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The Winter of Our Discontent
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The Winter of Our Discontent

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  24,739 ratings  ·  1,144 reviews
In Awarding John Steinbeck the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Nobel committee stated that with The Winter of Our Discontent, he had “resumed his position as an independent expounder of the truth, with an unbiased instinct for what is genuinely American.”
Ethan Allen Hawley, the protagonist of the novel, works as a clerk in a grocery store that his family once owned. W
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Hardcover, First Edition, 311 pages
Published December 1961 by Viking (first published 1961)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Meghan Pinson
I think I have a crush on John Steinbeck. But even if I met him somewhere -- a cocktail party, a barbeque, even my own bookstore -- I don't think I'd talk to him. Maybe make eye contact in a brave and silent way. Sometimes I get the feeling that he is friendly and easy-going, compassionate and kind, and really interested in people in general and persons in particular ... but I know that he is deeply brilliant, and I would say something ridiculous that I would turn over and over in my head (menta ...more
Kim

When I started reading this, the last novel written by John Steinbeck, I initially thought that I wasn’t going to like it. The prose was as fine as I expected it to be, but it seemed such a small story, compared to powerful epics like The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden. However, the story grew on me as I read and the ending packed a punch.

Mostly in the form of a first person narrative, the novel is about Ethan Hawley, a likeable man in his late thirties, married to a woman he loves and the fa
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Del
John Steinbeck's The Winter of our Discontent is a study of morality in the individual and in the community. Set in a New England town where everyone knows everyone else's business and history, Ethan Hawley narrates his experience with the various moral temptations one season offers him.

Under pressure from associates and his own family, Ethan becomes increasingly dissatisfied with his diminished station in life and begins to consider a brief transformation, a temporary suspension of his identit
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Joe Valdez
I was forwarded a blog post recently (written by someone much sharper than me) that asked where our contemporary John Steinbecks have gone. The masterful fiction dedicated to the minimum wage worker, the family displaced by the Great Recession living out of a motel room, or anyone living from paycheck to paycheck seems largely extinct from the bestseller lists.

Hard luck stories about average American families fill newspapers, while in fiction, it seems like world building, not world reporting,
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 6* of five

This is a wonderful short novel by a master of his craft at the peak of his form. It is also his last novel.

Some people at the time it was published felt it was a wrong turning for Steinbeck ("The Grapes of Wrath", "Tortilla Flat") to abandon both the west coast that had made him famous and brought his considerable social conscience to the world's attention for an east coast grifter's POV. "The Winter of Our Discontent" is a story that has nothing but shades of gray. Everyone i
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Marsha
I learned a lesson about why I should finish books, even if the story does not grip me and I find the protagonist boring. (Thanks, book club) Initially, I thought... oh man... middle aged man making bitter jokes out of his miserable life. I felt sorry for his wife.

However, as I realized what was happening as I got farther and farther into the book, I found myself wishing there was a sequel because I want to know what happened to Ethan a year or two down the road. Was he able to live with himsel
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William S.
There is a certain emotion in Steinbeck I have not found in other authors. Faulkner comes close, Hemingway a bit further off, perhaps Woolf is on a parallel path. Steinbeck shows us something into ourselves, he states in the book that we all have our own light, we are not a bonfire. We only understand others to the point that we assume they are akin to ourselves. Steinbeck, like Woolf in the Waves, shows us that we are all connected, and that we can find a path in this world through this novel. ...more
Adam Floridia
East of Eden was 600 some-odd pages and I didn't want it to end. This didn't reach 300 and it could not end soon enough. There was just nothing good about this; I can’t believe this is a Steinbeck work. Moreover, not the work of a budding author still perfecting his craft, but an author who was in the winter of his profession, having already penned Of Mice and Men, Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden and countless other works.

The story is about Ethan Hawley, a man of noble ancestry reduced to a groce
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Meghan
It's a little difficult to put into words how this book made me feel. It's a short book so I thought I'd fly through it in a day or two. Instead, it took a couple of weeks to finish. It was not because I was overly busy or because my mind was drifting or that I was distracted by...ooh! shiny! It was mainly because Steinbeck put so many layers upon layers of depth and feeling into each of his superbly crafted sentences that I could have made baklava with them.

I found this story extremely timely c
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Matthew
Oct 01, 2007 Matthew rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you
there was a time in my life when i read this each fall, as the the michigan winter was about to make my psyche turn to salt. i first read it by accident, finding it in my co-op on the floor in a room that had been abandonded and now was only used for smoking this and that. the walls of the room had been painted different superheroes from the previous tenant's childhood. i liked the rendition of green hornet, although the renderer claimed he was an after-thought, someone to fill the space between ...more
Thomas
I feel like it's cliche to say that The Winter of Our Discontent is well-written. If you've taken ninth grade high-school English, I'm confident you've encountered John Steinbeck at least once. There's no doubt he's a fantastic writer. Of Mice of Men or East of Eden, anyone?

