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The Long Valley

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,004 Ratings  ·  183 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
ebook, 272 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Penguin Books (first published 1938)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cathrine ☯
Apr 03, 2016 Cathrine ☯ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Steinbeck fans and lovers of a good short story.
I’m going to be lazy and quote Wikipedia. “The short stories were written over several years and are set in Steinbeck’s birthplace, the Salinas Valley in California [all but one]. They include the prize-winning tale The Murder [yikes!], The Chrysanthemums, the representation of lynch mob violence in The Vigilante [double yikes!!] and the classic Red Pony tales" [which was later published on its own]. I would also hi-light here the devious passive-agressive husband-gets-back-at-his-wife account
M.J. Johnson
Jan 16, 2015 M.J. Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Long Valley was published in 1938. The majority of its stories had previously appeared in various American magazines. The stories themselves, Saint Katy the Virgin being the exception - a strangely whimsical tale set in mediaeval France - are set in Steinbeck’s birthplace, the background for so much of his writing, the Salinas Valley in California. Apparently, Steinbeck demanded that Saint Katy the Virgin be included in the collection, and although I enjoyed it, I have to admit that it does ...more
Aug 07, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle

Unlike Steinbeck's other short story collection, The Pastures of Heaven, this book lacks thematic unity. First published in 1938, many of the stories in the collection had been published previously. The stories differ widely in tone and subject matter, from the rather creepy "The Snake", to the prize-winning "The Murder", to the four stories which make up "The Red Pony".

What the stories share is their Salinas Valley location, wonderfully descriptive prose, unsentimental depiction of the beauty
Henry Martin
Dec 07, 2014 Henry Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came to John Steinbeck's The Long Valley in the heels of his excellent novella, The Moon is Down. Not having read any of Steinbeck's writing for years, there was just something soothing about his prose that made me reach for another work of his. I must say that I was not disappointed.

The Long Valley is a collection of ten short stories, published in 1938. The stories are:

The Chrysanthemums
The White Quail
The Snake
The Raid
The Harness
The Vigilante
Johnny Bear
The Murder

At 186 pages
Chris Blocker
Jul 23, 2015 Chris Blocker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read about half of this collection before in various places. And I would agree that the best stories in The Long Valley are those which have been heavily anthologized. But reading them again in the context of the whole collection was surprisingly enjoyable. Here you get a wide range of Steinbeck's tone with a single theme throughout: violence.

As with all collections, some stories were weaker than others. In particular, I wasn't a fan of “The Murder,” a story which seemingly justifies the ab
Peri Kitapları
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Lucinda Elliot
Great writing - shame about the women..

I almost never give less than three star ratings, and least of all for somethihg well written, but am giving this a two-and-a-half star rating as a matter of principle, because despite my admiration for the quality of Steinbeck's writing, my impression was of a dismal current of underlying misogyny in several of the stories and a disturbing amount in 'The Murder', which seems to advocate wife beating as a method of solving marital problems.

I'd like to thin
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Steinbeck's works include several collections of short stories, some connected by a discernible narrative thread, others more traditional in organization. The Pastures of Heaven depends on a particular locale with some stories using recurring characters, others not. Tortilla Flat is really a collection of more coherent short stories using a recurring cast of characters in a particular locale rather than the usual "plot." [return][return]The Long Valley is even more loosely organized than The Pas ...more
Mar 04, 2010 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
What can I say about Steinbeck that hasn't already been said (and as eloquently stated, too)?

"He wished he could have been living in the heroic time, but he knew he was not of heroic timber. No one living now, save possibly Billy Buck, was worthy to do the things that had been done. A race of giants had lived then, fearless men, men of a staunchness unknown in this day. Jody thought of the wide plains and of the wagons moving across like centipedes. He thought of Grandfather on a huge white hors
Brian Willis
May 17, 2015 Brian Willis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of Steinbeck's best short stories in the 1930s that capitalized on the success of Tortilla Flat and Of Mice and Men, this collection reveals the psychological depth of the author. Critics of Steinbeck like to point out his traditional prose style, his supposedly realistic situations, and the melodrama of his symbols as limitations of his work. These stories belie those criticisms as profoundly mistaken myths. Stories such as "The Chrysanthemums", "The White Quail", "The Snake", "The ...more
Jun 22, 2015 Virtuella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely stories! I can't pick a favourite, they are all touching in their profound humanity.
Buck Ward
Mar 11, 2016 Buck Ward rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The Long Valley is a collection of 15 stories, the last four of which are the stories that comprise The Red Pony. Aside from The Red Pony stories, they are unconnected to one another except for their setting. The long valley is Steinbeck's Salinas Valley, the setting of all but one - Saint Katy the Virgin which happened long long ago in a country far far away. All are quintessential Steinbeck. I'm sure different readers will have different favorites.

The Snake is clearly a precursor to the writi
Carolyn Gerk
Apr 27, 2013 Carolyn Gerk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely book full of lovely stories by John Steinbeck, whose delicate grasp on words and language is nothing short of breathtaking. I'm not sure I have anything to add that hasn't yet been said before. The Long Valley is a collection of stories, some endearing, sweet and charming, others unnerving and disheartening, but all a wealth of humanity.
'A big spotted wildcat was creeping toward the spring, belly to the ground, moving like thought.'
'A gentle pain began to make itself felt in Mike's che
Poe Bird
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Sarah Sammis
Oct 16, 2007 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pc
The Long Valley completes my research for Nanowrimo and my participation in the Armchair Challenge. I am so glad I bothered to find a first edition; I loved the book and plan to hold onto it and reread it often.

