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Topic: I love John Steinbeck

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Subject: I love John Steinbeck
Date Posted: 7/12/2009 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2009
Posts: 186
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I just wanted to hear others' thoughts and opinions on Steinbeck. I've read a lot of his work, but after finishing The Pearl, I think I can officially say that he is my favorite author. When people ask me what my favorite books are, many of his are in that category (East of Eden, Of Mice and Men, The Winter of Our Discontent).

I recently went to his museum in Salinas, California and fell in love with his work even more. I just bought Cannery Row and can't wait to start reading it.

Any other Steinbeck lovers out there?

Date Posted: 7/12/2009 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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I love Of Mice and Men, The Pearl and East of Eden.  I actually did not care for the Grapes of Wrath at all.  I know its supposed to be his masterpiece, but I didn't like it.

Date Posted: 7/12/2009 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Another Steinbeck lover here :-)

The Grapes of Wrath is probably my favorite but there are a few of his I haven't read, most notably East of Eden. I recently read Travels With Charley which was a wonderful glimpse of the author, his beliefs, and another reminder of what a wordsmith he was.

Date Posted: 7/12/2009 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2009
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Grapes of Wrath is one of my favorites too, Sheila. You MUST read East of Eden - definitely one of his best. I was so wrapped up in the characters lives.

Date Posted: 7/12/2009 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2009
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Big fan of Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men

Date Posted: 7/13/2009 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 220
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love love love Steinbeck.  I've never read anything of his that I didn't love.

Date Posted: 7/13/2009 4:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I grew up in California, and we had to read The Red Pony and The Pearl in school, both of which I hated. But, I'd also read Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday which I'd loved.

I swallowed hard and read East of Eden and Grapes of Wrath last year, and discovered that I really like him. I think it does a disservice to schoolkids to start them with The Red Pony.

Date Posted: 7/13/2009 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
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I also was forced to read The Red Pony in school and hated it.  A few years later, I picked up Of Mice and Men and love it.  I also love Travels with Charlie and The Grapes of Wrath.  My grandmother is also a huge Steinbeck fan.  When I was little, I thought that John Steinbeck was French like my grandmother because she only had Steinbeck and French books in her house.  I didn't figure this out until I was about 10 years old.

Date Posted: 7/13/2009 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2008
Posts: 31
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The Pearl is my favorite. His writing is hauntingly beautiful in all of his works. 

Date Posted: 7/14/2009 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Any other Steinbeck lovers out there?

Yes. Me. Raising two hands.

I read GoW when I was twenty and it was that book that showed me that writing could be absolutely stunning and worth a 2nd, 3rd read.

Steinbeck is great for readers who are looking for deeper meaning in stories.

I've read about five other Steinbeck works. Can't say I've loved all his novels and short stories immensely, but when I read his writing I feel "home."

I plan to start Travels With Charley tonight as  matter of fact.



Last Edited on: 7/14/09 10:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/15/2009 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
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I've read most of his writings and love them all.

Date Posted: 7/15/2009 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I live in Salinas. Did you by chance also go to Steinbeck house just up the road from the Steinbeck center? (btw its center and not museum because they do other stuff there too..LOL)  I used to run over there at lunchtime because my work place was just over the road from Steinbeck center and their toilets were always clean..

I enjoyed The Red Pony and The Pearl.

Not a huge Steinbeck fan but I do think he did alot for the area and was a very great writer.

Date Posted: 7/18/2009 5:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
Posts: 43
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Love The Grapes of Wrath.  One of my all-time faves that I revisit every couple of years.  The film version starring Henry Fonda is quite good as well.  



Last Edited on: 9/11/09 2:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/20/2009 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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LOL----I don't particularly enjoy his fiction; just too grim for me.

But "Travels With Charley" is one of my top 10 all-time favorites ever. I bet I've rea-read it at least 20 times, which reminds me, I'm overdue now.

Date Posted: 7/28/2009 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 387
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I guess I am of the exact opposite opinion.  I didn't hate Of Mice and Men, but I hate The Pearl more than any book I have ever read.

Date Posted: 7/29/2009 1:04 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I want to visit the Steinbeck center and see "Rocinante" the truck with the camper that Steinbeck used to travel across the country.

I enjoyed Travel's with Charley. It was funny sometimes. I enjoyed the part where Steinbeck is in Arizona and he says he has the mullygums (or something like that). His dog, Charley is a bit down as well. Steinbeck imagines Charley and he having this conversation about how to cure their mild depression.. The voice he gives his dog is hilarious.

It's also serious in other parts Particularly when he travels through the south.

A quick read, but I took my time.

Subject: Favorites of Mine
Date Posted: 8/2/2009 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2009
Posts: 2
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I loved The Red Pony, Travels with Charlie, and Cannery Row more than any of his others.        OldHermit

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2009
Posts: 186
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Thanks for your input, everyone. Interesting to read.

Laura - I saw his truck when I was there! Very cool. I took a TON of pictures when I went to his "museum". Travels with Charlie and Cannery Row are the next two I will read by him. I also need to get my hands on his book about his experiences in Russia. One of these days I'll reread East of Eden, too. That novel is awesome. Talk about great character development.

 

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Another Steinbeck lover here.  I love the fact that he tells a good story, even though there are always deeper meanings within.

Travels with Charley is one of my favorites as well, and I think his The Acts of King Arthur is interesting for him, even though it was unfinished when he died.

If you're reading Cannery Row now, you may as well order the sequel, Sweet Thursday.

I also like The Moon is Down, if you want a non-California story and The Short Reign of Pippin IV if you like political satire.

Anyone read Bombs Away?  It is one of the few I've not read, and I wonder how it is.

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 8/2/2009 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2009
Posts: 186
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I've not read those others, Elizabeth, but I'd love to. I've been on a Steinbeck kick ever since my trip to Salinas.

Btw, The Chosen is an amazing book.

Date Posted: 8/3/2009 12:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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When I saw this author's name the first thought I had was 'isn't he the one who wrote about the horse that died that was pretty detailed in the book I was forced to read?' unfortunately for me that did it. I've never gotten more than a few pages into anything else of his though I'd like to sometimes like Grapes of Wrath though I think it's sad. :-( I don't always do so well with sad. maybe the enthusiasm here will convince me to try again...

Date Posted: 8/3/2009 12:58 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Susanna--

If you want a more uplifting Steinbeck, try "Travels with Charley".  It is non-fiction about a road trip Steinbeck takes across the country with his dog. It shows his writing style very well, and is a fascinating study of American culture as well as a good travel narrative.

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 9/4/2009 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
Posts: 1,938
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I bailed on Grapes of Wrath.  Maybe I didn't give it enough time.  We had to read The Pearl in high school and I hated it so pretended I was reading it.  Somehow I passed the class.

Date Posted: 9/5/2009 1:17 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2009
Posts: 1
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During the late 50's and early 60's Steinbeck got me out of junior high and middle school.  When teachers assigned busy work or reading in class I would pull out a Steinbeck and start reading.  In addition to those already mentioned I particularly enjoyed Tortilla Flat, Sweet Thursday, and Of Mice and Men.  Every few years I go back and reread a several Steinbecks.

East Bay Ed

Date Posted: 9/5/2009 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2009
Posts: 9
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I went through a huge John Steinbeck phase when I was in high school, and I read everything he had written that I could get my hands on.  My favorite is Travels with Charley.  I think one of the things that made me fall in love with my husband is that his favorite book is East of Eden.

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