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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearl of Wisdom
This story is about how we are all prisoners of circumstance, and how what seems like the chance to escape the misery of our lives can be but an illusion. It shows how something which in an ideal world should be a great blessing can in fact become a curse. Such is the discovery of the `Pearl of the World' for Kino and his family.

The darker side of human...
Published on 5 Aug 2006 by W. Pearce

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good and simple
A parable? Most definitely! Everyone can take their own meaning from it. The message is simple. The story is simple. My simple observation is not derogatory, it is a great compliment. This is a concise novel which illustrates meaning as events unfold. Fear, enchantment, joy, obsession, greed, preservation. Exactly the right amount of words and no compromise. The...
Published on 1 Feb 2009 by Mark Dickens


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearl of Wisdom, 5 Aug 2006
By 
W. Pearce (Morecambe) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This story is about how we are all prisoners of circumstance, and how what seems like the chance to escape the misery of our lives can be but an illusion. It shows how something which in an ideal world should be a great blessing can in fact become a curse. Such is the discovery of the `Pearl of the World' for Kino and his family.

The darker side of human nature is very much paramount in this story, revealing to what depths people will go for the sake of their own financial gain. Steinbeck uses the story of the pearl to illustrate how difficult it can be to change the course of our lives, and how if we try to break out of the unwritten consensus which governs our daily lives, things can not only become lonely but also dangerous, as Kino discovers to his great cost.

I'm not generally a fan of short stories, but this one says more about human nature than some authors can fit into 400 pages. As usual with Steinbeck, it is a very good piece of writing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American classic., 28 Sep 2005
This is a simple, but extremely readable short story. A tale of tragedy afflicting a family that thought they had found happiness, only to realize a great misfortune. This book is deservedly considered an American classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story but not a full represenation of Steinbeck's greatness, 25 Aug 2008
By 
This is the fourth consecutive Steinbeck title I've read, and it's a little different to say the least. The novel, or rather novella, is a parable rewrite by Steinbeck, based on an old Mexican folktale, so unlike other works, Steinbeck is somewhat bound by an existing plot and characters(?). As such he has little freedom to evolve things to the same extent that he does in his other novels, and it shows.

The story itself is centred on poor Mexican fisherman Kino, who discovers a pearl - `The Pearl of the World', and it looks as though all of his problems, mainly financial, are going to be over. However the discovery is set to doom Kino and his family, as paranoia and the evil of others conspire against his good fortune, and shatter his good intentions.

The highlight of The Pearl is definitely Steinbeck's treatment of the paranoia which is growing in Kino. He illustrates this to great effect, showing Kino becoming more and more suspicious of other people's motives, and he further emphasises the sense of foreboding through the use of a kind of `wandering evil', the `song' of which Kino often seems to be perceptive to.

All in all The Pearl isn't a bad novella. It's quite enjoyable, but it's not to the same depth of many of Steinbeck's other works. It's short so I would recommend it to other people to read, if only to take from it the lesson that wealth doesn't always bring happiness.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A simple and beatiful story with much more behind it..., 13 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This was one of the most amazing books I've read. At a first glimpse it looks a very simple, easy reading book. And it is very easy to read, but behind the story is a whole philosophy of life, an anti-materialistic, a though critic of the capitalist society, along with the love for the homeland which is always present in Steinbeck's books. This is also an excellent book to give to those people who don't usually read because they find it boring. I tried doing it and I was successful ;)
The story is beatiful and simple. The philosophy is beautiful. What more can we for?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pearl, 3 Feb 2009
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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`The Pearl' is another book by Steinbeck of such searing beauty that it leaves you breathless and in awe. You know from the first few pages and the simple, yet captivating descriptions of a family's early morning habits, that this book will live up to the promise you feel from reading past Steinbeck works. Following a pearl fisherman who finds a life changing sized pearl and how it changes him, his family and more importantly the reactions of those around him. This starts with wonder and hope for the future and descends into blackness and misery because of the wealth the pearl represents and the jealousies it arouses. This easily matches the short, succinct beauty of Hemingways `The Old Man and the Sea' and I'm surprised it isn't given more attention by school syllabus setters or lovers of fiction in general. This is a short, powerful novella and it is as terse and well written as all of Steinbecks masterly works. If you know his style you'll know what to expect and if you're new to Steinbeck, then you are in for a real treat. This also includes some wonderful line drawings to illustrate the story. Stunning, beautiful and highly recommended.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good and simple, 1 Feb 2009
A parable? Most definitely! Everyone can take their own meaning from it. The message is simple. The story is simple. My simple observation is not derogatory, it is a great compliment. This is a concise novel which illustrates meaning as events unfold. Fear, enchantment, joy, obsession, greed, preservation. Exactly the right amount of words and no compromise. The conclusion is clear, but it is yours.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 7 Sep 2007
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Kino and his wife, Juana, have a beautiful baby boy, but one morning he gets stung by a scorpion. He is rushed to the doctor, who will not treat him because they have no form of payment.

