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The Pastures of Heaven [Paperback]

John Steinbeck
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Corgi (1968)
  • ASIN: B000GL50AS
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 10.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 943,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pastures of Heaven 27 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
`The Pastures of Heaven' is the second book of Steinbeck's to be published and rather than being a straight forward novel, this is more a collection of short stories that feature the same characters throughout. I have read numerous Steinbeck books and have yet to be disappointed and this one is no exception. You get his beautiful descriptions, unique characterisations and short self contained stories that explore a range of human emotions. These stories are set within a California valley, near Salinas, where many of his other books are also set. Of all Steinbeck's books, this one made me feel the saddest as I read it. Each story has beauty, warmth and wonderful writing and yet they all seem to end on a sad or poignant note. I guess this is analogous to life, where we have moments of joy and happiness tempered by moments of sadness and disappointment. This book also has an introduction written by James Nagal which explores some of the themes of the book, as well as explanatory notes at the end that clarify certain phrases used throughout the book. If you are new to Steinbeck then I suggest you start with another of his books first (`Grapes of Wrath' or `Of Mice and Men' are excellent starting places) but you will want to visit this book at some point down the line and you will not be disappointed once you do. Steinbeck is a truly masterful writer and this book only cements that opinion.

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3.0 out of 5 stars An early work, and not his best 17 Feb 2014
Steinbeck wrote this loosely- connected collection of short stories in his late twenties, near the beginning of his writing career; he'd had his first novel published the previous year. Named after a real valley in north California, these fairly ordinary stories were based on the idea of the dull and dated "Winesburg, Ohio" that set stories in the same place. All are tragedies and the first five involve families with children who are retarded or afflicted in some way. The best story - about a schoolteacher afraid that her past may catch up with her - is slightly different from the rest which all have the theme of difficulties endured despite an idyllic setting, but nothing here suggests the power and lyricism of the novels that later made him famous.

Read the novels first and save this for later only if you feel the need to read everything Steinbeck wrote. It probably wouldn't still be in print if it wasn't for his later works.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pastures of Heaven 16 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One often hears of Steinbeck's longer novels, such as the acclaimed East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath, but his shorter fiction deserves equal recognition, and will reward the reader. This volume comprises linked short stories centred round a rural community in the author's beloved California, and will be liked by anyone who enjoyed his Long Valley or Cannery Row.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a snap shot of john steinbeck 20 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Pastures of Heaven is quite simply typical John Steinbeck in short story form. Obviously not the Grapes of Wrath but more like The Wayward Bus or Cannery Row, the stories are interconnected but also stand alone. Its a great read that gives the flavour of the place and time, steinbeck takes you with ease, simply through the incidents that shape the valley. You just cant go wrong with the book love it or just like it , read it and see.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STEINBECK, A MASTER OF THE SHORT STORY 17 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was the first Steinbeck book I ever read. I think it was a Gorgi edition, and it had the tiniest print. I remember lying in the sun at the local park reading it. When I started reading the book again recently, I was slightly shocked by the harshness of many of the tales which take place against the almost idyllic agricultural landscape. These stories are not full of happy endings, and many of life's tragedies are played out here. I wouldn't start with this if I was new to Steinbeck, but I did give my battered old copy to my daughter, who is off travelling the world. I hope she doen't find it too depressing.
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