Orozco.

Ambitious in scale and original in structure, East of Eden (1952) recounts the violent and emotionally turbulent history of a Salinas Valley family through several generations. Drawing on Biblical parallels, East of Eden is an epic that explores the writer's deepest and most anguished concerns within a landscape that for him had mythic resonance. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Collection of Steinbeck Novels
The Library of America editions are a great way to own a Collection of novels from a great writer; The compact hardbound edition has a dust jacket and is a nice addition to your bookshelves; and these particular Steinbeck novels can be read over and over:
The Moon Is Down / Cannery Row / The Pearl / East of Eden

5-0 out of 5 stars Steinbeck is Amazing...All of it
This volume is just as impressive as the other volumes in the Library of America collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reading Steinbeck
I hadn't read John Steinbeck since high school, but I returned to him about a year ago after our book group read his late novel, "The Winter of our Discontent".I was pleased to read this collection of Steinbeck's novels, written from 1942 -- 1952,in the Library of America series.They are of varied lengths, varying settings, and varied themes.Yet they show a writer with a broad continuity of themes including people, the land, American values, human sexuality, the importance of culture and education, and much else. It may be useful to explore some of the threads among the novels collected in this volume.

Steinbeck wrote his short novel "The Moon is Down" in 1941 following a request by the Foreign Information Service to assist American propaganda efforts during WW II.The story is set in an unnamed Scandanavian country which, when the book opens, has been invaded by Germany.Although the book is short, the characterizations are diverse and effective as Steinbeck gives the reader portraits of the German office corps, and of the people of the town, including the mayor, a collaborator with the enemy, and a young woman, Molly, whose husband has been shot by the invaders.I particularly enjoyed the use Steinbeck made of the products of human creativity and thought in his story which emphasizes the priceless nature of human freedom.Thus, the climactic scene of the story includes a discussion of Plato's Apology among the mayor, his friend, and the German commander.Another critical scene in the book turns on the love poetry of the German poet Heinrich Heine.In this novel, Steinbeck met the aims of the Foreign Information Service, but more importantly he produced a defense of human liberty that far transcended these aims.

In the next book in this collection, Cannery Row,(1944) Steinbeck deliberately avoided the war. He claimed that he wrote the book as "a kind of nostalgic thing ... for a group of soldiers who had said to me: 'Write something funny that isn't about the war.Write something for us to read -- we're sick of war."

The book is set in Steinbeck's beloved Monterey, California during the depression.The main character in the book, Doc, is modeled on Steinbeck's friend Ed Ricketts, a marine biologist.Doc befriends a group of Cannery Row denizens of the local flophouse -- headed by a character named Mack -- and the relationship between Doc and the "Palace Flophouse" residents forms the basis for most of the scenes in this book.Other characters include Dora, the madam of the Bear Flag Restaurant who is sympathetically portrayed.As we will see, Steinbeck portrayed madams in other books with a much harsher view.I was surprised to find in this book a discussion of an ancient Sanskrit love poem, "Black Marigolds" together with discussions by Doc of Monteverdi, Bach, Beethoven and Debussy. The importance Steinbeck attached to high products of human thought and creativity is sometimes overlooked.

The third novel in this collection is the brief work, "The Pearl" (1947) which, unfortunately, has become the bane of many young readers who have the work forced upon them.Both the book and the readers deserve a better fate.The book takes place in Mexico and is a story that shows the effect upon a poor family of discovering a pearl of great wealth.It is simply and eloquently told.Steinbeck describes his book as "a parable" in which "perhaps everyone takes his own meaning from it and reads his own life into it."The book makes great use of song imagery as we are told at the outset that the people of the Mexican village "had been great makers of songs so that everything they saw or thought or did or heard became a song."The main character, Kino, hears in his heart various songs throughout the book, the most important of which is the "Song of the Family" or the "Whole" which celebrates his life with his wife and new baby. This is a short, beautiful story which glows with the many colors and ambiguities as did the pearl which Kino discovers.

The final novel in this collection, and the longest by far is "East of Eden" which Steinbeck wrote in a burst of energy in 1951.This was Steinbeck's favorite among all his works and he literally put himself into it in the person of the narrator.

Steinbeck said that he wrote "East of Eden" to tell "the story of my country and the story of me" to his two young sons in order to demonstrate "the greatest story of all -- the story of good and evil, of strength and weakness, of love and hate, of beauty and ugliness, how these doubles are inseparable."For all its melodrama, length, sometimes black-and-white characterizations, and preachiness, the novel achieves its goals.I was transfixed by the book.