The parents get in their boat to look for a pearl to use as payment, and, amazingly, find one that is referred to as the "moon" -- and is about the size of a goose egg.

What happens when they go to the dealers to collect their money? You'll have to read this classic novel to find out.

THE PEARL is a very short book that, honestly, I wouldn't have chosen to read except that it's for school. It's a very basic story, but everything in the book also has a double meaning, which is thought-provoking.

Reviewed by: Taylor Rector
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding the Real Treasure, 27 Oct 2002
By 
Patrick Shepherd "hyperpat" (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Most people born and raised in developed first world countries cannot even imagine the depths of poverty that most of the rest of the world are forced to live with. This story illuminates this fact, as we enter the world of Kino, a pearl diver and occasional fisherman, his wife Juana, and their baby son, Coyotito. All they have is a grass shack house, a few clay cooking utensils, and their prize possession, Kino's boat, inherited from his father and grandfather. The boat is the family's livelihood, providing the means to put a meal on the table and to provide a few pesos for store bought goods by selling the small pearls Kino is able to find.
But Kino and his family, far from being depressed or unhappy, have a great treasure, the love they have for each other and their satisfaction with life as it is, with few disturbing dreams of greater things. But their quiet, routine life is turned upside down the day that Kino finds a Great Pearl. Suddenly Kino can dream of better things: a rifle for himself, school for his son so he will be able to read and tell what is really in the books, a real house. But dreams can be deadly things. Dreams lead to desire, and desire to greed, and greed to violence.
What happens to Kino and family from this point on is not a pretty story. Now we see that underneath the quiet, idyllic seeming small town and its inhabitants lie the seeds of cheating, betrayal, collusion, fear, and murder. And we see the gradual loss of Kino's real treasures. By the end of the book, events have reached the level of real tragedy, and you, along with Kino, are liable to end up in a state of emotional exhaustion.
Steinbeck's prose for this book matches his characters and situation very well, a very minimalist sentence structure and set of speech patterns. As a parable, the story has a strong moralistic point, but Steinbeck does not overdrive his thematic message, but lets his story speak for itself. One of Steinbeck's great strengths was his ability to capture on paper the characters he saw around him, and this book is a showcase for that talent. The characters of Kino and Juana are exquisitely drawn, real people you can relate to even though their lifestyles may be very far from your own. And because they are real people, it is very hard not to get drawn into their lives, where their dreams and their pains very readily become your own.
This may not be Steinbeck's greatest book, as it is too short and with too limited a focus to compare to something like his Grapes of Wrath. But within its own territory, there are very few other pieces of literature that are even half as good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant but sad, 23 April 2014
This review is from: The Pearl (Kindle Edition)
This book is beautifully written of course and a real page turner - However it is very sad, very thought provoking and good for a book club discussion. I needed to read something a bit more light-hearted after this one
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 10 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Pearl (Kindle Edition)
I have always loved reading this book since I read it as a teenager.
Every time I read it, I find something new, a beautiful story.
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The Pearl (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century)
The Pearl (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) by Steinbeck (Paperback - 6 April 2000)
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