Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “East of Eden ” as Want to Read:
East of Eden
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

East of Eden

4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  300,343 Ratings  ·  12,562 Reviews
The masterpiece of one of the greatest American writers of all time. East of Eden is an epic tale of good vs. evil with many biblical references and parallels. The story is ultimately that of good's triumph over evil and the human will's ability to make that happen.
Hardcover, Book of the Month Club, 602 pages
Published 1995 by Viking Penguin (first published 1952)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about East of Eden, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Car6l Snyder I don't believe the story is meant to sympathize with sin at all only to bring a greater understanding to the innocence and good intentions that often…moreI don't believe the story is meant to sympathize with sin at all only to bring a greater understanding to the innocence and good intentions that often spawn sin. I also don't believe that the book is making any sort of statement as to who can and cannot judge, only that we have been granted the great and awful task of making all of our own judgement calls. All the mistakes and triumphs we create are our own.(less)
Sophie Romero de torres If you loved the movie you should enjoy the book even more. I was highly disappointed by the movie that only tells.... the last part of the book !…moreIf you loved the movie you should enjoy the book even more. I was highly disappointed by the movie that only tells.... the last part of the book ! Steinbeck wrote about 400 pages before telling us about Aaron & Caleb adulthood. So YES, definitely, give the book a chance ! (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Frank
Mar 23, 2016 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any American lit fan
Shelves: to-reread, favorites
This book is mind blowing. It is John Steinbeck at his sharpest. He said that every author really only has one "book," and that all of his books leading up to East of Eden were just practice--Eden would be his book.

I could write a summary of the book, but it would be more trouble than it's worth. You will often hear it referred to as a "modern retelling of the Genesis story of Cain and Abel" but that is too simplistic. Steinbeck takes the story of Cain and Abel and makes Cain (in the form of Ca
...more
Mary
Jun 25, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary by: Kata
Shelves: fiction, 2012
I want to marry this book and have its babies. I can't remember the last time I felt such a deep sense of satisfaction after finishing a book. Every part of it was a delicious page turning delight. This was pretty close to perfection and it's up there as one of my top ten favorite books.

Steinbeck weaves his tale amongst gorgeously saturated descriptions of the Salinas valley, a truly beautiful part of the country. It's such a sweepingly epic and engrossing read which has everything a wonderful
...more
Laura
Sep 13, 2010 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, overrated
I hate this book. Hate. Ponderous, pretentious, melodramatic, self-satisfied, patronizing to its readers, with ultimately nothing to say. Can be summarized thus: a bunch of people with no formal education whatsoever sit around discussing the time they read the Old Testament in Hebrew. They then tell us all how to live. Uh...right. I knew we were in trouble with the unbelievably lame introduction -- some forced, self-congratulatory metaphor about a box, if memory serves -- but it's hard to believ ...more
Kristin
Apr 04, 2008 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!!
I am on a golden roll of amazingly fantastic books!! East of Eden by John Steinbeck was our book club pick for this month. I almost didn't read it. You see, it's an old friend...and I ALMOST didn't re-read it... and that would have been tragic.


East of Eden is an epic story about good and evil. It tells the story of two families: the Trasks and the Hamiltons. It spans 3 generations and retells the Biblical story of Cain and Abel set in the Salinas Valley of Northern California.


Perspective...life
...more
Lucy
Dec 04, 2007 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: favorites
I finished this last night and afterwards, I lay back on my pillow extremely satisfied just thinking about it. It's so rare that I read something that delights me from beginning to end. While there were a few turns on the journey that confused me and seemed to take the book in a different direction, his connecting all the characters, the stories and do it with profound meaning is nothing short of brilliant. And to do it through his own person history, and one of the oldest stories of the Bible o ...more
Huda Yahya


روح الإنسان
الشيء الجميل الفريد في هذا العالم
دائما ما تهاجم ولا تهزم أبدا

لي تاريخ قديم مع شتاينبك
وهو من أوائل من قرأتُ لهم بالإنجليزية

وقد أدمنته على الفور
تستطيع أن تقول أنه فهمني جيدا ففهمته جيدا
وأحببت حقا ما فهمت

