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

The Pearl

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  106,384 ratings  ·  4,013 reviews
Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull's egg, as "perfect as the moon." With the pearl come ...more
Paperback, Centennial Edition, 87 pages
Published January 8th 2002 by Penguin Books (first published 1945)
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 The Pearl, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Yasemin heaps of imagery and an impressive plethora of new words. it's a short read, and the message/moral is quite clear. it'd be good for them, i think.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeTwilight by Stephenie MeyerPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Best Books Ever
415th out of 35,144 books — 135,241 voters
Twilight by Stephenie MeyerBreaking Dawn by Stephenie MeyerNew Moon by Stephenie MeyerEclipse by Stephenie MeyerMiles to Go by Miley Cyrus
The Worst Books of All Time
56th out of 5,755 books — 16,268 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Aug 18, 2014 sckenda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who dream of winning the lottery
Recommended to sckenda by: My Sister Angie
Kino listens to music that nobody else can hear. Music descends upon this impoverished pearl diver from the ancestral voices inside his head. His people had once been great makers of song so that everything they ever thought or did or heard became a song, and Kino hears this “Song of the Family.”

Kino enjoys his contented life of meek expectation along the Gulf coast of Baja Sur California, Mexico. “It is good not to want a thing too much,” he says, so he rejoices in the small pleasures of life:
Nov 27, 2014 Dolors rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Seekers of pearls of wisdom instead of riches
Recommended to Dolors by: A bookseller in Monterey
Shelves: read-in-2014
“They had made songs to the fishes, to the sea in anger and to the sea in calm, to the light and the dark and the sun and the moon, and the songs were all in Kino and in his people – every song that had ever been made, even the ones forgotten.”

Can you hear it?
A melody shrouded in ancestral mystery can be heard amidst the roaring waves lapping at the shores of this pulsating narration. Summoning songs of despair and songs of hope, soothing lullabies and wrathful incantations, this folkloric tale
goodreads david writes this: I'm convinced that the general besmirchers of Steinbeck are fucktards, asswads, and vibrating pustules.

it's nice as a reader (bad, i guess, as a reviewer) when a writer achieves can-do-no-wrong status. reading steinbeck i feel less distance between the writer -> his words -> myself than with nearly any other writer. his prose stylings can't touch his contemporaries, his structure and pacing can be sloppy, he's sentimental, preachy, overly didactic, and his them
Nilesh Kashyap
It was a big mistake I made 3 days ago, I was going to start 'Charlotte's Web' but instead I started 'The Pearl' thinking it was written before ‘Of Mice and Men’ and on just finishing I found it was written much later. All I remember is my decision to read books in sequence they were published. Anyway it can’t be undone.

The Review:

“In the town they tell the story of the great pearl” how it was found and how it was lost again. They tell of Kino, the fisherman, and of his wife, Juana, and of the
Overall, it's just not very good. I keep debating whether I should rate it one star or two, but ultimately the Goodreads definition of the two-star rating, "it was ok," pushes me over the edge. It wasn't ok; nothing about this was ok.

The writing style is bad, though I haven't read enough Steinbeck to know whether his stilted, awkward prose is just an affectation for this work (in an insulting attempt to illustrate that his main characters are poorly educated), or whether he is just always like t
Poor pearl diver in South America finds giant-ass pearl, decides to sell it and use the money to buy medicine for his baby, who just got bitten by a scorpion. The mierda hits the fan, people die, everything generally goes to hell in a handbasket, and it all happens in about the space of time it took you to read this review.

Verdict: meh.

Read for: 10th grade English
Auntie J
***Review available by request for those on my Friends list***

A jewel of a novella, short, suspenseful and moving, The Pearl is the re-telling of a Mexican folk tale. It's the story of Kino, a poor pearl diver, who finds an enormous pearl. He sees it as the path to dignity for his family and an education for his son, but it brings tragedy instead. Essentially a parable, a central message of the work is to be careful what you wish for. The message is obvious from the text and there's nothing subtle about the way in which it's presented. On the other hand, S
A sad tale of a happy, young family whose discovery of a pearl of great wealth brings only death and misery.

A fisherman, Kino, discovers a large pearl while harvesting oysters with his wife. Believing they are now rich, the fisherman formulates plans that will allow him and his family to live a better life. The plans are modest and include sending their baby son to school, formally marrying his wife in a church, and buying a rifle.

The Plot
A young fisherman discovers a large pearl. Believing the
3.5 Stars

First off, I would have given this novella four stars if the introduction written by Linda Wagner-Martin hadn't completely spoiled the story for me. The whole plot of the book is given away in the introduction. So my advice to anyone that also as this edition of this book: Skip the intro and read the novella first!