Most of the story takes place in the Salinas Valley of Northern California and involves the saga of two families, the Hamiltons and the Trasks.There are two Trask brothers, Adam and Charles, and twin sons of Adam, (presumably), and his wife Cathy -- Aron and Caleb. Both Adam and Charles and Aron and Caleb replicate in their own ways the Biblical story of Cain and Abel.Steinbeck gives this story a full biblical style exegisis as the reader sees the story of the conflict between good and evil play out in double over the course of the book.

This book features another madam, Kate -- or Cathy Trask whom Steinbeck describes as a "monster".This is a far different woman than the Dora of "Cannery Row".

This book portrays strikingly the good and evil of which people are capable and their capacity to make choices -- to understand the good and reject the evil.Steinbeck writes in a humanistic rather than in a theological way.

In summary, this volume includes four different yet related works by an outstanding American author.This book will reward reading by those who wish to explore some of the great literature that has been written in the United States.The Library of America deserves gratitude for making our country's literary and cultural achievements available to many readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Nobel Laureate's Eden and Our Many Faults and Failures.
Whenever "the great American novel" comes up in conversation, the names most frequently bandied about are Fitzgerald ("The Great Gatsby"), Faulkner ("The Sound and the Fury"), Hemingway ("The Old Man and the Sea") - and John Steinbeck, chronicler of rural California and the ordinary man's plight, like Faulkner and Hemingway winner of both the Literature Nobel Prize (1962) and the Pulitzer (1940, for "The Grapes of Wrath"), in addition to multiple other distinctions.

Little in Steinbeck's upbringing hinted at his future rise to fame.Born 1902, a modest Salinas, California, flour-mill-manager-turned-county-treasurer's son, he worked as a farm-hand during high school and studied English and biology at Stanford, but left 1925 without graduating to pursue journalism and writing in New York; only to have to return home a year later.Surviving on a number of odd jobs, he continued to write.His first novel, 1929's "A Cup of Gold," however, failed to return his publisher's $250 advance, and his subsequent collection of interrelated stories ("The Pastures of Heaven," 1932) and novel ("To a God Unknown," 1933) likewise remained largely unknown.Steinbeck's fate changed with 1935's humorous "Tortilla Flat," chronicling life in a Chicano community (and an allegory on Steinbeck's own first literary influence, the Arthurian legend, to which he returned much later in an unfinished attempt to modernize Mallory's "Morte D'Arthur").Both "Tortilla Flat" and the subsequent "In Dubious Battle" (1936) - Steinbeck's first exploration of the California's migratory workers' fate - won the California Commonwealth Club's Gold Medal; and the sale of "Tortilla Flat"'s movie rights earned him his first truly big check.Steinbeck's reputation grew further with the interrelated coming-of-age stories of "The Red Pony" (1937), and his next two novels, 1937's poignant "Of Mice and Men" and, particularly, "The Grapes of Wrath" (1939), the story of angry "harvest gypsy" Tom Joad and his family.Both works are still among America's 35 books most frequently banned from school curricula:keen testimony to the nerves they continue to touch.

Steinbeck's major works are collected in (to date?!) three volumes of the Library of America series, the first covering his 1932 - 1937 writings, the second "The Grapes of Wrath," Steinbeck's extensive background research ("Harvest Gypsies," 1936), the short story collection "The Long Valley" (1938) and his contribution to "The Sea of Cortez," a 1941 publication about his 1940 marine exploration with close friend Ed Ricketts.The present - third - volume contains three works from the 1940s, in addition to the awe-inspiring "East of Eden;" thus omitting the 1942 and 1948 nonfiction accounts "Bombs Away" and "A Russian Journal," the 1947 character study "The Wayward Bus" and the 1950 play-novelette "Burning Bright".

"The Moon Is Down" (1942) reflects Steinbeck's impressions upon hearing the testimony of refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe.Originally conceived as a play set in the U.S. but revised as a novel set in an unnamed Scandinavian country, it describes the struggle of a group of underground fighters in an occupied society.Widely read in occupied Europe, in 1946 it won Norway's King Haakon Liberty Cross.

"Cannery Row" (written 1944, published a year later) was a response to a group of soldiers' request to Steinbeck to write "something funny that isn't about war."It revolves around Doc Burton, a literary incarnation of the author's friend Ed Ricketts, first introduced as a supporting character in "In Dubious Battle" and now taking center stage as a man whose mind has "no horizon," and his sympathy "no warp."(The novel's dedication reads: "For Ed Ricketts who knows why or should.") - Steinbeck returned to Doc and his Monterey community in 1954's "Sweet Thursday."

