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The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
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The Grapes of Wrath (original 1939; edition 2006)

by John Steinbeck

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26,40436772 (4.14)1 / 1303
Member:rjanish
Title:The Grapes of Wrath
Authors:John Steinbeck
Info:Penguin Classics (2006), Edition: Revised, Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)

  1. 90
    The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (John_Vaughan)
  2. 90
    Obscene in the Extreme: The Burning and Banning of John Steinbeck's the Grapes of Wrath by Rick Wartzman (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Centers around the controversy that exploded in California's central valleys when The Grapes of wrath was published.
  3. 101
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Booksloth)
  4. 60
    Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (tcarter)
  5. 73
    The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (chrisharpe)
  6. 51
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: As much a story about the trials of individuals as a sweeping portrait and critique of an era.
  7. 30
    The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell (tcarter)
  8. 30
    Farming the Dust Bowl: A First-Hand Account from Kansas by Lawrence Svobida (nandadevi)
    nandadevi: Svobida´s book movingly describes the conditions in the Dust Bowl (he clung on for six years of crop failures) that the Joad´s left behind in their trek to California.
  9. 41
    The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway by Ernest Hemingway (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: The only 20th century American writer who rivals Steinbeck in economy and forcefulness of language.
  10. 30
    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (JudeyN)
    JudeyN: Set in a different time and place, but similar themes. Examines the different ways in which people respond to hardship and upheaval.
  11. 64
    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (Patangel)
  12. 20
    Harpsong by Rilla Askew (GCPLreader)
  13. 42
    Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen (sturlington)
  14. 20
    The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Two stories of migrations of the working class in the US.
  15. 10
    America's Great Depression by Murray Rothbard (sirparsifal)
  16. 10
    Whose Names Are Unknown by Sanora Babb (TomWaitsTables)
  17. 21
    The Tortilla Curtain by T. Coraghessan Boyle (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Theme of workers' rights
  18. 10
    The Bottom of the Sky by William C Pack (LoriMe)
    LoriMe: Mr. Steinbeck wrote a gritty family saga embedded in the early to mid part of the 20th Century. Mr. Pack wrote a gritty family saga embedded in the end of the 20th Century. The characters and stories moved me equally. Both are written beautifully.
  19. 10
    Missing Soluch by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Called the Iranian Grapes of Wrath.
  20. 11
    A Working Stiff's Manifesto: A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit, Nine That Fired Me, and Three I Can't Remember by Iain Levison (Babou_wk)
    Babou_wk: Description de la vie d'un travailleur itinérant.

(see all 28 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 336 (next | show all)
Read this book in high school, and found it awfully boring, but, given Captain Paul Chappell's recommendation, I think I may try reading it again... ( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
Just like [b:Of Mice and Men|890|Of Mice and Men|John Steinbeck|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1511302904s/890.jpg|40283], I gave this four stars the minute I finished it, digested it for a day and upped it to five. Review to come. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
John Steinbeck is likely my favorite American writer. He features an unparalleled style, with knowledge radiating from his words without the need to resort to preaching. Then there are the believable, relatable characters of everyday-man variety and a social consciousness and empathy that align right with my own.

However, despite all of this or perhaps somewhat even because of it, The Grapes of Wrath is not an easy read. There aren't many fun moments for the Joads, a large family of farmers who are forced out of their Oklahoma home by the Dust Bowl phenomenon, unbridled capitalism and lack of worker rights and the advancement of technology, such as the introduction of the tractor, that made many farmers redundant. They have no choice but to pool their resources, buy themselves a dingy old truck, pack up their belongings and head west on Route 66 towards California, where there is supposedly work to be found.

And so through the travelling (mis)adventures of the Joads, we follow the plight of the migrant worker during the Great Depression, as they are trying to persevere through a hostile reception, capitalistic exploitation, police harassment, a never-ending streak of going hungry and other hardships that made this novel a very difficult, very impactful read for me. Yet, there are better moments, as the travellers do meet good people on the road. Some of the descriptions of how these people, poor as the Joads themselves or worse, help each other, are deeply moving, as are their toughness, good nature and strength in face of unimaginable hardship. This last quality is especially embodied in the character of Ma Joad, who keeps her family together through sheer strength of her character.

One of the best features of this novel are the plentiful dialogs, which provide deep insights into the personalities of these people. From the quick-to-anger Tom, to philosophical, yet plain-spoken preacher, level-headed Ma, to strong-willed grandparents, everyone has a distinct voice, rendered through expertly written, usually very witty back-and-forth between the characters. I enjoyed the dialect as well.

A nice touch are also the chapters that give the overview of the social situation in the country. These are neither too long nor too frequent and nicely frame the action in the other chapters, so that you are more aware of the kind of a society and times the Joads live in.