I thought the Pearl was a wonderful little story and John Steinbeck is an absolutely amazing writer. He is one of my favourite authors. Steinbeck's stories are poignant and f
Jason Koivu
With details as stark as the landscape and morals nearly as plain, The Pearl fits into the fable-esque style of tales such as The Good Earth. I read this in school and then many years later as an adult, and I still really enjoy it. Something about the stubborn will of the main character appeals and repulses. You could say the theme of pushing that fine line between simply providing for one's family and out-and-out greed is even more prevalent in America over the last few decades than when The Pe ...more
So, John Steinbeck and his editor walk into a bar. . . (disclaimer: I'm making this up) and John's editor says, "John, it's so bor-ing being your editor. I mean, you've written the Great American novel, you've won the Pulitzer, you've fought for the poor man, you've made your fiction read like non-fiction and your non-fiction read like fiction."

John lights a smoke, takes a slug of beer, grunts. Reports from the war hum from a radio at the bar and his editor finds the courage to continue.

Be careful what you wish for... This seems to be the biggest lesson to be learnt from this parable. This is the second time I read this short novel. The first time being in highschool. The story was not bad but it was too descriptive for my taste which made progress too slow. Three stars for sentimental value.
Não precisei de submergir nas profundezas do oceano para aceder à obra A Pérola . Ainda não existem bibliotecas debaixo de água salgada. Se assim fosse, pobres e infelizes criaturas marinhas que teriam de relacionar-se com a babugem que sobeja na terra. (sejamos caridosos…)

A Pérola é um livro que, mal manuseado, pode provocar interpretações subversivas e erradas.
Se algum dia virem alguém a usar uma pérola como adorno, espanquem-na e acusem-na de fomentadora de objectos corruptos. Patranh
Jul 31, 2007 Darren rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This is a very powerful book that's mostly about deceptive treasures - finding certain things that are out of reach to be of utmost importance, or getting to excited about material goods. I really liked how this book shows us that family and our own ways of life are to be appreciated and maintained for their sake, that we shouldn't cast aside the way we want to do things and pursue earthly treasures or the ways that others (in this book, the white folks) do things. Kinda like a story about pulli ...more
It surprises me that almost everyone on my GR friends list who has rated this book gave it three stars or less. Is this because you all were forced to read it in junior high? I don't recall being assigned this book in school, but back then I probably would have not read it and just faked my way through the test. The books that I do remember reading in school such as Flowers for Algernon, The Outsiders, and The Late Great Me (teenaged boozers get the Reefer Madness treatment) are remembered throu ...more
This short, but powerful Steinbeck novella is packed with emotion and many topics for a great bookclub discussion. Greed, violence, and evildoers progress along to a (view spoiler)
Roya Shaban
Jan 10, 2015 Roya Shaban rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Roya by: Anas Almansuri
Shelves: e-books, read-in-2015

أول قراتي لجون شتاينيك ، الذي لا أزال اجد صعوبه في نطق اسمه -


مند فترة طويلة قُمت بشراء بعض من روايته و كُنت متحمسه ، لكن حماسي أطفئ بسبب شعوري بالملل في كل محاول للقراءة ، كما حدث مع محاولتي لقراءة اعمال همغواي
و كانت اول محاول لي هي لرواية تحمل عنوان " عندما فقدنا الرضا " من مجموعه ترجمات مكتبه نوبل
اعتقدتُ ، انه لن تكون لي عودة لقراءة اعماله ، و لكن

أظنّ أن العيب هو انِي لم اتقبل اعماله مترجمة للعربيـة
و حين فتحت هذه الروايـة القصيرة ، و التي ربما لو قراءتها مترجمة لكُنت توقفت و رميتها
Trying to add a bit of fiber to my reading diet, too much teen romance may rot my teeth. I found this one sweet enough to be suspect though.

It has that sad whimsy that says John Steinbeck to me and it's a fast read that's probably good for you. In some ways the pearl that Kino finds reminded me of Frodo's ring. Even down to the fugitives hiding from a dark rider!

Mexico has had a sad history and not all of that sorrow has yet been exorcised. This story gives a flavor of that. It's by turns fanci

life sucks. no matter how hard you try to be good, how much you want to better the lives of your children or for that matter, let’s just throw in society, no matter how much you love… someone is there to just screw you over because people are vile, sinful, destructive and are usually bad drivers to boot.

so, just give it up now. you think you came into a lucky break? Naww… that’s just crap throwing you the proverbial bone. little did you know the bone was from a baby lamb. watch another reality
7th grade me hated this book, and it would be about 15 years before the trauma of this book and the terrible method it was taught finally lifted enough for me to read another Steinbeck novel. Bad English teachers shouldn't be allowed to teach.
Rakhi Dalal
I really wanted to like the work but just couldn't. The narration is simple, clear and beautiful and Kino's determination to grab the only chance given to him is the element which, to a point hold interest in the book, but apart from that there isn't much to remember it for.

