Book Reviews of East of Eden

East of Eden
East of Eden
Author: John Steinbeck
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ISBN-13: 9780140186390
ISBN-10: 0140186395
Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 602
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 85

4 stars, based on 85 ratings
Publisher: Penguin Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

65 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed East of Eden on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I grew up knowing about John Steinbeck and his book The Grapes of Wrath as I am a daughter of an Okie (my father) and was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley, just south of the Salinas Valley where East of Eden takes place. The movie, The Grapes of Wrath was filmed near Bakersfield where I lived for 30 years so that bit of trivia was always coming up in the media or newspapers. So I keep asking myself why did I never read Steinbeck? I loved the movies that were made and I've always known that any book you read is much better than the movie. East of Eden is one of the rare books I give a 5-star rating to. The story, being historical and dating back to the late 1800's, could have taken place in 2009. If references to mode of transportation, communication, and architecture were missing from the book the charachters could be your next door neighbor today. This book was wonderful with so many unique characters and the Cain and Abel aspect, and gives you pause to examine your own angels and demons. It's a big book but I read it in just a few days because I did not want to put it down. Off to another Steinbeck!
reviewed East of Eden on + 472 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I read "East of Eden" over 30 years ago, and loved it. Now that I'm retired and have more time, I reread it and was not disappointed. What an epic, probably the best Steinbeck of them all. This book has many layers to it, so I think it is readable at all ages. While, I enjoyed it at 25, it was even better now!!
reviewed East of Eden on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Read like it could have been written today - timeless and fantastic!
reviewed East of Eden on
Helpful Score: 3
Long, long, ultra long! You can't deny the artistry of the writing, but this family was just too dysfunctional and cruel. Difficult to read.
reviewed East of Eden on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Simply the best book I've ever read. A big family saga, but so much more. Philosophy, religion, the American dream and so much more about small town life in 20th century California. All wrapped up in a retelling of the story of Adam and Eve. Plus just beautiful writing. I've read it at least three times and will read it again.
reviewed East of Eden on
Helpful Score: 2
This is currently my favorite book that I have ever read. It's so captivating. It's a very long book, true, but it spans quite a bit of time. The plot is interesting but it is the characters that will make you unable to put this novel down. As I finished reading the last page, I found myself missing the wise words of Sam Hamilton and Lee. I cried and I laughed and loved every page. Makes you realize that the choices you make, make you the person you are. Timshel :)
reviewed East of Eden on + 80 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
At times I couldn't put it down; at other times I thought he'd never get to the point. Certainly does give one pause to think about good vs. evil, nurture vs. nature, and free will vs, fate.
reviewed East of Eden on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a must read.It is awsome.Oprah rally knows how to pick them.
reviewed East of Eden on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I lived this book. I could no put it down. Some things never changed.
reviewed East of Eden on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of the best !
reviewed East of Eden on
Helpful Score: 1
I had a hard time with this book in the beginning, but I stuck with it and was pleased overall.
reviewed East of Eden on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very deep and intense. I loved this book!
reviewed East of Eden on + 889 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
"Timshel," thou mayest, sums this wonderful saga that follows three generations of the Trask and Hamilton families. Carl Sandburg called it, "A moving, crying pageant, with wilderness strengths." It is that and so much more. Steinbeck does an outstanding job of writing about the families including the good and the bad, the strengths and weaknesses, their successes and their failures. There are many bits of wisdom thrown into the tale. "Timshel" is uttered by Adam Trask as he lies paralyzed by a stroke. It was Samuel Hamilton's comment as well remembered so fondly by both Lee and Adam when the three discussed the story of Abel and Cain. Adam, Lee and Samuel are three of the most memorable and honorable characters. Cathy is memorable, too, but for the evil that she fosters on those who encounter her. Bits of wisdom come from Lee who observes that those who are good seem to reap little monetarily in life while those who are evil gain riches. The very humanness of the characters makes the book enjoyable. They live and die, they love and hate, they lie and steal, and they are just like us. If you read this saga, grab a copy of Steinbeck's Journal of a Novel to read at the same time. A great story.
