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East of Eden, John Steinbeck Centennial…

East of Eden, John Steinbeck Centennial Edition (original 1952; edition 2002)

by John Steinbeck (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
19,951362156 (4.39)1 / 856
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.
Title:East of Eden, John Steinbeck Centennial Edition
Authors:John Steinbeck (Author)
Info:Penguin Books (2003), 601 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

East of Eden by John Steinbeck (1952)

  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
    Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald (sushidog)
    sushidog: Epic family novels
  5. 30
    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (cometahalley, cometahalley)
  6. 20
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (cometahalley)
  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
    Años Inolvidables by John Dos Passos (cometahalley)
  12. 00
    The Notebook; The Proof; The Third Lie by Ágota Kristóf (UrliMancati)
  13. 02
    Abel Sánchez by Miguel de Unamuno (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: The story of Cain and Abel reimagined in a more modern setting
1950s (12)
To Read (140)

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» See also 856 mentions

English (345)  Italian (3)  French (3)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (360)
Showing 1-5 of 345 (next | show all)
Very Good. Also incredibly immersive and wordy. People just plain and simple don't write like this any more.
  royragsdale | Sep 22, 2021 |
I read this when I was young, about 1970; four stars. Re-reading in old age: five stars easy. This fellow could really write, and he is a jewel in the crown of American literature.
Therefore this suggestion: leave this on your t0-read shelf until you are well-seasoned. (But Cannery Row is his best.) ( )
  KENNERLYDAN | Jul 11, 2021 |
"It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world."

"I believe there are monsters born in the world to human parents"

Those that choose to wrestle with the examined life, must battle, and ultimately slay the dragons of guilt, fear, shame, failure, and the most terrifying question: why? A masterwork in character studies and story, East of Eden never stumbles for a moment. Rather, there is a well-lighted pathway from the first word to the last. A crystalline vision that must have been deeply satisfying to triumphantly put on paper. Most excellent...
( )
  mortalfool | Jul 10, 2021 |
Seems like more than four or five stories in one book to me. I was disappointed with the ending ( )
  Jeff_Simms | Jun 9, 2021 |
I wonder what it's like for an author to sit down at their desk and think This is it, this book I'm about to write is going to be The One that puts me into the pantheon. Whatever Steinbeck was thinking at his typewriter, he turned out a masterpiece, one of those books that makes you wonder why anyone else even bothers trying to write a Great American Novel since that slot was just taken. The nickel summary is that it's the story of the relationships between the members of several generations of a family that moves from the Northeast to California to start a new life, but its scope includes life, death, love, brotherhood, fate, freedom, choice, sin, success, and all of the important issues that make us turn to Big Famous Novels in the first place. Steinbeck has this way of writing dialogue that should sound pretentious but instead strikes the perfect note, and the characters he puts in this book are so full of life it's almost unbelievable. ( )
  aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 345 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Steinbeckprimary authorall editionscalculated
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

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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.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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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.
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Average: (4.39)
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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.

» Publisher information page


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