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!
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!!
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.
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.
Read like it could have been written today - timeless and fantastic!