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The Pearl by John Steinbeck

The Pearl (original 1947; edition 2000)

by John Steinbeck

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8,824146341 (3.48)1 / 332
Title:The Pearl
Authors:John Steinbeck
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2000), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 96 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, Mexican folktale, novel, YA

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The Pearl by John Steinbeck (1947)

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English (131)  French (3)  Spanish (3)  All (2)  Italian (2)  Catalan (2)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  All (146)
Showing 1-5 of 131 (next | show all)
The hungry ghost of early summer has turned in to the hungry guest in the case of this book. Still untethered, I spent the past week with some friends in London to look for work and learn a town. Being a good guest cuts miserably into reading time, but by the end of the week when the excitement wore off I had a few more hours to myself and made up for lost time. This book is one of Zach's favourites and he spoke to me about it while he and Chris and I were canoeing here at the lake. So on Saturday afternoon I took this book and another to read and that's probably all the biography a book review needs.

Zach's notes were written into it, and I read it with his perspective already there in my head. Comments about how not a word was wasted and the perfect tragedy of the ending. A scribbled note at the beginning about how Steinbeck gives names to the characters, realizes them by it, which at least takes off some of the edge off the introductory worry of Steinbeck appropriating a culture's story. But of course, Steinbeck understands the structures of oppression, and he makes them real again, makes them apparent, makes you mad about them. I remembered reading [b:The Grapes of Wrath|18114322|The Grapes of Wrath|John Steinbeck|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1375670575s/18114322.jpg|2931549] in the space of two days and how upset I was about the problems of the "Oakies" and asking everyone why we weren't doing more about it. Today. However in the case of The Pearl I think that the inequalities depicted really persist, even as the times have changed. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
For anyone who hasn't read many books by Steinbeck, this novella based on a Mexican folk tale is a great one to start off with. The exception would be if you really love wearing pearl jewelry or believe all people are basically honest and equitable, as the story may influence your feelings about that. Also, pay special attention to the Rod-Serling-like epigraph at the beginning, as that sets the tone for the entire story. ( )
  Lisa805 | Mar 21, 2017 |
The Pearl is about a man, Kino, who finds a large pearl that he hopes will sell for enough money that it will change the life of his poor family. Meanwhile, he lives in an impoverished region of Mexico where the pearl dealers have colluded to rip off the native population by giving them low-ball offers for pearls.

I love Steinbeck, but I thought that this one was a little flat for me. In trying to write about a people that I'm not sure that he truly understood, I thought that Steinbeck sucked the humanity out of these characters. They were a white man's interpretation of what a native must be rather than a group of people who changed, grew, and felt emotions that all people feel. Additionally, there was something odd about the cadence of the writing that felt forced to me. The whole thing just felt a little off. It was good for most, but it was disappointing for a Steinbeck novel. ( )
  fuzzy_patters | Feb 5, 2017 |
Finally got around to reading it, and well worth it. A classic story about rich and poor, good and evil, and how unimaginable fortune can change a family's life forever, for better or for worse.
Kino, the pearl fisherman, has found the Pearl of the World - the marvelous, beautiful, great pearl that pearl fishers search for all their lives! He has magnificent dreams for this fortune; he will sell it and marry Juana, his common-law wife and educate his little son Coyotito.
However, there is danger in the pearl. It is both a symbol of evil and of great fortune. Bad men want to steal it from Kino and his family. Evil men scheme to cheat him of the wealth it will bring.
Near the beginning of the short novel, the sting of the scorpion presages disaster for this family. ( )
  FancyHorse | Feb 2, 2017 |
This is a beautifully written but rather horrible tale, which starts with a man content with his family life in a brush hut by the sea. When his child is stung by scorpion, Kino's life begins spiralling out of control.

I would like to hear the original Mexican folktale to know what Steinbeck added. One thing I'm sure he added was sound: of nature, of his wife, of the Song of the Family, of the pearl's song...Steinbeck obviously has a keen ear. He also has a deceptively slow, quiet manner of telling a story. There are moments of seeming stillness followed by disturbing action. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 14, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (114 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Steinbeckprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baldiz, FranciscoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elizondo, HectorNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goedegebuure, JaapIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orozco, Jose ClementeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Veltman-Boissevain, E.D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagner-Martin, LindaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Kino woke up early in the morning.
Kino awakened in the near dark.
It is said that human beings are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more. And this is said in disparagement, whereas it is one of the greatest talents the species has and one that has made it superior to animals that are satisfied with what they have.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142000698, Paperback)

Make this your next book club selection and everyone saves.
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In this short book illuminated by a deep understanding and love of humanity, John Steinbeck retells an old Mexican folk tale: the story of the great pearl, how it was found, and how it was lost. For the diver Kino, finding a magnificent pearl means the promise of a better life for his impoverished family. His dream blinds him to the greed and suspicions the pearl arouses in him and his neighbors, and even his loving wife cannot temper his obsession or stem the events leading to the tragedy.

For Steinbeck, Kino and his wife illustrate the fall from innocence of people who believe that wealth erases all problems. Originally published in 1947, The Pearl shows why Steinbeck’s style has made him one of the most beloved American writers: it is a simple story of simple people, recounted with the warmth and sincerity and unrivaled craftsmanship Steinbeck brings to his writing. It is tragedy in the great tradition, beautifully conveying not despair but hope for mankind.

The Great Books Foundation Discussion Guide for The Pearl is available at www.greatbooks.org.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:46 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

For the diver Kino, finding a magnificent pearl means the promise of better life for his impoverished family. His dream blinds him to the greed and suspicions the pearl arouses in him and his neighbors, and even his loving wife cannot temper his obsession or stem the events leading to tragedy. Kino and his wife illustrate the fall from innocence of people who believe that wealth erases all problems.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185120, 0141332913, 0143566415, 0241952468


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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