هذه هي الرواية الأهم والأشهر
وإن لم تكن الأقرب لقلبي كما هي رواياته العظيمة الأخرى
اللؤلؤة،عناقيد الغضب،ورجال وفئران

;;;;;;;;;;;

جنة عدن
هي المكان الذي تبدأ منه كل الحكايات
كل ما هو قادم وكل ما هو كان
الخطوة الأولى في تاريخ الإنسانية
الخطيئة الأولى
الصراع الأول
"دم أخي لطخ يدي"

شرقي عدن -المكان
...more
Brian Yahn
Apr 07, 2016 Brian Yahn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parts of this book are god-like. At different stages in the beginning, middle, and end, I burnt through pages like this was some sort of mystery-thriller, but obviously with all the depth of Steinbeck...

Then there's the characters, which here are some of the best. Cal's struggle--to be good when he's so compelled to be bad--is one of the more interesting ones I've come across. Kate is a perfectly written evil bitch and every time she pops onto the page, you can't wait to see what she'll do next.
...more
Kim
Oct 07, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Before he started writing this novel, Steinbeck conceived of it as a gift for his sons. He wrote:
They are little boys now and they will never know what they came from through me, unless I tell them. It is not written for them to read now but when they are grown and the pains and joys have tousled them a little. And if the book is addressed to them, it is for good reason. I want them to know how it was, I want to tell them directly, and perhaps by speaking to them directly I shall speak directly
...more
Henry Avila
Nov 30, 2014 Henry Avila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adam Trask was a weak but kindly boy , and later man, his father treated him quite badly, his jealous, sadistic, half- brother, younger but stronger, had hit him repeatedly , barely surviving one brutal, vicious fight. Born in the middle of the American Civil War, in a Connecticut farm, he and his brother Charles, are turned into good little soldiers, at a very tender age. Cyrus their father lost a leg, in the war, boasting of being in every major battle (which is physically impossible). In fact ...more
Dan Porter
May 02, 2016 Dan Porter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
My first encounter with Steinbeck was The Grapes of Wrath. I didn't enjoy the encounter. Had my first encounter been East of Eden, I most likely would have already read everything else he's written.

This is the the age-old story of the struggle between good and evil, but with an interesting twist. Steinbeck sees the coexistence of good and evil as necessary for the emergence of character or greatness. He lays the responsibility for that emergence squarely on the shoulders of the individual and sh
...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
East of Eden was a long, sprawling, sometimes slow, sometimes intense read. So often, Steinbeck's insightful comments on a person or a situation struck me deeply; he has a marvelous way with words. He also has a gift for writing complex and conflicted characters, though it's not always exercised fully, especially with some of his female characters. Abra, however, is a wonderful character, especially in her resistance to Aron's false idealization of her and her parents' focus on social position a ...more
Madeline
Nov 05, 2011 Madeline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I think this is the best-known story in the world because it is everybody's story. I think it is the symbol story of the human soul. ...The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears. I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt - and that is the story of mankind."

Before this, my only exposure t
...more
umang
Oct 31, 2015 umang rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loathsome
This is a long, long sermon masquerading as a novel. Its aim seems clear- to be the great American novel. In spite of, or maybe because of this overreach, it is completely unsatisfying. The characters are mere symbols. Most of the themes pertain to the characters’ moral dilemmas, but it is difficult to be drawn into these since the characters lack any real complexity. The men are various superlatives (greatest, kindest, wisest). There are two women characters, one evil and exaggerated to the poi ...more
Greg Heaney
Aug 04, 2008 Greg Heaney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Parthiban Sekar

There is only one story which, from time immemorial, has been relentlessly reappearing in different forms, faces, and times and that is the never-ending battle between the Good and the Bad, the Gods and the Monsters, the Christ and the Satan, the Angels and the Demons, the crop-farmer and the shepherd, Folly and Wisdom, We and our alter-ego . Not always the Good wins. Not always the Bad loses. A victory gets replaced by a sliding defeat of same height and a defeat by a rising victory of same he
...more
Himanshu
Jan 06, 2015 Himanshu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“No story has power, nor will it last, unless we feel in ourselves that it is true and true of us.”

