Big news! LibraryThing is now free to all! Read the blog post and discuss the change on Talk.
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

East of Eden (1952)

by John Steinbeck

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
18,615335158 (4.39)1 / 844
Adam and Charles Trask are raised by their stern father to become soldiers. But even as boys, they are at war. Adam's gentle passivity enrages the fiercely competitive Charles, who is sure his father favors Adam. Cathy Ames is beautiful but amoral; she uses the world to get what she wants. When Adam falls under her spell, she become a force that will poison both brothers and the future generations of two families.… (more)
Recently added byrena40, Garden., librarian1204, Sean.Kilgo, bradleyhorner, private library, ErKepi, elam11
Legacy LibrariesEeva-Liisa Manner, Ernest Hemingway
  1. 160
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Booksloth)
  2. 51
    The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (John_Vaughan)
  3. 40
    Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (5hrdrive)
    5hrdrive: epic western novel with similar voice
  4. 30
    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (cometahalley, cometahalley)
  5. 20
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (cometahalley)
  6. 20
    Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald (sushidog)
    sushidog: Epic family novels
  7. 20
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (cometahalley)
  8. 20
    Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey (weener)
    weener: An epic, fascinating family drama.
  9. 10
    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.
  10. 00
    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)
  11. 00
    The Notebook / The Proof / The Third Lie by Ágota Kristóf (UrliMancati)
  12. 00
    Años Inolvidables by John Dos Passos (cometahalley)
  13. 02
    Abel Sánchez by Miguel de Unamuno (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: The story of Cain and Abel reimagined in a more modern setting
1950s (9)
To Read (141)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (320)  French (3)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (333)
Showing 1-5 of 320 (next | show all)
813.52 STE
  alessandragg | Apr 16, 2020 |
Although many of John Steinbeck's novels are better known that this book, this is the one I consider the pinnacle of his writing, as well as one of the greatest "classics" and books I've ever read. I have read it three times now and I have found more meaning each time.

It's a long, tangled story; many interweaving plots seamlessly clicking together like puzzle pieces in a masterful way. The story of the Irish immigrant Hamiltons and their wise and wild patriarch Samuel; the tale of young Adam Trask and his brutal childhood with his military father and ferocious brother Charles; the story of a heartbreaking, monstrous woman named Cathy; and ultimately the story of Adam Trask's twin sons, Cal and Aron, doomed to reenact the age-old human struggle that pits brother against brother.

Set against the backdrop of Steinbeck's beloved Salinas Valley, with bits of his own family past woven in (he is actually descended from the Hamiltons in the story) that add an extra touch of realism, this is a stunning novel. Few books achieve the incredible dimension of raw character and plot power that this does. From selfish, terrifyingly clever Cathy, to strong and loving young Abra, to brutish Charles, to angelic Aron, to heartbreakingly wise Lee, to the explosive, conflicted, beautifully human Cal. It's all here. Life, love, death, triumph, cruelty, despair, power, philosophy, disillusionment, and the inevitable passage of time. It makes you laugh and cry and finishes with one of the most striking endings ever...and then you want to turn back to the beginning and start again. It is a big book, but believe me, it is so worth it. ( )
  booksong | Mar 18, 2020 |
I thought I hated Steinbeck in high school. I started in the wrong place. This is epic, and sad, and miserable, and great. It started me in on reading American fiction (instead of pop-sci books about autopsies and cannibals and Bigfoot and diseases). ( )
  mirnanda | Dec 27, 2019 |
Anybody remembers one of the greatest mini-series ever filmed and ever made called North & South? Reading this I'd gotten this amazing feeling like I was one of the side characters inside of a fictional world similar to the world of North & South, and that was such a blessing for me, something that I haven't experienced yet whilst reading a book, and something so new, and completely unexpected. So, there are really no words needed. If you loved North & South mini-series you shall love this book, and if you're lucky enough you shall feel what I had felt, and be blessed the same way I had been blessed, for this book is a true masterpiece and an immensely appreciated work of literature that shall leave you and your heart speechless. ( )
  Champ88 | Dec 25, 2019 |
Review pending ( )
  leslie.98 | Nov 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 320 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steinbeck, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Artadi, Vicente deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Angelis, GiulioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggink, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kahn, HarryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Linturi, JoukoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poe, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in


Has the adaptation

Is abridged in


Has as a student's study guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

No library descriptions found.

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

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.39)
0.5 2
1 27
1.5 5
2 94
2.5 25
3 411
3.5 89
4 1219
4.5 211
5 2426

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185074, 0241952492

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 146,595,044 books! | Top bar: Always visible