John Steinbeck

I think if there was a case to be made that God was real and moved the hand of certain writers, the example with which the thesis would be driven home would be that of John Steinbeck. To put it simply, gosh this man could write. I was first exposed to Steinbeck’s writing in high school as, I assume, were most of you. But a half-hearted teenager reading the Grapes of Wrath or Of Mice and Men not because they have a genuine interest in the themes or the time period but because they are being graded on it is a surefire way to turn someone off of a book. And that, if you’ll excuse my french, is a fucking disgrace. To relegate possibly the greatest writer in American history to the trash heap of a high school English classroom is unthinkable. So if you would be so good as to indulge me, let this serve as a reintroduction to the works of John Steinbeck.

The first Steinbeck novel I read of my own free will was East of Eden. I bought it from amazon on a whim, because I’ve always been interested in novels with Biblical themes, and everyone’s heard of Steinbeck. As it turns out, this is one of my favorite books. It ranks up there among the best chronicles of life in the American West, and it does so in a way that never drags or feels boring. It’s a truly enthralling epic of Biblical proportions, and it also contains some of my favorite dialog ever penned.

Consider the following:

I’m currently reading Cannery Row, a book which is less interested in story and instead which seeks to chronicle a community, and I’m enjoying it greatly so far.

So next time you’re looking for something good to read, might I recommend Steinbeck?




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