With the exception of the very silly "St Katy the Virgin" about a reformed pig who can perform miracles, all of the stories take place in the Salinas Valley and in the "present day" (1930s Depression). The book also includes the well known novella, "The Red Pony" which is often times now
Jan 26, 2008 Kirk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is our next selection for Thursday, and I'm excited. I love this book so much, both for the depiction of setting and for the characterization. I have a feeling it'll go over well; the students loved both IN OUR TIME and THE OLD ORDER, and Steinbeck has many of the same characteristics. I've already expressed my feelings for "The Red Pony" here, but there's also the classic "The Chrysanthemums" (which I adore even if I can't always spell the title correctly), the underappreciated "Flight," t ...more
Apr 30, 2011 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steinbeck, John. THE LONG VALLEY. (1938). ****.
This is a collection of the author’s short stories grouped under this title. It contains thirteen stories which take place in and around the Salinas Valley. If you have ever picked up short story anthologies, you will recognize several of these pieces as being the usual suspects. The stories deal with incidents in the lives of the average farmer or rancher (with the exception of “The Snake”) and try to depict life as it was lived at the time. The m
Absolutely marvelous collection of short stories! Themes are not always easy to pinpoint, but the details and the story dynamics show the hand of a true master. He wrote this before he wrote the ‘Grapes of Wrath’, and you can even find one scene from that novel as a short story in this collection! In any case, I liked it a lot better than his ‘East of Eden’ and ‘The winter of our discontent’. Grapes of Wrath, of course, remains his masterpiece, due to the potent theme that shows what penury can ...more
Sep 12, 2009 jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shortstories, fiction
a collection of steinbeck's early stories, the long valley is considerably different than his later works, but still contains many of the elements that would make his writing so unique. these stories move at a slower pace than his novels, focusing more on the quiet rhythms of the landscape and the people that inhabit them, rather than the conflicted moralities that mark his epic tales. the stories differ quite a bit from one another, and read as if steinbeck was still exploring varying styles. s ...more
Apr 17, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Timmerman's introduction to the book almost as much as the book itself! Great perspective.
Paula Dembeck
This is a collection of twelve short stories Steinbeck wrote over several years. It was published in 1938 and includes “The Red Pony” which was also published later as a separate book. Most of these stories had originally appeared in magazines.
Although the entire collection has no single over arching theme, it does focus on the people and lives of those living in the Salinas Valley in California where Steinbeck was born, and the tales were inspired by his childhood home and its surroundings. On
Jul 09, 2014 Clark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of Steinbeck at this point and this collection of short stories feels like an outlier in the oeuvre. The characters feel darker and less resilient than his normal fare with mixed results. Some of the stories read like juvenilia: the themes that would be treated with more care and depth later are present here, but wooden and mismanaged. On the other hand, there are some real shining lights in the collection as well. "The White Quail" is a beautiful portrait of a marriage and an in ...more
Bill S.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 07, 2014 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific Steinbeck book of stories and a novelette (the Red Pony) about country life in the Salinas Valley in the 1930's and 40's. It begins with the a much-anthologized story, The Chysanthemums, which focused on a 35-year old wife of a valley farmer who had a lot of spirit, probably too much to be swallowed up in farm work. A great story was The White Quail, about a woman who was personified by her garden. Other great stories were The Breakfast, a “scene” piece about a non-descript guy having b ...more
I struggled with how to rate this because objectively, it's a Steinbeck book and so the writing is excellent, the topics are interesting (and often bizarre, see "Saint Katy the Virgin"), and the themes are deep and important and always impressive given the time period and the man himself. However, I was disappointed because I've read many of Steinbeck's works so far this year and there wasn't anything in this to set it apart from the rest. I think as a short story collection The Pastures of Heav ...more
Robert Hobkirk
Aug 30, 2015 Robert Hobkirk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With Steinbeck you don't know if you're going to get the "feel good" Steinbeck as in Cannery Row or the downer Steinbeck as in Long Valley. No, the short stories in Long Valley didn't pick up my spirits, but they were skillfully written. Some of these stories were worked into novels.

Usually a writer will put the best story in the beginning as a hook to get the reader to try the book. Hard to say which story I liked the best. Certainly "Chrysanthemums" was one of the best. Reading other reviewer
Karsten Vestergaard
En samling noveller der udspiller sig i omkring Steinbecks hjemstavn, Salinas-dalen i Californien.

Steinbeck skriver alt for godt til at jeg kan få mig selv til at kalde novellerne for bedagede - hvilket jeg jo så alligevel lidt gør - men de er bare skrevet på en måde, som er grundlæggende anderledes end nutidige bøger, der ofte er meget fikserede på individ og intimsfæren

Steinbeck fremmaner svundne tider og livsformer, og selvom det sker usentimentalt, så er tonen også skæbnesvanger og højstemt
Mar 09, 2016 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm surprised that there aren't more reviews that mention how dark many of the stories in this collection are. Overall, I would recommend this collection for those who are already fans of Steinbeck and of the short story form. This probably isn't the book to recommend for those who have little familiarity with Steinbeck's other, more well-known work. Written around the same time as Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat, this collection lacks the lightheartedness that permeates those books. Instead, ther ...more
Jul 15, 2011 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In the end as long as there are no women in the stories I think that Steinbeck may be an astute observer of his time. However if there is a woman in the story then all of his misogyny comes pouring out. Even Hemingway loved women more than Steinbeck did.
Elizabeth Birak
May 15, 2014 Elizabeth Birak rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing, in typical Steinbeck fashion, was beautiful. The constant narrative against women was tiresome.
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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 about John Steinbeck...

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