Let me start of by saying that this book in its entirety over the time has achieved an unyielding greatness that after having 'experienced' it, I stand in awe of the conspicuous wisdom that it incarnates. I say 'over the time' because it's a book about everything that we stand for (we, as in, we culpable and commendable, rejected and loved, thriving and thwarted, lucky and hapless humans). No, ac
...more
Carol
Nov 05, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Wow! I just don't know how to express the overwhelming power of this inspirational story! It is one of those novels that really isn't over when you finish reading it as it stays with you inside your head and heart forever. There is so much to ponder: Just a simple question like, "What am I here for?" or to feel the story of Cain and Abel come to life; and gosh, I don't think I will ever forget the meaning of the Hebrew word Timshel (thou mayest) a very important symbol in this book meaning we ha ...more
Ann
Back in high school, I was required to read Grapes of Wrath for summer reading. You know what's NOT fun for a moody teen during a scorching August heatwave? A depressing story about dry, parched earth and poor farmers toiling endlessly but still getting screwed.

And then there was my encounter with Of Mice and Men. Not with the book... but with the OPERA. Yet again, courtesy of my high school, trying to inculcate culture into our gum-snapping brains.
Just imagine: George, the mildly-retarded Lenn
...more
Matt
Apr 26, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-novels
Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel?' 'I don't know,' he replied. 'Am I my brother's keeper?'

In the famed Biblical tale of Cain and Abel, the two brothers both make an offering to God. God likes Abel's offer, but not Cain's; out of jealousy, Cain slays Abel, and then is marked by God.

East of Eden is John Steinbeck's rather lengthy ode to that story. It follows two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons. It's the Trask family, though, that represents Cain and Abel, with two s
...more
Pavle
-Voliš li ga?
-Voliš li je?

Pitanja postavljana iznova i iznova u ovom neverovatnom romanu. I nikad objašnjenja, bez obzira na odgovor. Da ili ne. Svejedno je. To je nešto van ljudskog razuma, nešto izopšteno našom potrebom za objašnjenjem i shvatanjem.

Stajnbek u ovom obimnom romanu, po prirodi biblijskom i po veličini i po sadržini (brojne, ali nimalo napadne aluzije na mitove), piše priču dve porodice. Dve male, stvarne porodice (Stajnbek je potomak Hamiltonovih) koje služe kao mikroplatno za p
...more
Chrissie
Jul 05, 2015 Chrissie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio, usa, hf, downpour, alt, classics
Although I do like Steinbeck’s strong, simple style of writing, this book let me down. With this book Steinbeck is delivering a message to his readers. I do agree with the message imparted, but I dislike that it is pounded into us. It isn’t enough to draw the story of Cain and Abel in one generation of a family, but Steinbeck repeats the story in the next generation of the family too. The message becomes a rant. God blessed Cain with freewill. That is the message, and it is up to us to choose wh ...more
Kata
Jun 29, 2012 Kata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can't take it with you when you go. That's how the saying goes. Whether you do or do not believe in an afterlife it doesn't matter, I just want you to mull on something for a moment. Some religions and cultures believe you can and must have things in the after life (money, food, protection from evil spirits, etc.) If I could take objects with me when I go, books would be my singular necessity. East of Eden being a must-have to nourish my eternal soul.

East of Eden is a classic, dense in quot
...more
Apatt
Nov 08, 2015 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read The Grapes of Wrath about eight months ago, to be honest I was a little disappointed in it because I expected to like it more than I did on the basis of its reputation and because I love Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men which I read previous to that. For some reason, The Grapes of Wrath just did not resonate with me, one of those inexplicable things that can not be explained I think. East of Eden is an entirely different matter, it clicked with me all over the place and already found a place i ...more
Joe Valdez
Sep 18, 2014 Joe Valdez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pioneers, dreamers, tragedians
Shelves: fiction-general
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikos Tsentemeidis
“Ένα θαύμα, όταν εξοικειωθείς μαζί του, παύει να είναι θαύμα»

«Από κάθε λογής έδαφος μπορεί να φυτρώσουν άγιοι. Ίσως να χρησιμοποιήσει αυτά τα λεφτά για κάτι πολύ αξιέπαινο. Μια βαριά συνείδηση είναι το καλύτερο κίνητρο για τη φιλανθρωπία.»