reviewed East of Eden on + 45 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Although the heart of this novel is very compelling, it needed serious editing to cut out the fat. :-)
reviewed East of Eden on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read this with Oprah's book club & loved it. Definately not light reading but it will be a book you never forget.
reviewed East of Eden on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book!
reviewed East of Eden on
Helpful Score: 1
Great book a true classic.
reviewed East of Eden on
Helpful Score: 1
This is a favorite of mine. A great read, it has it all...family, love and the ups and downs of life.
reviewed East of Eden on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Set in the rich California farmland of Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutel novel follows the intertwined destinies of 2 families, the Trasks and the Hamniiltons, whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Able.
reviewed East of Eden on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Brilliant piece of work. Like anything this ambitious, it is imperfect, but it has more than enough charm to make up for it. Steinbeck felt this was his best, and I agree.
reviewed East of Eden on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
East of Eden was originally published in 1952, and the setting for the novel is the late 19th and early 20th century. I still enjoyed reading East of Eden though, because there are timeless themes presented in this book. Sibling rivalry, guilt, and betrayal are some of the main themes in this book. It was ironic and interesting to read how 2 sets of brothers from different generations compete for the approval and love of their father.
reviewed East of Eden on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This classic was read by our book club recently. What a wonderful discussion we had about the characters and times in California's Salinas Valley. It takes you through the saga of a family and a modern retelling of the Book of Genesis.
reviewed East of Eden on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book very much and have passed it to many friends. A classic that should be read more than once.
reviewed East of Eden on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Ugh; This book was too long, focused too much on details, and was an excellent example of setting overload while remaining dry enough to fall asleep!
reviewed East of Eden on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
As gripping today as when I read it in the 50's. An Oprah Book Club selection a few months back as well--good choice Oprah! The movie boasted a brilliant cast all of whom kept me mesmermized till the final scene.
5 Stars!
reviewed East of Eden on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you like Steinbeck, this book is great! Be prepared for Steinbeck style writing with LOTS and lots of detail. A wonderful book though.
reviewed East of Eden on + 67 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a great saga. I could feel the characters successes and failures as if I were in the family. Overall, it was a great book that I didn't want to put down until I finished it.
reviewed East of Eden on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I never had the chance to read this in school. Im glad I read it as an adult.
reviewed East of Eden on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really liked this book. Well-written with great characters and lots of drama to keep you interested.
reviewed East of Eden on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Oprah deciding Steinbeck is good. What truly miserable times we live in.
reviewed East of Eden on + 97 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good, hard-to-put-down book.
reviewed East of Eden on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
wonderful, couldn't put it down - a 20th century classic
reviewed East of Eden on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Masterpiece though lesser-known and read than Grapes of Wrath. This one will keep you in the chair to the 691st page!
reviewed East of Eden on + 64 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Anything on Opray's Book Club is good. And this is. John Steinbeck at his best. I love the picture of the author on the back cover!
reviewed East of Eden on + 15 more book reviews
Great book. An Oprah Book Club Selection
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What can I say.... Opera reccomended it!
reviewed East of Eden on + 17 more book reviews
An epic novel set in the Salinas Valley of California written in 1952,
which traces the sometimes-intertwined lives of the Trask family and the Hamilton families. The Hamilton side was based on Steinbeck's family. The Trask side is an allegory based on the biblical story of Adam and Eve and their sons. Adam Trask's two sons, Cal and Aaron are loosely reminiscent of Cain and Abel.

