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The Pearl (Penguin Clothbound Classics) Hardcover – 7 Aug 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 7 Aug 2014
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; 01 edition (7 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141394684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141394688
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.7 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"[The Pearl] has the distinction and sincerity that are evident in everything he writes."--The New Yorker

"Form is the most important thing about him. It is at its best in this work." --Commonweal

"[Steinbeck has] long trained his prose style for such a task as this: that supple unstrained, muscular power, responsive to the slightest pull of the reins."--Chicago Sunday Times

[The Pearl] has the distinction and sincerity that are evident in everything he writes. The New Yorker

Form is the most important thing about him. It is at its best in this work. Commonweal



[The Pearl] has the distinction and sincerity that are evident in everything he writes. The New Yorker

Form is the most important thing about him. It is at its best in this work. Commonweal



"[The Pearl] has the distinction and sincerity that are evident in everything he writes."--The New Yorker

"Form is the most important thing about him. It is at its best in this work." --Commonweal

"[Steinbeck has] long trained his prose style for such a task as this: that supple unstrained, muscular power, responsive to the slightest pull of the reins."--Chicago Sunday Times

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Steinbeck (1902-68) is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. During the 1930s, his works included The Red Pony, Pastures of Heaven, Tortilla Flat, In Dubious Battle, and Of Mice and Men. The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939, earned him a Pulitzer Prize. In 1962, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A heart breaking and beautifully written parable. Steinbeck's ability to describe scenes is sublime. Brilliant.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived quickly and in good nick!
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This straightforward, short novel is highly enjoyable as a result of Steinbeck's great writing. Themes are evident throughout the story, particularly through the use and reference to music. I was not at first that impressed with this, but it is effective.

Although a simplistic tale, The Pearl has themes and ideas that we can all understand: fear, doubt, elation and paranoia. Kino's treatment of 'the pearl' in many places is similar to how Frodo treats the ring in Lord Of The Rings - and this is where the musical theme in the writing was quite powerful.

Again, Steinbeck shows the animalistic side of humanity, something that also shows in his other work. This book seeks to impress the problems that subjugation brings, and how the subjugated are unable to know truths as told to them by their oppressors.

Overall, this is a good quick read from a classic American author.
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By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`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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Format: Paperback
It is not easy to see why some reviewers have given this book less than five stars; some seem to find it too short which is assuming that a book gets better as it gets longer. Some have found it depressing and some feel it is unlike Steinbeck's other books, which have more depth.

A piece of literary work should be judged on its own merit. The Pearl is a beautifully, clearly and precisely written book. One needs to dwell on each word to appreciate its value as there are very few `unwanted' or `unnecessary' words or descriptions. One cab visualise the atmosphere, the weather and everything described.

There are many themes running through the book, and although not written recently, it could apply to any period of time. The focus is on humans, their relations, their feelings, their motivation, and their actions. The understanding and attachments of Kino, his wife Juana and to their sun, Coyotito, is very touching. Although poor, their lives seems to be meaningful and values. Human values which so often relate to wealth and perceived gain/loss from any relationship, are initially shown in the attitude of the doctor. Later on the same attitudes change when it seems as if the pearl would make Kino very wealthy. Even the church seems to be more concerned when it feels it could have a share of Kino's future wealth.

Later on other human emotions apart from greed become very clear. Responsibility that a father and husband feels he has for his family, the ambition to have a better life, as well as fear and hardness become very clear as values/attitudes that affect people and make/ruin their lives and those of others.

A very global theme in the past and the present is also very clearly but subtlety brought out.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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