- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (7 Sept. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141185066
- ISBN-13: 978-0141185064
- Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 478 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Grapes of Wrath Paperback – 7 Sep 2000
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Shocking and controversial when it was first published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning epic remains his undisputed masterpiece. Set against the background of dust bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel West in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and broken dreams, yet out of their suffering Steinbeck created a drama that is intensely human, yet majestic in its scale and moral vision; an eloquent tribute to the endurance and dignity of the human spirit.
From the Inside Flap
To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth.'
Drought and economic depression are driving thousands from Oklahoma. As their land becomes just another strip in the dust bowl, the Joads, a family of sharecroppers, decide they have no choice but to follow. They head west, towards California, where they hope to find work and a future for their family. But while the journey to this promised land will take its inevitable toll, there remains uncertainty about what awaits their arrival . . .
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The Grapes of Wrath is an epic human drama, with a stunning new cover by renowned artist Bijou Karman.
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The majority of the book is reported speech and the dialect is rural 1930s mid-West America. I generally had to read each sentence or paragraph 2 or 3 times before I understood which is more of a review of me than the book but it needs to be said. I find reading French easier than reading this book. The other style used by Steinbeck is a monologue of one of the characters thinking...which is a nice twist but it all went on for far too long for me at over 500 pages. I'm sure this review will cause offence to the literary gurus should they happen to read it but this is my honest experience of the book.
One of the most amazingly moving books I’ve ever read.
The ending was left wide open so you’re left to draw your own conclusions, but I grew to care so much about the Joads I want to know that they’re going to be ok in the end.
Such amazing endurance and still they clung to hope despite all the adversity in their path.
John Steinbeck wanted to write a great book and by heck he did.
I cannot recommend this book enough
The English Enclosure movements from the 16th to the 18th centuries drove masses of humanity out of the countryside. In rags and tatters they drifted forlornly into makeshift accommodation in the new urban areas, lacking in every amenity from sewers to a proper police force. With no poor relief their muscle and blood drove the wheels of the dark Satanic mills, or else they endured the terrors of the mines.
That was more than a century earlier. By the 1930s British workers suffered the depression no less than their American counterparts, as they turned out in their hunger marches. It is easy for those born since the great economic watershed that was the Second World War to miss the point about being penniless and destitute. But Steinbeck does not let us get away so easily. Most wonderfully of all he finds a way of describing destitution within the context of a hard-working and loving family, who remain as devoted to one another as they are to a stoical contestation of the most appalling conditions. Steinbeck's moral compass is in perfect working order. And he avoids any temptation to turn his work into a political tract. It is a story of humanity.
Notwithstanding his success as a humanitarian writer, one nonetheless feels some sympathy for those detractors, particularly among some American reviewers on Amazon.com, who draw attention to a lack of strength in the plot, and Steinbeck's less than inspirational prose. For whilst he reproduces the speech pattern of the Okies with devotion, his own articulative style, and his ability to craft a compelling storyline do seem lacking. But that is only, in my view and that of just one of those reviewers, if you compare Steinbeck to the truly great writers, the Dostoevsky's, the Dickens, the George Elliots, and even, in my own opinion, to his contemporary George Orwell.
Moreover, one just wonders whether, in America, of the period, Steinbeck had quite enough support in society at large to take on the powerful Californian moneyed interests in a more politically charged way. In Orwell's case the British working-class movement had undoubtedly been an encouragement. Steinbeck may have had to face up to being a lone voice to a greater extent. But there is no doubt Steinbeck played a part in the creation of the new order of thinking for the post-war world. Though his prose and his descriptive powers may not reach the great heights, Steinbeck is worthy, like Zola, of consideration as a `moment in the human conscience'.
It was well written with compassion. It's as relevant today as it was when it was penned. This is a must read book.
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