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East of Eden by John Steinbeck

East of Eden (original 1952; edition 2002)

by John Steinbeck

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14,383243141 (4.4)1 / 685
Title:East of Eden
Authors:John Steinbeck
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2002), Edition: CENTENNIAL EDITION, Paperback, 601 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

East of Eden by John Steinbeck (1952)

  1. 140
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Booksloth)
  2. 50
    The Good Earth (Enriched Classics) by Pearl S. Buck (John_Vaughan)
  3. 30
    A Journey into Steinbeck's California by Susan Shillinglaw (Waldstein)
    Waldstein: Fascinating coffee table book, lavishly illustrated with photos and maps, well-written too. Sort of Steinbeck's "Californian" biography, though it also covers his living in New York and travels to Mexico. Plenty of interesting real-life background of "East of Eden" and many of his other works. Compelling insight into Steinbeck's personality.… (more)
  4. 30
    Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (5hrdrive)
    5hrdrive: epic western novel with similar voice
  5. 30
    Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald (sushidog)
    sushidog: Epic family novels
  6. 20
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (cometahalley)
  7. 20
    The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street by Naguib Mahfouz (paulkid)
    paulkid: These books are fathers-and-sons family epics that are set around the turn of the (20th) century. They both have philosophical and coming-of-age themes as well.
  8. 20
    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (cometahalley, cometahalley)
  9. 20
    Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey (weener)
    weener: An epic, fascinating family drama.
  10. 10
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (cometahalley)
  11. 00
    Peace Like a River by Leif Enger (sturlington)
  12. 00
    The Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie by Ágota Kristóf (UrliMancati)
  13. 00
    Años Inolvidables by John Dos Passos (cometahalley)

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English (231)  French (2)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (241)
Showing 1-5 of 231 (next | show all)
I'm pretty sure I read this on my own after college graduation, before I left home ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
This book is beautiful. It's so simply written and yet it explores the complexity of a million different issues with a deft hand. Yes, it is flawed - but it hardly matters when it offers the kind of reading experience that it does. I get the feeling your perspective has a lot to do with how you interpret the book, but that may be the best thing of all about it - no matter your perspective, I genuinely believe this book has something to offer to you. ( )
  humblewomble | Jul 14, 2015 |
An epic story about the great lengths that people would go to in order to accomplish that they set out for. In John Steinbeck's piece East of Eden, he characterizes human emotion through the populace of the book. From the pure goodness of Samuel Hamilton to the malice of Kate, you will find it in here. If you enjoyed other generational epics such as One Hundred Years of Solitude or Middlesex, then this is another timeless classic. ( )
  jms001 | Jun 14, 2015 |
I had read this in my teens (35 or so years ago), and had vague but positive memories of the book. It took me a lot longer to get through the book for this reread than I had expected, largely because it was really good and I wanted to savor and think about each chapter before I was ready to go on to the next.

I thought the first portion of this book was just about perfect: the astonishing descriptive language, the amazing characters, the compelling storytelling. It reminded me a bit of one of my favorite recent authors, Steven Erikson, in that the characters felt like archetypes and what they did felt like the stuff of mythmaking.

I thought the second half of the book, and it's story of the third generation of Trasks, was marginally less compelling, and at times a bit obvious (which may I suppose simply reflect hidden memories of my long ago prior reading).

I don't particularly subscribe to the narrator's view of humanity (that we are all capable of virtue and all capable of sin, and choose which path to follow). Nonetheless, to my taste a really amazing novel, even if I found Aron less and less convincing in the later sections of the book. ( )
  clong | Apr 25, 2015 |
My absolute favorite book of all time. When I first read this book, the masterful development of his characters astounded me. Their voices, mannerisms, and all of the wonderful, imaged details that give great book characters layers and longevity.

We are such a fast-paced society, this book was a welcomed respite and treasure. It took time to read, simmer. And it’s no small task when today we (me) expect speedy results, instant excitement, and an endless stream of rapidly changing info. Ah, the classics! Pick up this book and discover the wonderful characters Steinbeck created. You will be in awe. I must reread! ( )
  michellemuriel | Apr 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 231 (next | show all)
Novelist Steinbeck has done some of his best writing in East of Eden. As always, he describes his Salinas Valley with fidelity and charm. Moreover, individual scenes and yarns are frequently turned with great skill. But whether as a novel about pioneers in a new country or just men & women working out their private, earthly fates, East of Eden is too blundering and ill-defined to make its story point. That point, says Steinbeck, is "the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil." East of Eden has over-generous portions of both, but a novelist who knows what he wants channels them, he doesn't spill them.
added by Shortride | editTime (Sep 22, 1952)
Probably the best of John Steinbeck's novels... ["East of Eden's"] dramatic center is a narrow story of social horror that rests quite disarmingly on the proposition that "there are monsters born in the world to human parents." But through the exercise of a really rather remarkable freedom of his rights as a novelist, Mr. Steinbeck weaves in, and more particularly around, this story of prostitution a fantasia of history and of myth that results in a strange and original work of art.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times Book Review, Mark Schorer (pay site) (Sep 21, 1952)
A fine, lusty sense of life is here, a delight in the spectacle of men and women struggling in the age-old ways to meet their separate destines, and an abundance of good story-telling... John Steinbeck has grown in his respect for his fellow human beings, in his understanding of them. He has reached mature and thoughtful conclusions about them. And he has expressed his conclusions in interesting and thought-provoking fashion.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, Orville Prescott (pay site) (Sep 19, 1952)

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steinbeck, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eggink, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Linturi, JoukoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poe, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Pascal Covici

Dear Pat,

You came upon me carving some kind of little figure out of wood and you said, "Why don't you make something for me?" I asked you what you wanted, and you said, "A box." "What for?" "To put things in." "What things?" "Whatever you have," you said. Well, here's your box. Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is not full. Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad and evil thoughts and good thoughts--the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation.

And on top of these are all the graditude and love I have for you. And still the box is not full.


First words
The Salinas Valley is in Northern California.
You must not forget that a monster is only a variation, and that to a monster the norm is monstrous.
I don't very much believe in blood. I think when a man finds good or bad in his children he is seeing only what he planted in them after they cleared the womb. - Samuel Hamilton
And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
East of Eden was written by John Steinbeck, not Ernest Hemingway.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Often described as Steinbeck's most ambitious novel, East of Eden brings to life the intricate details of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, and their interwoven stories.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142000655, Paperback)

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. The biblical account of Cain and Abel is echoed in the history of two generations of the Trask family in California.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:57 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families--the Trasks and the Hamiltons--whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185074, 0241952492

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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