"The Pearl," the folklore-based story of a boy whose life is altered (not for the better) by the discovery of a precious pearl, began as a screenplay for a film directed by Mexican Emilio Fernandez.The novel's publication was postponed to coincide with the movie's early 1948 release; by this time the story had, however, already appeared in a magazine.

"East of Eden," by far the longest work contained herein, was, according to Steinbeck himself, *the* major novel of his life: "I think there is only one book to a man," he noted in a letter to his publisher.Of epic scope and breathtaking craftsmanship and complex characters, it is part chronicle of California's early settlement, part family saga and part tale of two unequal brothers' rivalry, modeled on the bible's Cain and Abel.Intending the book primarily for his sons, Steinbeck commented that it was like a box containing "[n]early everything I have ... [p]ain and excitement ... evil thoughts and good thoughts - the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation."The writing process was accompanied by a series of letters to Steinbeck's publisher, published 1969 as "Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters."

In his remaining 16 years, Steinbeck published only three more works of fiction - besides "Sweet Thursday," the satirical "Short Reign of Pippin IV" (1957) and 1961's swan-song on materialism, "The Winter of Our Discontent."(The uncompleted "Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights" was published posthumously.)His most popular later work is the journal of his trans-American road trip with his poodle Charley ("Travels With Charley," 1962).But he remained a critical voice, released several collections of journalism and when he died, left a legacy also including a treasury of letters and two highly-acclaimed screenplays, for an adaptation of his own "Red Pony" and for 1952's "Viva Zapata!" (starring Marlon Brando and Anthony Quinn), in addition to screen versions of his novels involving Hollywood luminaries from John Ford and Elia Kazan to Henry Fonda, James Dean, Spencer Tracy, Robert Mitchum and, more recently, Gary Sinise and John Malkovich.

"The ancient commission of the writer has not changed. He is charged with exposing our many grievous faults and failures, with dredging up to the light our dark and dangerous dreams for the purpose of improvement." - John Steinbeck, Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech (1962).

Also recommended:
John Steinbeck : Novels and Stories, 1932-1937 : The Pastures of Heaven / To a God Unknown / Tortilla Flat / In Dubious Battle / Of Mice and Men (Library of America)
John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath and Other Writings 1936-1941: The Grapes of Wrath, The Harvest Gypsies, The Long Valley, The Log from the Sea of Cortez (Library of America)
John Steinbeck: Travels with Charley and Later Novels 1947-1962: The Wayward Bus / Burning Bright / Sweet Thursday / The Winter of Our Discontent (Library of America)
The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction (Penguin Classics)
John Steinbeck, Writer: A Biography
The Grapes of Wrath
East of Eden (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Of Mice & Men
Viva Zapata!

5-0 out of 5 stars Thanks, Library of America!
It's great to see Steinbeck's works coming out in this nice edition. This volume is up to LOA's usual excellent standards, and like the first two volumes in the Steinbeck series, continues covering both famous pieces like Cannery Row and East of Eden, as well as some of his less known works. In any case it's a real treat for any Steinbeck fan. Can't wait for the fourth volume! ... Read more

19. John Steinbeck, Writer: A Biography
by Jackson J. Benson
Paperback: 1184 Pages (1990-12-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$10.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 014014417X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Winner of the 1940 Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1962, John Steinbeck (1902-1968) was one of America's most important and influential writers. Jackson J. Benson's definitive biography explores every aspect of the author's life-his campaigns for the rights of the little people; his stand on the Vietnam War; his Hollywood film scripts; and his ongoing difficulties with fame, the press, and lack of privacy-to reveal the private man behind the public persona.

• Winner of the PEN-USA West award for non-fiction ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Steinbeck and the future
One of the most important Spanish journalist told me: 'If you would like to be a good writer, you must read this book. There you can see the evolution of one of the best writers ever".