The character study is stellar. Individuals struggle with good and evil within themselves and most grow as a result. "I have wondered why it is that some people are less affected and torn by the verities of life and death than other's." The intricacies of the relationships and the mesmirizing affect of one person on the other is masterful.

No wonder Steinbeck considered this his masterpiece.

Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont
reviewed East of Eden on + 49 more book reviews
I really liked this book. It spans a few generations of two families and is a page-turner. Very nice family story. Although a novel, it is mainly set in the author's birthplace/hometown. He is a character in the novel as a child but is the adult narrating the story in his own voice. This book is also a movie.
reviewed East of Eden on + 2 more book reviews
LOVED IT!
reviewed East of Eden on + 32 more book reviews
one of my alltime favorite novels
reviewed East of Eden on + 5 more book reviews
This one is so good, I had a hard time putting it down. This ranks #2 on my top books list (right behind The Count of Monte Cristo). READ THIS BOOK!
reviewed East of Eden on + 5425 more book reviews
Of course, my version went for 778 pages, but you should take at least one bathroom break, after all.
reviewed East of Eden on + 252 more book reviews
I loved East of Eden, a great epic family drama.
reviewed East of Eden on + 7 more book reviews
A Classic must read.
reviewed East of Eden on
This was a great book overall. John Steinbeck has a wonderful ability to describe things; makes you feel you are there seeing things with your own eyes. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and was saddened when they were not part of the story anymore (they went away or they died). There are some parts (just a few small ones) that dragged for me, as I am not a fan of war descriptions and this book has some of that toward the end. But overall, a great book. It's one of those books you wish didn't end.
reviewed East of Eden on + 79 more book reviews
I was never one for classics but this is fantastic!
reviewed East of Eden on + 54 more book reviews
A classic that everyone should read.
reviewed East of Eden on + 3 more book reviews
book was good if a little long and in parts simplistic
reviewed East of Eden on
anything by John Steinbeck is good!
reviewed East of Eden on
The best of the Steinbeck novels in my opinion. A beautiful saga about the life of two brothers, so different yet so connected. The writing is rich, complex, and captivating. A true literary classic in every sense.
reviewed East of Eden on
It's a classic for a reason!
reviewed East of Eden on + 118 more book reviews
I picked this book up with some trepidation, as his earlier works--Of Mice and Men, Grapes of Wrath--are not among my favorites. I was hugely and pleasantly surprised. This book spans the story of several generations of two families and explores broad and unfathomable themes--ultimate evil, sibling rivalry at extreme levels---and climaxes by having asked the unanswerable question of whether man indeed has a choice as to his nature. Truly a work of great literature with staying power, this is a powerful and engrossing read.
reviewed East of Eden on + 98 more book reviews
I had never read anything by Steinbeck that I could recall. This book is very good. I liked it.
reviewed East of Eden on + 11 more book reviews
Bought this when Oprah had it on her book club. I started reading it and it didn't seem like my type of story (pretty slow storyline) and could not continue reading it.
reviewed East of Eden on
A retelling of the story of Genesis set in California in the early 1900's.
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A classic that I'd recommend to anyone.
reviewed East of Eden on + 28 more book reviews
I did not really enjoy this book it was to small detailed.
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Excellent, indispensable Steinbeck tome. Paperback is the gorgeous "Steinbeck Centennial Edition."
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Excellent book.
reviewed East of Eden on
Classic book from the 50's and a symbolic recreation of the biblical story of Cain and Abel woven into a history of California's Salinas Valley. Spanning the period between the American Civil War and the end of World War I, the novel highlights the conflicts of two generations of brothers; the first being the kind, gentle Adam Trask and his wild brother Charles. Adam eventually marries Cathy Ames, an evil, manipulative, and beautiful prostitute; she betrays him, joining Charles on the very night of their wedding. Later, after giving birth to twin boys, she shoots Adam and leaves him to return to her former profession. In the shadow of this heritage Adam raises their sons, the fair-haired, winning, yet intractable Aron, and the dark, clever Caleb. This second generation of brothers vie for their father's approval. In bitterness Caleb reveals the truth about their mother to Aron, who then joins the army and is killed in France. --
reviewed East of Eden on
new condition. just like it just came from the Walmart. Never read past first few pages
reviewed East of Eden on + 44 more book reviews
I rpomised this and waited so long it got cancelled! Sorry! I am mailing it and wanted to repost it for credit...Thanks!
reviewed East of Eden on + 6 more book reviews
Bantam Books = publisher; copyright = 1952
reviewed East of Eden on + 73 more book reviews
This book is not the Oprah's Book Club Edition, but the cover is the same.
reviewed East of Eden on + 16 more book reviews
I have not read this, I have 2 copies though.