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The Pastures of Heaven
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The Pastures of Heaven

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  3,185 ratings  ·  187 reviews
Today, nearly forty years after his death, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures. We have begun publishing his many works for the first time as blackspine Penguin Classics featuring eye-catching, newly commissioned art. This season we continue with the seven spectacular and influential books East of Eden, Cannery R...more
Paperback, 225 pages
Published June 24th 1982 by Penguin Books (first published 1932)
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Kim

Where John Steinbeck is concerned, I'm an unapologetic fan. Having only made his acquaintance relatively recently after a visit to Monterey prompted me to read Cannery Row, I've fallen in love with his clean prose and striking use of imagery, his powerful evocation of place, his ability to turn ordinary people into memorable characters and the deep humanity which is at the heart of his writing.

This was the second of Steinbeck's works to be published. It's a short story cycle in which each of th...more
Ginny_1807
Grazie a questo romanzo ho scoperto Steinbeck. Ed è stato un avvenimento molto importante nella mia vita.
Steve
I feel that Steinbeck’s short stories are overlooked because they’re simple without being simplistic and they plod along at a pace that can feel like watching crops grow. The Pastures of Heaven was written before he became a star and you can trace the outlines of what was to come.

The setting is a valley that a Spanish Corporal finds while chasing runaway Indian slaves. He’s so taken by what he sees that he christens the valley “Las Pasturas del Cielo” or "The Pastures of Heaven."

From the limited...more
Jason
This is a collection of stories about morons. What i mean by that, is that everyone is engagingly simple, "good country people," and their amusement and fear is what makes this story tick. They are all good farmers, moral people without having the dredge of scripted morality, and finally adept to the understandings of both the simplicity of their environment as well as each other's characters. Simplicity drives them, and degardes all progression, for the better. Hence, the maybe unfair moniker o...more
Joyce Lagow
In his early California novels, Steinbeck focused on the land he loved and the people who lived there. The Pastures of Heaven (which is based on a real valley and whose characters have roots in real people) is one of those novels and uses the same format he employed in Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row� a collection of stories around an organizing theme. One of his earliest books, The Pastures of Heaven, focuses on the people who work the land and live in its town. The stories are fairly independent...more
Fahad
مراعي الفردوس

هذا هو الكتاب الثالث الذي أقرؤه لجون شتاينبك، رغم أن قراءتي له بدأت مبكرة جدا ً، قبل سنوات بعيدة تكاد تقترب من العشرين، عندما حصلت على روايته القصيرة (اللؤلؤة)، والتي فتنتني ببساطتها وجمالها، ورغم أني حصلت على عدد من كتبه في السنوات الأخيرة، إلى أني لم اقرأ منها سوى (الفئران والرجال)، وهذا الكتاب (مراعي الفردوس).

نشر هذا الكتاب سنة 1932 م، لم يكن شتاينبك قد حاز شهرته بعد، له عمل وحيد نشر قبل هذا بثلاث سنوات، وهو رواية تاريخية اسمها (كأس من ذهب)، كان في الثلاثين من عمره، بعد سنوات س...more
Tom
My journey through the lesser works of John Steinbeck yields another minor gem!

Another reviewer refers to The Pastures of Heaven as Steinbeck's first book, and although that's not true, it might as well be - Cup of Gold, his actual first book, is a steaming pile, for sure.

Anyway, this one is a whole lot better than Cup of Gold. Steinbeck wasn't suited for pirate stories, and The Pastures of Heaven finds my longtime-favorite American novelist in much more comfortable territory, namely California,...more
Yousra
الجميل ... صاحب الأسلوب السلس جون شتاينبك وكتاب آخر رائع وقراءةأخرى ممتعة من بعد أن تعرفت عليه من خلال روايته شتاء الأحزان

قليلة هي الكتب التي تترك في النفس بصمة وقليلة هي الكتب التي ترفض أن تتركها من يدك وتنشغل عنها وهذا الكتاب منها بكل تأكيد

أعترض على تسمية هذا الكتاب رواية كما اعترضت من قبل على تسميةصح النوم ليحيى حقي رواية

ففي العملين كان هناك المكان والزمان وقصصا قصيرة تخص هؤلاء المتواجدين في ذلك المكان والزمان، وعلى عكس صح النوم التي توحدت خيوطها في آخر الكتاب مما اعطاها حق التسمية فإن مراعي
...more
Allan
Another beautifully written Steinbeck novel. This is the earliest of the author's work that I have read, and it's interesting to see him wax lyrical about the environment around him, in addition to developing interesting characters through interlinking, entertaining stories set in the Salinas valley.