A beautiful, sad masterpiece of social realism. Is there a writer like Steinbeck now, in these times, when rights of the working population are again in danger? ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
Premio Nobel de literatura en el año 1962, fue una obra muy polémica en el año de su publicación por considerarse muy transgresora. En su crudeza y honestidad, en la piedad que despierta en Steinbeck los desfavorecidos radica la importancia cultural y humana de Las uvas de la ira, consagrada como la obra más importante del autor y de la literatura universal.

Narra la historia de una familia de Oklahoma que por falta de medios y de trabajo, se ven obligados a tomar todas sus posesiones y migrar a California. Durante el viaje y la llegada, el escritor desmembra de manera habilidosa los sentimientos, problemas y situaciones extremas que los Joad sufren en sus propias carnes. No es más, en realidad, que una dura crítica social a la pobreza de entonces que, sin dificultad alguna, se puede traspasar a lo que se está viviendo hoy en día.

Sobresale de Las uvas de la ira su exquisita descripción, considerándose una de la literatura descriptiva agrícola más hermosa que se conoce. Tan sólo el inicio cala hasta los huesos, de manera visual y también dolorosa. Tom Joad, hijo de la familia, será el encargado de encaminarnos durante gran parte del hilo argumental. Tommy se trata de un hombre joven, fuerte y perturbado, que no comprende cómo es posible que se le hayan aputado las posibilidades de vivir y trabajar dignamente. Sus ansias de seguir, de proteger a su familia y su valentía, serán razones claves en los progresos que los Joad consigan hacer.

Otra característica muy interesante de la novela es un capítulo de transcción entre cada uno. Fragmentos más breves, escritos en segunda persona la mayor parte, que obtienen un monólogo interior, o una descripción, o un intercambio de diálogos sin guiones, que hacen aclaraciones sobre diferentes circunstancias a la que se sometía a los emigrantes y agrícolas que se echaron a la carretera en busca de un trabajo. La mayoría de estos capítulos resultan cruciales.

Es, sin lugar a dudas, una de las imprescindibles para cualquier lector que se precie, o para cualquier persona con inquietudes sociales. Una obra que nos permite abrir los ojos a una realidad semejante a al que se vive en la actualidad, que nos llena de ira y de frustración. Y que nos reporta poco consuelo. Pero es sumamente maravillosa. ( )
  MiriamBeizana | Dec 3, 2018 |
Alternative title: Running Over Animals and Slowly Starving. This tour de force about trying to survive during the great depression is eloquent in it's simplicity. The Grapes of Wrath follows one family as they are forced off their farm and decide to head to California to try and find work there. Handbills promise plenty of work but they soon discover that not everything is as stated. They are just one of tens of thousands who are down on their luck and desperate to survive. The Joad's suffer one set back after another, just when they think they may be able to make it, something runs them over (karma for all the animals they run over on the road - RIP roadkill). This large family is traveling in a truck with all their worldly possessions and a dwindling amount of money. Reading this you just want the family to be able to settle down, because like all the other poor people they encounter on their travels, they are hard working, nice folk. It's just hard to succeed when the deck is stacked against you. A wonderful, heartbreaking book. ( )
  ecataldi | Nov 8, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 336 (next | show all)
Seventy years after The Grapes of Wrath was published, its themes – corporate greed, joblessness – are back with a vengeance. ... The peaks of one's adolescent reading can prove troughs in late middle age. Life moves on; not all books do. But 50 years later, The Grapes of Wrath seems as savage as ever, and richer for my greater awareness of what Steinbeck did with the Oklahoma dialect and with his characters.
added by tim.taylor | editThe Guardian, Melvyn Bragg (Nov 21, 2011)
 
It is Steinbeck's best novel, i.e., his toughest and tenderest, his roughest written and most mellifluous, his most realistic and, in its ending, his most melodramatic, his angriest and most idyllic. It is "great" in the way that Uncle Tom's Cabin was great—because it is inspired propaganda, half tract, half human-interest story, emotionalizing a great theme.
added by Shortride | editTime (Apr 17, 1939)
 
Steinbeck has written a novel from the depths of his heart with a sincerity seldom equaled. It may be an exaggeration, but it is the exaggeration of an honest and splendid writer.
 
Mr. Steinbeck's triumph is that he has created, out of a remarkable sympathy and understanding, characters whose full and complete actuality will withstand any scrutiny.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times, Charles Poore (pay site) (Apr 14, 1939)
 

» Add other authors (61 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steinbeck, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, DylanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Christensen, BonnieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coardi, CarloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DeMott, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hewgill, JodyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perroni, Sergio ClaudioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sampietro, LuigiIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schrijver, AliceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Terkel, StudsIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To CAROL who willed it.
To TOM who lived it.
First words
To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth.
Quotations
Now the going was easy, and all the legs worked, and the shell boosted along, waggling from side to side. A sedan driven by a forty-year-old woman approached. She saw the turtle and swung to the right, off the highway, the wheels screamed and a cloud of dust boiled up. Two wheels lifted for a moment and then settled. The car skidded back onto the road, and went on, but more slowly. The turtle had jerked into its shell, but now it hurried on, for the highway was burning hot.

