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Die Perle: Roman by John Steinbeck
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Die Perle: Roman (original 1947; edition 1987)

by John Steinbeck, John Steinbeck (Author), Felix Horst (Übersetzer)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,539156455 (3.49)1 / 341
Member:timoheuer
Title:Die Perle: Roman
Authors:John Steinbeck
Other authors:John Steinbeck (Author), Felix Horst (Übersetzer)
Info:Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag (1987), Ausgabe: 4. Aufl., Taschenbuch, 96 Seiten
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:amerikanische literatur, englische literatur, abhängigkeit, ausbeutung, unterdrückung, krankheit, reichtum, kapitalismus, geld, hoffnung, tod, mexiko, sage, legende

Work details

The Pearl by John Steinbeck (1947)

Recently added byrena75, private library, n_morrell, ordet, Spoto-Media, Katie80, theokester
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English (139)  Spanish (3)  French (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Italian (2)  Catalan (2)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (155)
Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
It's been many years since I'd read anything by Steinbeck. I read Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men back in High School. I've re-read Mice and Men once since then. In my ongoing effort to read through more works by the "classic" and "modern classic" authors, I picked up The Pearl. I didn't have any real preconceived notions going in and I definitely don't remember anything of Steinbeck's style so I can't really compare this to his other work or comment on it in terms of other fiction of his day.

My initial reaction to the writing were mixed. It had a strange balance of being both simple/rough and also containing well-crafted writing. I wasn't sure if the moments/scenes of stumbling words were perhaps intentional to let the structure of the work comment on the poverty and lack of education or status of the characters or if maybe Steinbeck's overall style is less of a refined, polished work and more a raw compilation of language. Whatever the case, even though some segments felt a bit oddly structured, I found the reading to be very easy and fluid and I was quickly drawn into the tale.

The story felt VERY familiar. So much so that I wondered many times if, perhaps, I actually had read this book before. Commentary says that it's based on a Mexican folk tale, so I suspect I've either read this book before or else some other story based on the folk tale. The plot of the story is one of those tales that felt to me to be something that could have influenced countless other stories either directly or indirectly. In spite of the setting this is an almost timeless tale of greed, aspirations and jealousy that could be set in any location or time and follow the same arc.

Even though (or perhaps because) the story felt so familiar and flowed so naturally, I was able to find additional depth in it as I thought on the possible moral trajectories the story would take. The initial pages introduce us to a very poor family living in a poor fishing village. The baby boy is stung by a scorpion before the father can stop it and they are unsure if they will be able to save their son. Their poverty leaves them in a very tight place as they interact with the affluent doctor and townsfolk. While the mother applies natural remedies, father goes fishing and discovers an immense pearl. Both mother and father are certain the pearl will bring amazing changes into their lives. The mother fears it is a sign of evil while the father is sure it will provide wonderful opportunities.

As you might expect, news of the valuable pearl spreads and suddenly the family is dealing with advances from not only the well-to-do people like the doctor but other desperately poor people in the village. The story continues as you might expect and finally ends with pain and tragedy that came in a slightly different direction than I initially predicted. The conclusion of the book very clearly takes a stance on the effects of such windfalls of wealth and the nature of mankind. And yet, it is up to each individual reader to internalize and decide what moral message to take from the book. Most of the characters are embodiments of greed and manipulation but a few of them represent potential redemption and show that even amid dark times there can be influence for good.

Even though I don't remember Steinbeck's other works well, I do remember that his themes and tones are emotional downers. This book follows that same trend. From the beginning to the end there is one tragedy after another. And even in the pages without physical tragedies and struggles we are still given moral difficulties to wrestle with as we watch a father filled with the good, pure desire to provide for his family but struggling with the best way to do so.

The simplicity of the story and length of the book make this very accessible. However, the heavier theme and somber events may limit the audience. As such, I can see why schools have students read Mice and Men instead of The Pearl even though they are very similar in length. Still, this story does have a worthwhile moral to think about and is a great piece of literature to stimulate discussions on the nature of good and evil within humanity. If you have a little time to spare, give it a read. It will leave you pondering for a while.

***
3 out of 5 stars ( )
  theokester | Oct 8, 2018 |
Almost parable like, The Pearl is a quick read with a punch at the end. A young couple faces prejudice and a corrupted economic system as they move from dealing with a sick child to the rush of hope and excitement that comes with the discovery of a valuable treasure. But the treasure is not what it appears to be - instead of bringing fortune, instead the young couple must navigate the envy and villainous schemes of others as they are chased away from home, and into tragedy. ( )
  PastorBob | Aug 30, 2018 |
Remember that old Homer Simpson bit about beating jury duty by telling them he was prejudiced against all races? I think this book manages to exoticize all races. I wonder if Steinbeck wrote it to beat jury duty. ( )
1 vote MeditationesMartini | Jul 17, 2018 |
This was a novella from Steinbeck that was honestly very depressing. Without giving any of the story away, the book looks at depressing poverty and the influence that the chance of riches can have on a family's life. Worth the read for any fans of Steinbeck. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
Steinbeck's classic parable about a pearl and the peril is caused a man and his family. Another must read for high school students. ( )
  kammbiamh | Mar 25, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (184 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.
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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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Please do not combine abridged version into the main work.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142000698, Paperback)

Make this your next book club selection and everyone saves.
Get 15% off when you order 5 or more of this title for your book club.
Simply enter the coupon code STEINBECKPEARL at checkout.
This offer does not apply to eBook purchases. This offer applies to only one downloadable audio per purchase.

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 20 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185120, 0141332913, 0143566415, 0241952468

HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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