Each story features the Munroe family in some shape or form, either as protagonists or in the background, and other families, like the Whitesides, are also present in many of the tales, I suppose in...more
Andreea
“He did not often think of people as individuals, but rather as antidotes for the poison of his loneliness, as escapes from the imprisoned ghosts.”


John Steinbeck made his way in my 'to-read' list when I discovered Meg&Dia's song 'Monster', that is supposed to have been written after 'East of Eden'. That time, I wasn't aware of the impact that this author will have on me.
No matter what book I read written by him, he changes something in me. He makes me hate every material and finite thing,...more
Christopher Gonzalez
May 26, 2007 Christopher Gonzalez rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Steinbeck fans, short story enthusiasts
This short story cycle was penned by Steinbeck early in his career. All the stories are connected by the Munroe family and the fact that they take place in a part of California's Salinas Valley Steinbeck called "Las Pasturas del Cielo," hence the title. The stories themselves are all about very down to earth people that exist in this part of California in order to shape the experience of one another. My personal favorites are stories IV--"Tularecito," about a mentally and physically handicapped...more
Anca
A long, long time ago, I visited The Pastures of Heaven with a bit of unconsciousness and I got impressed with it. It was lent to me along with other "Christian" books (probably because of the title). (Of course after I finnished it I realized it wasn't a Christian book at all - no clichees and lectures specific for the bigger part of that literature.) It's the only one from that stack that I can remember.

Actually, as I was re-reading, I realized certain scenes and facts were recurring to me (m...more
John
Disclosure: I am an unapologetic, hopeless Steinbeck addict. I cannot recall him ever writing a bad word and have found enrichment in the more than 20 books of his I have digested.
This short novel spins a series of interesting stories set against the Salinas/Monterey/Carmel locale where so many of Steinbeck's major works are set. He offers up the history of a unique valley from its initial settlement through succeeding generations, protraying ironies, tragedies and triumphs. Better than just abo...more
Caleb
I enjoy reading Steinbeck. His stories leave me filled with a rich sense of how history affects place. Specifically, the north coastal regions of California, where I happen to live.

"The Pastures of Heaven" presents a nostalgic collection of short stories, recording the everyday happenings of the people that live there. The book is threaded together by way of one family, the Munroes, who make an appearance within each chapter. They, like their neighbors, are not exceptional, only except in the ex...more
Nick Klagge
I chose this as one of the books I took along to read on vacation in San Francisco because it is about Northern California and because I had recently read "Travels with Charlie" and really enjoyed it. And because I could borrow it from my friend S. It's a lovely book, consisting of several somewhat-related vignettes about people living in a rural valley near Monterey, CA. They're very well-rendered characters, with less sentimentalism than the characters in "Cannery Row." The stories are mostly...more
Alessandra
Cada cuento es una unidad temática y a su vez parte de un todo con la novela. Es la primera vez que leo a Steinbeck. Me pareció un hermoso retrato de la época, en un paraíso visual como son Las praderas del Cielo, pero no tan perfecto humanamente. Una belleza la escritura.
Jeff
I feel more than silly "reviewing" Steinbeck, but perhaps this will be useful to some. I hadn't heard of this anthology myself, and read it as a kind of audit of an online screenwriting adaptation class for which I couldn't bring myself to sign up. I'm glad I did read it, and it reminded me of - if nothing else - my affection for the man's writing.

The Pastures of Heaven tells interconnected tales of the residents of a southern (mid-?) Californian town, nestled in what can only be imagined as the...more
Bookaholic
Pășunile Raiului, cea de a doua carte a lui John Steinbeck, a apărut în 1932 – cu mult, iată, înaintea scrierilor care l-au consacrat pe autorul american, Şoareci şi oameni (1937), Fructele mâniei (1939) sau Iarna vrajbei noastre (1961) – și nu a avut cine știe ce succes de critică, ba chiar a trecut neobservată. Pe nedrept s-a întâmplat așa, căci această mică bijuterie – un miniroman alcătuit din douăspezece povestiri care au în centru toposul paradisiac Las Pasturas del Cielo, Pășunile Raiului...more
Jake
This is of course another beautiful work by the brilliant John Steinbeck. In it he explores the range of banal and even animalistic human emotions. From avarice, longing, sloth, sadness, hope, and despondence, Steinbeck depicts the personalities of an isolated terrain known as the Pastures of Heaven. He endows each character with a lust for some object, real or abstract, and squares each person's dilemma with the false promise of utopia that the Pastures represent. Only after struggling through...more
matteo
This is not the best Steinbeck, but it's like meeting up with an old friend after a long, long break, and picking up as though you had seen each other yesterday. I missed Salinas and Monterey County. I missed the descriptions of the land. I received a collection of Steinbeck books and stories recently, and this is the first of the batch. I had not read this story before. It is one of his early works; it's a collection of connected chapters about characters in a certain area of the valley. It rem...more
Brian Willis
This collection of loosely interconnected short stories owes a lot to Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, and follows the vogue of Dubliners and In Our Time by James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway, respectively. Colored by Steinbeck's unique preoccupation with Californian land and landowners, it follows a group of settlers in a valley called The Pastures of Heaven, whose perspectives on life and happiness are challenged by the events which overshadow their isolated lives, particularly when encounte...more
Jane
I'm so happy to read another Steinbeck work. I didn't know he had written any short stories until another GR member added it to his shelves.