And now a light truck approached, and as it came near, the driver saw the turtle and swerved to hit it. His front wheel struck the edge of the shell, flipped the turtle like a tiddly-wink, spun it like a coin, and rolled it off the highway. The truck went back to its course along the right side. Lying on its back, the turtle was tight in its shell for a long time. But at last its legs waved in the air, reaching for something to pull it over. Its front foot caught a piece of quartz and little by little the shell pulled over and flopped upright. The wild oat head fell out and three of the spearhead seeds stuck in the ground. And as the turtle crawled on down the embankment, its shell dragged dirt over the seeds. The turtle entered a dust road and jerked itself along, drawing a wavy shallow trench in the dust with its shell. The old humorous eyes looked ahead, and the horny beak opened a little. His yellow toe nails slipped a fraction in the dust.

[Penguin ed., pp. 15-16; Chapter 3]
"The cars of the migrant people crawled out of the side roads onto the great cross-country highway, and they took the migrant way to the West. … And because they were lonely and perplexed, because they had all come from a place of sadness and worry and defeat, and because they were all going to a mysterious new place … a strange thing happened: the twenty families became one family, the children were the children of all. The loss of home became one loss, and the golden time in the West was one dream."

A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of it's going.
"They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money. If they don't get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat."
"The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It's the monster. Men made it, but they can't control it."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine John Steinbeck's original 1939 novel, The Grapes of Wrath, with any film treatment, critical edition, notes (Monarch, Barron's, Sparks, Cliff, etc.), screenplay, or other adaptations of the same title. Thank you.
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Wikipedia in English (5)

Book description
This novel is the story of a family and their journey across the United States during the Dust Bowl era. It is a tale of hardship and struggle. It does not portray a pretty scene. As the family travels in hope of finding hidden wealth in California, they come across more and more broken people. They come to realize that California is not all they thought it would be. It is the struggle of their life and the reality of heartbreak. 

This book was so sad to me. I thought it was written really well. Until this book I didn't so know so much care would be taken about the travels of a turtle through the dirt. But it made me face the hard reality of what happened in California during that time period and the brokenness of all the people. I don't like seeing that side of life.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142000663, Paperback)

When The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939, America, still recovering from the Great Depression, came face to face with itself in a startling, lyrical way. John Steinbeck gathered the country's recent shames and devastations--the Hoovervilles, the desperate, dirty children, the dissolution of kin, the oppressive labor conditions--in the Joad family. Then he set them down on a westward-running road, local dialect and all, for the world to acknowledge. For this marvel of observation and perception, he won the Pulitzer in 1940.

The prize must have come, at least in part, because alongside the poverty and dispossession, Steinbeck chronicled the Joads' refusal, even inability, to let go of their faltering but unmistakable hold on human dignity. Witnessing their degeneration from Oklahoma farmers to a diminished band of migrant workers is nothing short of crushing. The Joads lose family members to death and cowardice as they go, and are challenged by everything from weather to the authorities to the California locals themselves. As Tom Joad puts it: "They're a-workin' away at our spirits. They're a tryin' to make us cringe an' crawl like a whipped bitch. They tryin' to break us. Why, Jesus Christ, Ma, they comes a time when the on'y way a fella can keep his decency is by takin' a sock at a cop. They're workin' on our decency."

The point, though, is that decency remains intact, if somewhat battle-scarred, and this, as much as the depression and the plight of the "Okies," is a part of American history. When the California of their dreams proves to be less than edenic, Ma tells Tom: "You got to have patience. Why, Tom--us people will go on livin' when all them people is gone. Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." It's almost as if she's talking about the very novel she inhabits, for Steinbeck's characters, more than most literary creations, do go on. They continue, now as much as ever, to illuminate and humanize an era for generations of readers who, thankfully, have no experiential point of reference for understanding the depression. The book's final, haunting image of Rose of Sharon--Rosasharn, as they call her--the eldest Joad daughter, forcing the milk intended for her stillborn baby onto a starving stranger, is a lesson on the grandest scale. "'You got to,'" she says, simply. And so do we all. --Melanie Rehak

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:03 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

The Grapes of Wrath is a landmark of American literature. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man's fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman's stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. First published in 1939, The Grapes of Wrath summed up its era in the way that Uncle Tom's Cabin summed up the years of slavery before the Civil War. Sensitive to fascist and communist criticism, Steinbeck insisted that: The Battle Hymn of the Republic be printed in its entirety in the first edition of the book-which takes its title from the first verse: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck's fictional chronicle of the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930's is perhaps the most American of American Classics.… (more)

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