Topic | John Steinbeck?

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  • dmccall3
    Participant

    Have any of you read any of John Steinbeck’s works? If so, would you recommend? It would be a birthday gift for myself (I have a giftcard), not something for my child. 🙂

    Thanks!

    Dana

    Bookworm
    Participant

    I may not be the best person to listen to.  I am not a Steinbeck fan.  I’d personally go for some Jane Austen or something.  Steinbeck is too dark for my tastes personally.  I’ve read I think four of his novels and scattered shorter pieces, and did not care for them. 

    lgeurink
    Member

    I would not be the best person to ask either (so why are we the first to respond!?)  All I remember is having to read The Red Pony (is that right?) in high school and some kid in the book covered one nostril with his finger and shot snot out the other nostril.  That is the legacy John Steinbeck has left for me, and I don’t think that is what he intended!  Austen for me too.  Or Wuthering Heights.  My sister likes Steinbeck but we are very opposite people!  I hope some Steinbeck fans jump in here for you!  Good luck and happy shopping!

    greenebalts
    Participant

    I actually enjoyed Steinbeck.  You are correct in that his novels are typically dark and deep.  I think that’s what draws me in…I hope that doesn’t make me sound twisted….LOL!  I liked East of Eden and Of Mice and Men.  I read Grapes of Wrath in high school and my husband and father both read it recently.  They enjoyed it as well.  My father and I also chaperoned a field trip to see of Mice and Men as a play.  I had read the novel prior, but dear father had not.  So he was quite surprised by the ending…..I won’t give it away for those who haven’t read it.  Two thumbs up for Steinbeck! Melissa

    suzukimom
    Participant

    I read Grapes of Wrath…. I found it a fascinating book that I could hardly put down… but I found it disturbing in a way too (although part of that was because of the way that time was) – but I found the ending very disappointing… to me it was like Steinbeck got bored with the book and left it in the middle.

    Gem
    Participant

    Well I don’t think you can go wrong with The Grapes of Wrath.  It is a story with sadness, but not without hope and perseverance.  I will say that I agree that Steinbeck can get too dark – as someone said above.  The Pearl – if I could go back and not read that, I would.

    Thanks to your question, though, which led me to a quick read about Steinbeck on wikipedia, I discovered that he wrote a version of the King Arthur story –  after reading the sample in Amazon I think I must read it!

    As for choosing some that I have not read – Travels with Charley: In Search of America sounds interesting – he drives across country with his dog.  I would also seek out at book of short stories.  That would be a good Steinbeck survey, I think, if you could get through it all.

    Please let us know what you choose, and how you like it.

    greenebalts
    Participant

    Grapes of Wrath doesn’t have a very appealing ending, I agree suzukimom.  Also, all the alcholism in Tortilla Flat was a little much and very depressing.  Although, I still recommend reading them.  mmg

    dmccall3
    Participant

    Thanks for all this input! The other books recommended here (such as Austen) are free for kindle (hooray!). I’m looking for books to actually spend money on – haha! I found East of Eden and I also found a set of 6 books by Steinbeck including Cannery Row, Of Mice and Men, Tortilla Flat, The Red Pony, The Moon is Down, and The Pearl. For tthe same money I could probably get East of Eden, Grapes of Wrath, and one other such as Of Mice and Men or Cannery Row.

    For those who don’t recommend Steinbeck, are there others you’d buy? It doesn’t have to be a classic. I just want it to be fiction. 🙂

    Thanks a lot!

    Dana

    lgeurink
    Member

    I am glad you got some postive (ish!) responses too!  As for authors that I like to own, my favorite current day authors are Amy Tan, a Chinese American who writes amazingly descriptive and intertwining stories of mothers and daughters over generations and cultures.  You have probably heard of  The Joy Luck Club but I have enjoyed all of them and buy them whenever I see a hard cover at a great price.  I also love Isabel Allende who is from South America and is an amazing female author.  They are secular authors, but I don’t think they discuss topics outside of anything found in Steinbeck or even Austen, though she is more subtle and eloquent!  Anyway, those are my must owns.

    Hi Dana, I dont buy much fiction although I read ALot I use the library..HOWEVER after I read the ALASKA series by Tracy Peterson,I bought all 6 of the books so I could loan them out and so far everyone I have loaned them to loves them as much as I did. I think you can buy them in 2 volumes(3 novels in each)> I highly recommend these! Just a thought:) Wendy

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