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The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
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The Grapes of Wrath (original 1939; edition 1990)

by John Steinbeck

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
27,30637472 (4.13)1 / 1338
Novel about the plight of American farmers who were forced off their farms by drought and foreclosure during the 1930's.
Member:literique
Title:The Grapes of Wrath
Authors:John Steinbeck
Info:Mandarin (1990), Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

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. 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. 64
    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (Patangel)
  12. 20
    Harpsong by Rilla Askew (GCPLreader)
  13. 20
    The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Two stories of migrations of the working class in the US.
  14. 10
    America's Great Depression by Murray Rothbard (sirparsifal)
  15. 10
    Whose Names Are Unknown by Sanora Babb (TomWaitsTables)
  16. 10
    Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt (caflores)
  17. 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.
  18. 21
    The Tortilla Curtain by T. Coraghessan Boyle (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Theme of workers' rights
  19. 10
    Missing Soluch by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi (Stbalbach)
    Stbalbach: Called the Iranian Grapes of Wrath.
  20. 00
    American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California by James N. Gregory (eromsted)

(see all 27 recommendations)

1930s (2)
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English (343)  Italian (8)  Dutch (5)  Spanish (5)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Danish (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (371)
Showing 1-5 of 343 (next | show all)
Pulitzer Prize winning story of the Joad family, an "Okie" family as they are forced from their tenant farm to drive to California, where they hope for a new life. Their trip takes place in the 30's. They hope to pick crops and get a new land holding, but so do the 300,000 others who crossed the country at the same time. Tight story of family love and loyalty and various strengths. ( )
  LindaLeeJacobs | Feb 15, 2020 |
Growing up in a California still in the after-glow of 60's idealism, I saw the world as a place always moving forward, getting better. By the mid seventies I began to realize that society often takes as many steps back as forward. And that moving means making sure we all move forward together. Then I read The Grapes of Wrath which beautifully puts the arc of human, social, and political experiences upon wonderful display. Gradually expanding the experience of the Joad family from the intimate to communal living and how we really all depend on each other. From it's ending, I have carried hope forward. Fantastic! ( )
1 vote KurtWombat | Sep 15, 2019 |
To me, this seems to be Steinbeck's generation's response to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. If you liked that, you'll like this. If you like this, you'll like that. Both have a depressing yet realistic pulling back of the veil on the American Dream that I think my generation can really empathize with. We've been fed this beautiful lie and get to watch as it falls to pieces around us, destroyed by the very people who promised it to us. ( )
1 vote benuathanasia | Sep 7, 2019 |
While I can appreciate this book being an American classic, I must confess that I found myself skimming the dialect and waiting for something hopeful to happen. It never did. And what a weird ending...... ( )
1 vote LizBurkhart | Sep 5, 2019 |
**Before I do my ‘review’ I have to say something re: the movie vs the book** wow..they really cut the movie in half to accommodate the story! In HS ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ next to ‘Mice & Men’ were required reading. I’m surprised I wasn’t crying on a daily basis! I haven’t read the novel since 1978, but always watched the movie..besides a couple of characters that didn’t match the book theres actually no comparison...so if anyone has to do any required reading and ‘Grapes of Wrath’ is one..don’t watch the movie first 😁 One more thing Dylan Baker is now my favorite narrator! What a performance..he sounded like ‘Henry Fonda to the tee! Excellent narration!

Now onto a few words about this exceptional novel. Since John Steinbeck always wrote books re: the Great Depression, he had an ability to understand their fear on a daily basis. If Steinbeck were alive today, his novels would probably be very close to how they were over 75 years ago.

His books, especially ‘Grapes of Wrath’ dealt with racism, extreme poverty, family problems not far from the ones today. This novel was the perfect example.

The descriptive words he used in explaining their hurt, their living environment , lack of housing, etc. was spot on. I closed my eyes listening to this great novel because I wanted to be there, to try and understand what the Depression years were really like..they were not ‘The Walton’s’! This was real..not knowing what tomorrow would bring for themselves or their family.

I’m so glad I decided to read and listen again...every single person must read ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ and realize at one time in the 20th Century individuals were living worse than dogs & cats...and unfortunately sometimes it doesn’t sound too far from reality today.

I’ve been honored to read a masterpiece! ( )
  Donna_5 | Aug 7, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 343 (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 (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steinbeck, Johnprimary 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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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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