I love Steinbeck and the way he writes (with the exception of Mice & Men, my least favorite & the one forced on students the most). This one did not disappoint.

I enjoyed some stories more than others but overall a collection of beautiful writing. I was transported to the beautiful valley in California.

What I most love about Steinbeck's writing is h...more
Gabriel Oak
This is an early Steinbeck work (1932), and marks the moment where he really discovered his trademark style, a kind of naturalism-sentimentality mix. The stories are all set in a fictional California valley called Las Pasturas del Cielo, which seems to represent the last frontier space in America, a place where people believe they can go to regenerate their lives and fortunes. But as the characters discover, there is no escaping human nature, no escaping the curses of heredity, bad luck, or soci...more
Kathy
Filled with rich descriptions, this novel reveals snippets from the lives of the people who live in the community named Pastures of Heaven. Steinbeck describes the inhabitants by tellling a short story about each.

The stories made me think of chapter titles which I will label thus: Jealous father and virtuous daughter; dilluded investor; gifted gnome; facing death and morning; lazy respit ends; destitute careers; running from father; disconnected chicken killer; lonely parlor; slate crumble; and...more
Suzy
My son was more impressed with this collection of interrelated stories than I, but I did like it. I read it after I read Sweet Thursday, which was a much later book, and which I thought was fabulous. It was interesting, historically, to read that Pastures of Heaven was the book that found Steinbeck what became his trademark California setting. What emerged for me was the theme of place. What struck me most was the fragile hold even the "Pastures of Heaven" can have on inhabitants when other humi...more
Shelley
The Pastures of Heaven is the first of Steinbeck's California works, set in the farm country near his hometown of Salinas. Published in 1932, this work precedes his popularity and financial success, but introduces the reader to Steinbeck's style and the genesis of the themes that he explores in later, better-known novels. In this collection of short stories, we meet a community of families living in a beautiful verdant valley full of promise, finding that life can be rather ugly, and their own i...more
L.S. Burton

I love Steinbeck, so I'm always biased. The Pastures of Heaven, however, strikes me as one of those books that a person has to seek out rather than stumble over. Until I found my old second-hand copy, I wasn't aware of its existence.

I think that's because it falls into a strange place in his catalogue, somewhere between a collection of short stories and Cannery Row. The book, if anything, is really a collection of character studies, which sometimes inter-relate. The same could be said about Cann...more
Tara
This is one of Steinbeck's very very early works, and you can see a lot in the writing style that suggests good things that have come since.
Pastures of Heaven is a series of interconnected stories all set in a tiny valley south of Monterey, called Pasturas del Cielo [or something]. Each chapter is the story of one of the families or people in the community, connected by their interactions with the Munroe family, well-intentioned newcomers to the area who nonetheless seem to devastate everything...more
Kaitlyn
I really enjoyed this book. I love Steinbeck's writing style; his works [which I have read anyway] always feel down-to-earth and are easy to relate to, making them enjoyable and easy to take something away from them.

This book is interesting. Each chapter is basically a short story about a different family or person. However, all of these people live in the same beautiful, green valley, The Pastures of Heaven; so all the stories are connected and refer to others. The stories deal with different e...more
Tony
Steinbeck, John. THE PASTURES OF HEAVEN. (1932). ****. This is an early novel of Steinbeck’s that consists of a collection of short stories that are interrelated. The common thread among all the stories is the valley named, in the stories, Pastures of Heaven. This piece of land and its enchanted surroundings was originally named Las Pastures del Cielo by the early Spaniards, and was later settled by a variety of white men who saw it as an opportunity to make their mark as farmers and ranchers. T...more
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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...more
More about John Steinbeck...
Of Mice and Men The Grapes of Wrath East of Eden The Pearl Cannery Row

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“After the bare requisites to living and reproducing, man wants most to leave some record of himself, a proof, perhaps, that he has really existed. He leaves his proof on wood, on stone or on the lives of other people. This deep desire exists in everyone, from the boy who writes dirty words in a public toilet to the Buddha who etches his image in the race mind. Life is so unreal. I think that we seriously doubt that we exist and go about trying to prove that we do.” 131 likes
“It's almost impossible to read a fine thing without wanting to do a fine thing.” 19 likes
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