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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 (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
28,59039873 (4.13)1 / 1357
"Traces the migration of an Oklahoma Dust Bowl family to California and their subsequent hardships as migrant farm workers."--Amazon.com.
Member:Dydee
Title:The Grapes of Wrath
Authors:John Steinbeck (Author)
Info:Penguin Classics (2006), Edition: Reissue, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work details

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Author) (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. 50
    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.
  6. 73
    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (chrisharpe)
  7. 30
    The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell (tcarter)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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. 20
    The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Two stories of migrations of the working class in the US.
  12. 20
    Whose Names Are Unknown by Sanora Babb (TomWaitsTables)
  13. 20
    Harpsong by Rilla Askew (GCPLreader)
  14. 20
    Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt (caflores)
  15. 10
    America's Great Depression by Murray Rothbard (sirparsifal)
  16. 10
    Raised from the ground by José Saramago (razorsoccam)
  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. 65
    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (Patangel)

(see all 27 recommendations)

1930s (2)
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English (359)  Italian (9)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (5)  French (3)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (2)  Danish (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (390)
Showing 1-5 of 359 (next | show all)
I’ve moved from conservative capitalist when I was young, through liberal capitalist just after college, to liberal centralized socialist, and have now stopped at the libertarian socialist mile marker. I’m finding that anarchy is a pretty good philosophy, especially when it includes the social justice seeds that I bring with me from my socialist background. I was introduced to anarchist philosophy by my friends Devin and Val. I was intrigued but never ventured too far down that pathway of investigation.

However, I’m almost finished reading The Grape of Wrath, by John Steinbeck. It was only a book I’d always heard about (”hey, I saw the movie, it was good”) or referenced in the Rage Against the Machine cover song: The Ghost of Tom Joad. Having finally read it, I’ve moved it from unknown to one of the top three books I’ve read in my 37 years of life. I’m amazed at how something penned in the 1930s could still resonate so strongly in 2004. Change the names and places, or don’t, and it reads like contemporary America. It says in fiction what my anthropology course on Urban Poverty said through ethnographies and policy studies.

If you take every other chapter of this novel, it is a scathing inditement of big capitalism gone wrong. The story of the Joad family’s trek from Oklahoma to California adds the depth and human feeling that the other chapters talk about in a more generalized tone.

What has this got to do with my political transformation? Well, the government camps in the book appear to be a realization of a libertarian socialist point of view. Self-governed, self-policed, community-based living. Structures and organization pop up when needed and disappear when no longer of use. While this book certainly is fiction, the depth of community is drawn not from Steinbeck’s mind but from the American experience, especially during the Depression. For a well-written piece on poverty in America and the strength of these so-called homeless people, see the book by Kenneth L. Kusmer (2002) called Down & out, [b:on the Road|6288|The Road|Cormac McCarthy|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21E8H3D1JSL._SL75_.jpg|3355573]: The Homeless in American History.

Another book in my personal canon ( )
1 vote drew_asson | Dec 3, 2020 |
This Depression era classic chronicles the trials and tribulations of the Joad family as they leave their Oklahoma farm and head to California searching for work and a new life.

The story hit home on several levels especially as we currently try to deal with a global pandemic - the difficulties of no work, money issues, and government restrictions - though not the same as in the story but similar in how we must learn to deal with adversity and support one another. ( )
  cyderry | Nov 22, 2020 |
This classic novel follows the Joad family as they are forced to leave their home during the Depression-era to move to California. In doing so, their plans are to be like thousands of other families and arrive with endless job opportunities, access to money and a better life. In the end, the family must fleed from floods and settles in a dry barn not far from it. ( )
  HaileyDelisle | Nov 15, 2020 |
Historical fiction
This story is considered historical fiction because it takes place during the time of the Great Depression in the United States and gives a pretty accurate description of life during that time. The novel focuses on the Joads, a poor family of tenant farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, agricultural industry changes, and bank foreclosures forcing tenant farmers out of work. There are countless subplots within this story, but each is just as important to the overall plot as the last.
  AmandaCheney | Nov 13, 2020 |
When I had to read this book for class it was the most boring, strange, long book ever and I hated it. I feel like if I read this book today, I would probably like it though. This is an upper middle school reading level and there are no pictures in this book. ( )
  PaigeAnderson | Nov 12, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 359 (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 (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steinbeck, JohnAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, DylanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benton, Thomas HartIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Christensen, BonnieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coardi, CarloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coindreau, Maurice-EdgarTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crofut, BobIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DeMott, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giron, de Maria CoyTranslatorsecondary 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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Dedication
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."
Last words
(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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"Traces the migration of an Oklahoma Dust Bowl family to California and their subsequent hardships as migrant farm workers."--Amazon.com.

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