«-Διηγήθηκες ποτέ αυτή την ιστορία στον Σαμ Χάμιλτον;
- Όχι, μα θα ‘πρεπε να την είχα διηγηθεί. Του άρεσε ν’ ακούει για το μεγαλείο της ανθρώπινης ψυχής. Κάτι τέτοια ήτανε γι αυτόν σαν ένας προσωπικός θρίαμβος.»

Το μυθιστόρημα χωρίζεται σε τέσσερα μέρη και περιγ
...more
Meghan
Aug 08, 2007 Meghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 16 years of age or older
So, I'm going to take a stab at this...before I get too busy and before I forget what I've read -- and thought. (I've already moved on to another book...;-)

Overall, I thought this was a masterful piece of work - and realized this on the first page. I've glimpsed around a little bit on the internet and know that J.S. has received some criticism for this book (along with praise, too), but I didn't look too closely because I wanted my thoughts to be my own. I definitely saw/heard some pretty laudat
...more
Sandra
Mar 15, 2015 Sandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, usa
La visione biblica del mondo di Steinbeck non è fosca e sanguinante come quella di Faulkner, è assolutamente armoniosa e pacificatrice. L’avevo capito leggendo Vicolo Cannery e Furore; ne La valle dell’Eden la definitiva conferma, a partire dal titolo.
A differenza che in Furore, in cui tema prevalente è la questione sociale, al centro de La valle dell’Eden ci sono i legami familiari ed i sentimenti che legano padri e figli, sulla falsariga di una storia che sempre si ripete, quella di Caino e Ab
...more
Diane
5* isn't enough! John Steinbeck is the master of story weaving and creator of some of the most memorable characters! And he writes in such a way that the simplest of sentences can pack so much emotion, it's amazing to me. 601 pages and I'm left wanting more.

There are characters I loved and characters I loathed, and I think that everyone who has read this book would agree. Yet even the hardest and most evil of all can reach a breaking point (view spoiler)
...more
gillian
Jul 31, 2012 gillian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i been lovin' on this book REAL hard. don't know how else to put it, really. too many different directions for praise. i adore the characters in this story, even the chillingly evil ones. and i love the short little chapters that steinbeck just shoved in every once in a while in order to assert his musings on the state of america. or writers. or war. or life. here's probably my favorite chapter in the whole book--it's one of the few random times Steinbeck writes in second person:

"You can see how
...more
Nathan Rostron
A friend recommended this book to me as Steinbeck's best, and as a somewhat reluctant Steinbeck reader in the first place (I'd read Of Mice and Men in high school), I wasn't ecstatic to begin reading it--as I did at said friend's insistence. I will admit to a certain prideful stoicism in doing so--I felt like I was doing something supposedly "good for me," like avoiding trans fat or reading Beckett. But as I read I discovered that I liked it--Steinbeck had written an expansive, multigenerational ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bookworm Bitches : October-December 2015- East of Eden 9 125 Apr 26, 2016 09:58AM  
What did you think of the book? 5 31 Apr 20, 2016 04:55PM  
Goodreads Italia: La valle dell'Eden di John Steinbeck - Commenti e discussione 53 130 Nov 30, 2015 04:31AM  
Reading the Classics: East of Eden 6 61 Aug 25, 2015 04:16PM  
Catching up on Cl...: East of Eden Discussion: Full spoilers thread 5 41 Aug 17, 2015 08:41PM  
  • Of Human Bondage
  • Arrowsmith
  • Rebecca
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop
  • The Rough Riders
  • Cry, the Beloved Country
  • Babylon Revisited and Other Stories
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • Go Down, Moses
  • The Book of Deeds of Arms and of Chivalry
  • Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction
  • The Jungle
  • The Brothers K
  • 1919 (U.S.A., #2)
  • Angle of Repose
  • All the King's Men
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
...more
More about John Steinbeck...

Share This Book



“I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.” 2860 likes
“All great and precious things are lonely.” 2586 likes
More quotes…