However, The Winter of Our Discontent was not as fluid as Of Mice and Men nor did it possess the sheer strength in characterization or plot as East of Eden. It may be my underdeveloped adolescent mind at work here, but I foun
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Fewlas
Feb 27, 2014 Fewlas rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Fewlas by: Gabriele
Shelves: americana
”Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York”


È rivelatore il fatto che Ethan Allen Hawley, sole tramontato e figlio di New Baytown (questa la potenza dei pun del bardo), canti questi due versi subito dopo aver portato a termine l’”inganno” nei confronti dell’amico Danny. Perché con questi versi Ethan si rivela per quello che è: un Riccardo III. Con quei versi il sovrano svela da subito l’invidia nei confronti del fratello appena salito al trono, e rivela anche la
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Luís Miguel
Grande parte do espírito americano que tanto aprecio está aqui, como refere Steinbeck. Perfeitamente imbuído da sua sensibilidade para penetrar no coração da América dos americanos, de lá retirando tanto de bom como de mau. Neste Inverno, a pressão social sobre o "self-made man" recai sobre o genuíno Ethan Allen Hawley. Filho de burgueses, mas caixeiro de mercearia, Ethan é posto à prova pela comunidade mais ambiciosa da sua smalltown e a sua estatura moral conhece então o caminho da degeneração ...more
Lyn
Steinbeck’s The Winter of Our Discontent was first published in 1961 and was his last novel.

It was also the latest book published prior to his winning the 1962 Nobel Prize for literature. Interestingly, when asked if he felt that he deserved the award, this “giant of American letters” said: “Frankly, no.” Further, recent archives revealed that Steinbeck was a “compromise choice” for the award amidst a group described as “a bad lot”. Although the committee believed Steinbeck's best work was behin
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gillian
Why do I even bother reading another author? Always in the nick of time I pick up a Steinbeck novel and it is a relief to read carefully and beautifully constructed sentences again. And the dialogue! This story delivered all the things I love and need from Steinbeck. As usual, it had me scribbling its sentences in my journal so that I may remember them and repeat them as my own. But I never will. I do not have it in me to summon these perfect, wise, funny things to say when they would be most ef ...more
Stefania T.

Quando fu salita nel bagno, misi il biglietto in tasca. E ancora non sapevo. Accade mai che uno conosca più della scorza esterna del suo prossimo? “Come sei Mary, dentro? Mi senti, Mary?..Come sei, dentro?”

Ho procrastinato a lungo l’incontro con Steinbeck per una questione di suoni: s-t-e-i-n-b-e-c-k mi ha sempre spaventata ed inchiodata, con le sue vocali acerbe e militari, rigorose, rigide come l’inverno russo. Quando poi lessi Pian della Tortilla che, nonostante le fondamenta amare, ancora
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Julia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Simona
A detta di alcuni commenti letti qua e là nel web, "L'inverno del nostro scontento", che prende il nome da una citazione di Shakespeare, non è il miglior libro di Steinbeck, ma per quanto mi riguarda è una delle sue opere migliori.
Qui Steinbeck si allontana per un attimo dal periodo della Grande Depressione ponendo al centro i dubbi, gli interrogativi che assillano un uomo. Steinbeck pone al suo protagonista un dubbio amletico: essere fedeli ai propri obiettivi o affidarsi al Dio denaro che tut
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Powells.com
Published the year before Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in 1962, The Winter of Our Discontent has often been undeservedly scorned by critics as his most lackluster effort. Set in the summer in a fictional New England town, this timeless story tells the tale of Ethan Allen Hawley, descendant of a well-to-do family, who now finds himself working as a shop clerk in the very store he once owned. Father, husband, and man of impeccable integrity, Hawley struggles to maintain his pride while providing ...more
Megan Li
I was drawn to this book due to the remarkable timeliness of its subject matter. Its time has now come and Steinbeck, like all truly great writers, could be seen as a kind of prophet for writing it in the early '60s. Unlike his other great novels, notably East of Eden, this book does not play out on an epic scale with a large cast of characters. It focuses solely on the internal world of Ethan Allen Hawley, a grocery clerk in a small town on the new england coast. Ethan is the descendant of an o ...more
Frankie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maxxam66
Shakespeare , Kafka , Steinbeck .L’elenco potrebbe continuare e comprendere altri meravigliosi custodi , uomini indulgenti con il resto delle umane genti.
Ho scritto custodi , non scrittori , drammaturghi o poeti perché questi artisti della parola sono soprattutto i benevoli custodi del significato più profondo della legge che governa l’uomo e il suo agire.
Se il legame con il bardo è evidente , non solo nel titolo ma anche in una sottile linea rossa che congiunge Riccardo III e il protagonista di
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Yousra


