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East of Eden by John Steinbeck
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East of Eden (1952)

by John Steinbeck

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
15,968282111 (4.4)1 / 764
Recently added byprivate library, leselotte, anagabymtz08, RoachMichael, ellenhar, jkrzok, krwerner
Legacy LibrariesEeva-Liisa Manner, Ernest Hemingway
  1. 160
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Booksloth)
  2. 60
    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. 20
    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)
  5. 20
    The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (cometahalley)
  6. 20
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (cometahalley)
  7. 20
    Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald (sushidog)
    sushidog: Epic family novels
  8. 20
    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (cometahalley, cometahalley)
  9. 10
    Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey (weener)
    weener: An epic, fascinating family drama.
  10. 11
    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.
  11. 01
    Abel Sanchez and Other Stories by Miguel de Unamuno (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: The story of Cain and Abel reimagined in a more modern setting
  12. 01
    Años Inolvidables by John Dos Passos (cometahalley)
  13. 01
    The Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie by Ágota Kristóf (UrliMancati)
1950s (15)
To Read (47)
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English (269)  German (2)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (280)
Showing 1-5 of 269 (next | show all)
The most positive thing I can say about this book is that it is very well-written. It may truly be John Steinbeck's "one book" in terms of technical virtuosity. It's an atmospheric, memorable book with fully-realized settings and characters. The themes of good and evil, of free will and destiny, of nihilism and faith in the 20th century are moving and profound.
But, by god, this book could make watching paint dry seem exciting by comparison.
This is not a book that can be read for entertainment easily- it's dry, ponderous and Steinbeck® bleak, and requires at least cursory knowledge of Biblical lore to understand thematically. (As someone who was raised non-religious/non-practicing, I'd recommend having the Book of Genesis or the wikipedia article on it with you while you read.) But if you are the sort of person that reads a book for its historical or cultural value, then slogging through this 600-page exercise in tedium might be worth it to you. East of Eden was the book that Steinbeck considered his magnum opus, and he put a lot of himself in the book. He struggles to address the great issues of morality and the modern century using his own experiences growing up in the Salinas valley and his own relatives (fun fact: Sam Hamilton was his grandfather) and he succeeds, to some degree. Although [b:East of Eden|4406|East of Eden|John Steinbeck|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1441547516s/4406.jpg|2574991] falls short of being the be-all, end-all of great literature Steinbeck wanted it to be, we can still read it and derive understanding of the man he was, and why he is such a notable author.

( )
  msemmag | Jun 14, 2017 |
I wrote a college paper on this novel, wherein I said that Steinbeck was "heavy-handed" in naming all of his Cain characters with names starting in C and all of the Abel characters with A. Kinda cheeky. ( )
  hcubic | May 21, 2017 |
This ranks right up here with one of the best books I have ever read. Completely brilliant novel. ( )
  ClaireLou | May 5, 2017 |
I just LOVED this book. I read it in 2 or 3 days. For a book this length I usually take a week or so. I just could NOT put it down. So intriguing. Wonderful storytelling. Fabulous saga. Such a valuable lesson to be learned. When I was reading I could see how the characters were repeating the actions of their forebears. They couldn't see it themselves though. I wanted to yell at them. I love Steinbeck. This is one of his masterpieces. Do I dare watch the movie now?

For parents, talk to teens when/if they read it. It's a great book but there are some areas that would be best with a discussion. I see why it was put on censored lists in the past. Don't let that stop you from reading it though. ( )
  lnuenke | Apr 21, 2017 |
Fictional tale of early California ( )
  JackSweeney | Jan 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 269 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steinbeck, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eggink, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Linturi, JoukoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poe, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
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.

JOHN

First words
The Salinas Valley is in Northern California.
Quotations
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
East of Eden was written by John Steinbeck, not Ernest Hemingway.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142000655, Paperback)

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. The biblical account of Cain and Abel is echoed in the history of two generations of the Trask family in California.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:57 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families--the Trasks and the Hamiltons--whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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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.

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