A nice book. Enjoy it!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Overwhelming drive to write: Of dissections and leprechauns
The man was contradiction personified: during his university time he started his interest in science, attended zoology classes, dissecting animals, and he also wrote stories full of fairies and mysticism. He was acting the outlaw in the face of convention, thus provoking the loneliness that he struggled with for a long time.
The end product of this amalgam is endearing: a mystical materialist, a non-intellectual with more science in his mind than most headier writers, a champion for low-lifers and misfits, a rebel without interest in politics, an apparent man of action who does not believe in purposes and causes.
He mixed up the fiction that he read, wrote and lived: disentangling the 3 is the main challenge of a biography.
He wanted to be a writer and that was what he became, against all odds. Nobody wanted his writing for a long time. The biggest mystery about him is how he overcame the endless period of rejection. When he finally found publishers, his first books were commercial failures, partly due to timing, partly because the publishers did nothing to push. All his publishers went bankrupt, so he needed a new one for each book.
How could he possibly know that he had the talent to become one of the most famous writers in the world? Puzzling and admirable.
I love many of his books, others are mediocre, others are unreadable. He had a performance and success plateau in his middle age. Then creativity dropped off, which bothered him strongly.
A likeable man with hindsight, even if not to all contemporaries, and a writer of loveable books. Benson wrote a readable, if a little too fat biography. Benson's approach is very detailed. That must lead to a very fat book automatically. He does not shy away from commenting on JS's behaviour, which sounds odd sometimes, as another reviewer observed.
He had access to letters which the collection published by Mrs.Steinbeck III had omitted, which allows a fuller picture in the bio than the letter volume.
And by the way, I will not be reviewing another book for a while, this one has 1000 pages! Even my personal speadreading skills are overwhelmed.

5-0 out of 5 stars a great bio
I've read a few Steinbeck biographies and this one is my favorite. There is a ton of information in this brick of a book, and it took me a year to get through it (I read slow). Benson does a great job covering Steinbeck's childhood, his years at Stanford, his lousy jobs, his apprenticeship as a writer, and his perseverance and eventual publication (whichstill left him in dire financial straits).

The second half of the biography, where John moves to NYC, shows a different side of the man as he ventures away from his native California and obtains literary success. He does more traveling, marries for a second time, and contemplates writing his "big book" (East of Eden).

My favorite part of the book was its references to Steinbeck's writing habits. He was a very solitary man who was obsessive about writing everyday (his friends were often puzzled about why he was so selfish with his time). Also, he strove for simplicity in his stories (there was no showboating in the man or his work) and he tried to craft voice through a simple, parsed-down style.

This biography is very big, and the reader may get caught up in a different issue, storyline, or period of John's life. What facinated me, however, was John's writing habits and how he fought off doubt, depression, and writer's block. This biography was loaded with lots of information about the writing life (it's as good, if not better, than the Paris Review interviews).

Steinbeck is my favorite writer and if it wasn't for him I probably wouldn't write fiction. I enjoy reading about him, almost as much as I enjoy reading his books.

Also recommended: The Gospel of Arnie

5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Biography
When I was in eighth grade (which was 1984!), I insisted my father buy me this book.I was (and am) a Steinbeck nut.I read this book in bits and pieces for years and years--dipping into it from time to time. Eventually I did sit down and read the whole thing--wonderful, truly wonderful.A long book, yes, but only because it tells such a wonderful life and in such incredible detail.The research is impeccable; the story-telling riveting; the detail is magnificent.Someone once told me to make my life a work of art.Steinbeck did this with his life--as did Mr. Benson here.

If you like Steinbeck and would like to know more, read this.Even if you just want a fascinating story, read this--a wonderful ride from the early part of the century, to the Great Depression to the tumult of the 1960's--it is all here, through the ideas of a great biographer and a great subject.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating man, troubling biography
Although I've enjoyed the book and getting to know Steinbeck, who I find funny and frustrating as man and writer, I thought this biography rather odd in certain aspects. One is the curiously intimate tone Benson takes in writing it. There are instances, especially in discussing Steinbeck's first wife Carol, that Benson actually argues in print with her. At other times he seems to be instructing the (dead) subject of his book. This is a first in any biography I've read.
The other, very odd and troubling aspect regards reviews of Steinbeck's work. John Steinbeck was one of the major American writer of the first half of the 20th Century. He wrote severalnovels that continue to be read into the 21st Century. Along with writing the screenplay for the Kazan/Brando film Viva Zapata, 4 of his books (The Red Pony, Of Mice and Men, Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden) were turned into major motion pictures. He was personal friends with Elia Kazan. And there are no, repeat, no clips from the reviews of any of these efforts. For a biography of a writer this is a huge hole to leave unfilled. And for the biography of a major writer whose work remains controversial it's a tremendous failing in an otherwise fine book ... Read more

20. John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath and Other Writings 1936-1941: The Grapes of Wrath, The Harvest Gypsies, The Long Valley, The Log from the Sea of Cortez (Library of America)
by John Steinbeck
Hardcover: 1067 Pages (1996-09-01)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883011159
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This second volume in the authoritative edition of JohnSteinbeck (with "Novels and Stories, 1932-1937") features thePulitzer-Prize winning masterpiece "The Grapes of Wrath" in a newlycorrected text based on the author's manuscript, typescript, andgalleys. "The Harvest Gypsies is Steinbeck's investigative report onmigrant farm workers which laid the groundwork for the novel. "TheLong Valley" displays his brilliance with short stories, includingsuch classics as "The Chrysanthemums," "Flight," and "The Red Pony.""The Log from the Sea of Cortez," about a marine biologicalexpedition, combines science, philosophy, and adventure. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Literature. Timeless...The Very Best
This is classicliterature from one of America's great writers. In high school I was required to read The Grapes of Wrath for my literature class. At the time I liked the novel but did not really appreciate how timeless and what an epic it was.