تحذير: قد تكون تلك المراجعة كاشفة لجزء كبير من أحداث الرواية


أنهيت الرواية منذ حوالي دقيقة، وترددت في أن أُعلن هذا على الجودريدز لتدخل الرواية ضمن كتبي المقروءة ... ترددت بسبب حيرتي في كيفية كتابة مراجعة تليق بهذه الرواية الإستثنائية

هي رواية من كلاسيكيات الأدب الأمريكي ... ومن أكثر ما قرأت تأثيرا في نفسي

تتناول الرواية حياة سليل إحدى الأسر ذات المال والجاه والتي علا إسمها نتيجة قيامها ببعض أعمال "القرصنة المشروعة!" لصالح الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية في أثناء الحرب العالمية الثانية بجانب قيام سفنها
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Tori
Jul 08, 2008 Tori rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: St John's students from New England
Steinbeck wrote a very perceptive book on a very boring topic. There were parts of this book that I enjoyed, but for the most part I really had to force myself to keep reading. The slow pace, the cynical attitude towards American life, and the confusing dialogue among many other things made this a difficult novel to finish.

Steinbeck is definitely not my style and the most valuable lesson learned from this experience is that I can use his works as a very effective and all-natural sleep-aid.
Nahed.E
كم من الناس نظرت إليهم دون أن أراهم

المال لا يُبدل المرض ، ولكن يبدل أعراضه فقط

أنت أعمي مثلي ، إلا أن نوع عماك يختلف عن عمايّ

لقد انقرضت القرصنة ، لكن يبدو أن دوافعها لم تمت

إذا أردت الاحتفاظ بصديق ، فلا تجربه

إذا ملكت جوهرة ، فلا تسرف في تلميعها ، حتي لا تتأكل من معجون التلميع

******************
لقد عشت مع هذه الرواية شهراً تقريباً ..
وهي في نسختها العربية 367 صفحة وقد قرأت فيها الكثير من الاقتباسات الرائعة التي فعلا تستحق التوقف عندها

استطاع جون شتاينبك أن يقدم رواية غريبة قليلاً عن المعتاد ، فأنت تعي
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Kim
"The Winter Of Our Discontent" is John Steinbeck's last novel, published in 1961, which by the way is the year I was born, I could tell you how old that makes me but it's too much math. Almost everyone seems to love this novel. I say "almost" because usually if I happen to come across a review for it the reviewer loved the book, however, no one I actually know loved the book, probably because no one I know ever heard of it. In fact other than "The Grapes Of Wrath" no one I know knew John Steinbe ...more
Carac Allison


"The Winter of our Discontent" is rarely discussed when readers talk of John Steinbeck's literary achievements. It was the last novel he wrote and it was so different from his established style that it just doesn't come to mind when thinking of the Salinas Sage.

Ethan is the protagonist. He grew up rich but has fallen on hard times. He works as a lowly clerk at a grocer's. Ethan wants to be a good father and husband, a man of truth and morality. But his family is bitter. They resent the impoveris
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Becky
Despite it's rather odd opening, The Winter Of Our Discontent held my interest. It is the story of a man, Ethan Hawley, and his family, his good wife, Mary, his son, Allan, his daughter, Ellen. It's a story of the conflict between ambition and honesty. Ethan has always found himself to be a good man, a just man, an honest man. A man who plays by the rules.

Ethan comes from a legacy, a family with a long history in the area. He's as "established" as he can be. But he's not wealthy. Not anymore. Hi
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Kirk Smith
I really enjoyed this, it was such a good time, and then the ending failed to match the quality of the rest of the book. **I still recommend it as one of Steinbeck's better ones**. Our author always loves a good pirate theme counterpoised against Puritan guilt. Once I realized where this book was going I was elated to find old Steinbeck was nearly trotting out a hard-boiled crime thriller. Internal dialogue (all dialogue) by the principal character was witty and brilliant. What enjoyment!! I wa ...more
Gregg Bell
In my paperback version of The Winter of Our Discontent John Steinbeck's name is above the title. And rightly so. This is a book where the larger-than-life persona of the author supersedes the book itself. So this is one of those rare books that is great not only because of its content (or for you punsters out there—it's discontent) but because of its author.

And yet bottom line: the book is great.

By the time he sat down to write Winter, his last novel, Steinbeck's career as a writer was already
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  • Islands in the Stream
  • Sartoris
  • Babbitt
  • One of Ours
  • Cancer Ward
  • Look Homeward, Angel
  • The Victim
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey
  • The Diamond as Big as the Ritz, and Other Stories
  • Collected Stories
585
John Steinbeck III was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939 and the novella Of Mice and Men, published in 1937. In all, he wrote twenty-five books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and several collections of short stories.

In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley
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More about John Steinbeck...
Of Mice and Men The Grapes of Wrath East of Eden The Pearl Cannery Row

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“I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen.” 2226 likes
“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” 1559 likes
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