It was my first Steinbeck and I felt disappointed. I do hope there will be much to explore in his more famous works.
Brian Robbins
This is a beautifully crafted little book. If it was not so corny I would label it a little gem. As it is horribly corny, I won’t. Good Lord! Where did "corny" pop up from? - a flashback to childhood.)

In his introduction, Steinbeck suggests that it may be read as a parable. I found it very difficult not to read it as a kind of photographic negative of Matthew 13:45. Kino, having found his pearl of great price, sacrifices all he has for it. What he “gains” however, is no kingdom of heaven, only
مروارید آوازی دیگر دارد
آواز نوین از وحشیتی کهن
که زیر تفنگ و زور سپید پوستان اسپانیولی خفه شده
در لاپاز مکزیک ساکنان بومی زندگی فقیرانه ای را تجربه میکنند
و ترس قرن هاست که بومی ها را از فریاد کشیدن در مقابل ظلم این متجاوزان فلج کرده
بخاطر طلا و مروارید که سپید پوستان چه جنایت ها انجام نداده بودن
ولی این بار مروارید نمیاد خوشبختی ببار بیاورد
آمده است تا توهینی که به او شده و قیمت بررویش گذاشته اند را تلافی کند
مرواریدی بزرگ در دست کینو یک بومی فقیر می افتد
برای اولین بار در برابر همه سپید پوستا یک بومی

بعثرتني .. و ما زلت أعجز عن أن ألملم شتات نفسي !

كيف لرواية بهذا العدد الصغير من الصفحات أن تكون بهذا العمق ؟
كيف تستطيع أن تتغلغل في النفس إلي هذا الحد ؟

إنها تكشف عن الكثير من خبايا النفس الإنسانية
تجعلك تتساءل .. كيف .. و لمَ .. و أين ؟

تقرُّ بأننا جميعا - من أبسطنا شأنا إلي أعظمنا - قادرون علي الحلم .. كلنا لدينا هذا البريق اللامع في العينين إذا ما تحدثنا عن أحلامنا و بدت لنا قريبة المنال .

تكشف أيضا إلي أي مدي يمكن أن يصل الإنسان ليدافع عن حلمه , و أيّ حلم !!

كينو الرجل الففير المعدَم كان يحلم
Mar 04, 2011 jzhunagev rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jzhunagev by: Second Year High School Required Reading in Ms Concepcion's English Class
Of Hope and Disillusionment
A Book Review of John Steinbeck’s The Pearl

Although February is a few days over, I’m still on the last stretch of reading John Steinbeck’s works, the previous month’s featured Author of the Month. As a finale I’m walking down memory lane as I chose to reread the one and only high school required book reading which I’ve come to love over the years and is at the top of the books I definitely call Dark Chest of Wonders: The Pearl.

John Steinbeck’s novella first appeared in
As I started reading The Pearl, enjoying the beautiful descriptions of an early morning through Kino’s eyes, lulled and mesmerized, all of a sudden something unexpected slapped me awake from my reveries. Oh, my, that was unexpected! And from that point I was hooked on The Pearl.

The Pearl is based on a Mexican folk tale. John Steinbeck had heard the folk tale while visiting La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, and was inspired to write this novella. This is very simply written, but the message is
I just finished reading this while coming down from our vacation in California, where my daughter and I visited the John Steinbeck Museum in Salinas. She is 10 years old and read it on the long car trip back home, and I read it shortly thereafter so we could discuss it. "The Pearl" is a beautifully written and heartbreaking little book with a powerful message--to live in the moment and appreciate the blessings in our lives, no matter how small they might be. It takes many people their whole live ...more
This was a bookclub read and a very small book one that can be read in one sitting, This is one of those books that when you read it you think ok that was a nice story and then when you discuss it you realise there is so much to this book, I enjoyed this story and I like the lessons that it conveys.
"And, as with all retold tales that are in people's hearts, there are only good things and bad things and black and white things and no in-between things anywhere."
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: The Pearl by John Steinbeck 2 8 Jan 22, 2015 10:36AM  
  • The Book of Deeds of Arms and of Chivalry
  • The Young Man's Guide
  • Essential Manners for Men: What to Do, When to Do It, and Why
  • Strenuous Life
  • Seek: Reports from the Edges of America and Beyond
  • The Crisis
  • Boy Scout Handbook
  • The Frontier in American History
  • American Boys Handy Book
  • The Stone Leopard
  • The Survivors of the Chancellor
  • A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
  • The Light in the Forest
  • Men Without Women
  • Self-Reliance
  • Lancelot
  • Green Mansions
  • The Coalwood Way: A Memoir
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 about John Steinbeck...
Of Mice and Men The Grapes of Wrath East of Eden Cannery Row Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Share This Book

13 trivia questions
3 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“For it is said that humans are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more. And this is said in disparagement, whereas it is one of the greatest talents the species has and one that has made it superior to animals that are satisfied with what they have.” 88 likes
“Luck, you see, brings bitter friends.” 35 likes
More quotes…