Recently my family and I bought a cattle ranch in far west Oklahoma and I was introduced to what happened in the Dust Bowl depression time.I had to buy this book and read again about the Great Depression and families moving from the dust bowl in an attempt to find a better life. The Grapes of wrath is a fictitious story but the master genius writer John Steinbeck uses many many actual facts and events that really happened in the depression.

His writing style is so richly descriptive and thought provoking Steinbeck eventuallyreceived a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. John Steinbeck a true American writing genius. Shortly after The Grapes of Wrath was published many schools and colleges banned it as being too controversial and creating too strong emotions andbeing un american.

We see families out of work during the depression and starving. Banks are taking their homes and farms because they cant make the payments. Its affecting tens of millions of people. Catastrophic. We do see some of the good things in people doing what little sharing and charity they can. However there is much evil in the hearts of many man and women. Hundreds of thousands of agriculture advertisements are given out to people in the Dust Bowl states to come to California (the land of milk and honey) to get picking produce work in the fields. Poor farming techniques by farmers have left the land without nutrients and unable to hold the valuable topsoil in the Midwest states. The wind just blows the topsoil away and a barren non producing dust bowl is left. Millions flee to California to try to get work in the fields. Its a total rip off. The big ag companies just wanted unlimited cheapest labor. These people are starving and the big ag companies say Ill pay you 20cents/hr to pick. Competition pickers said Ill pick for 10cents/hour. Some said 5 cents per hour etc. etc. Then the big farmers only kept the best pickers that could pick the most and paid them the least. This was all a sham to get the cheapest labor. Then there is the ultimate horror. There are tons and tons of produce grown that the big ag companies can not sell at a profit. They deliberately throw kerosene on mountains of perfectly good food and light it. Starving desperate families watch this. People are left to starve.

After reading this book one thinks maybe another Great Depression could happen. We may be skating financially on very thin ice in this country. Try to prepare a little just in case the unthinkable happens again.

This story is about change and man eventually doing better for his fellow man. Its a powerful story that really gets you thinking about what people are capable of for good and for evil.

The other stories in this collection are excellent too but The Grapes of Wrath is the one everyone remembers and will be a classic forever. Now I know why it was required reading in high school literature 40 years ago. INMO every family library should have at least 10 pieces of classic literature. This John Steinbeck collection is one of them. 5 star

5-0 out of 5 stars Steinbeck is Amazing...All of it
This volume is just as good as all the other Steinbeck volumes within the Library of America series -which is to say that this collection of stories and novels is second to none. Steinbeck was a force and the guy will change your life. Read this and people will actually smell you becoming smarter.

5-0 out of 5 stars it was great
grapes of wrath is a great book.it is about a family that goes through ups and downs every chapter.and a man who wats to get his family back on track, cause his father lost his farm land in Oklahoma.So they head to California to find new jobs but there new jobs arn't the same as having there own land, cause when they had there own land they had no boss but when they head to Cali. they are not happy cause they are bossed around.

5-0 out of 5 stars Steinbeck's Art
It is surely a shame that Mr. Steinbeck forever will be confined to the archipelago of socio-economico-political literature.Too often a smug reviewer writes of Steinbeck's "moving" portrayal of the Joad family and their struggle against a growing America."Oh, how I can 'identify' with the Preacher!"HUMBUG.Mr. Steinbeck wrote words, not ideas.His art is exquisite and melodious and stock-full of imagery.His structure, even in the volumunious Grapes, is compact and economical.His style, even in the scientific Log, is artistic and exact.And his ideas, even in the idea-ed Harvest, are irrelevant.Buy this book.But don't buy it because the blurb on the back says something about the Joads being an American archetype of the twentieth century; instead, buy it because it is literature - American literature - at its finest.Every sentence.Every word.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic that is worth re-reading
I, like many, first read this _The Grapes of Wrath_ in high school.Then, it piqued a great curiosity about recent (this century) American history that my teachers could never satisfy.A recent re-reading, however, has shown me the great depth that I missed the first time.Read it slowly, savor the dogged, determined hopelessness that was life for many of our immediate ancestors.From the sad beginning to the desperate ending, it will teach you, and reach you. ... Read more

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats