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4.5 out of 5 stars
22
4.5 out of 5 stars
To a God Unknown (Penguin Classics)
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on 3 September 2015
Steinbeck thought writers should be heroes. He is. So good sometimes I find his sentences hard to believe. Life is made better by reading Steinbeck. If you don't choose this book make sure you get something else by him. He's worth the time and the money. Read him again and again.
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on 18 December 2010
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.
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on 13 March 2016
I read this book 40 years ago as a teenager not fully understanding it. The images have stayed with me all these years. It was a pleasure to read it again. Jean
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on 30 September 2015
this is one of steinbecks books i had not read before and i would recommend it to any steinbeck fans
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on 6 January 2016
condition ok. cover different to what was expected but alright. book in good order
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on 25 July 2011
The book is a beautifully descriptive story of a family settled in California (like most of his novels). However, the writing in this book lacks some of the flintiness of his other novels and loses some sharpness as a consequence. The usual portentious feeling of many of Steinbeck's novels is there but is somewhat overegged with frequent references to stormclouds and the like. A good read but not of the same calibre of so many of his other books - read it when you're running out of Steinbecks.....
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on 31 May 2015
Outstanding novel
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on 19 November 2013
A story about man v nature and the use of metaphors runs through this.So much of the story describes nature in all it's glory and I feel it's about man trying to tame the wilderness.There is a set of characters and they are strong in the storyline but It took me a while to grasp the fact it wasn't set in the year of it's release but alot further back in time.
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on 29 June 2015
Could not put down, what a beautiful story, a must read for everyone, if you love grapes of wrath you will love this also, x
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on 30 June 2014
pleased with the item
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