In the Shadow of the Cypress
In 1906, the Chinese in California lived in the shadows. Their alien customs, traditions, and language ...more
So, I started nibbling at the beginning of the book. Then I started to chew, and I found that the story was so interesting and engaging to me that I couldn't he ...more
This was another interesting story where Thomas Steinbeck combines history and suspense with creativity that gives vivid realism to California’s wealthy legacy. This is well written story and the characters were too developed and as a reader I found them predictable because of their history/culture of their traditional personality traits. After reading for years most readers assume what a person will do in a situation because of their cust ...more
It's hard to write through a minefield, and the author deserves thanks for trying, but I'm afraid he ran afoul of the mines in the process.
The underlying story is about a Chinese fishing village in Monterey which was burned down, probably by local white residents or thugs hired by a railroad that wanted the land. The author is clearly sympa ...more
I borrowed this book from my Public Library, with hopes (encouraged by the jacket flap info) of having an interesting story and presentation.
I was disappointed.
The story is in two parts, with the historical segment of finding artifacts near the Pacific Grove Chinese community in 1906. The interest, consternation and subsequent handling of the items covers the first half of the book. Then is the contemporary story of Charles (Luke) Lucas who stumbles upon some of the 1906 information and begins h...more
I promised myself I wouldn't mention John Steinbeck in this review. The work of Thomas Steinbeck should stand on its own; even mentioning that he is his father's son seems unnecessary and insulting to the work of Thomas. Well, I lied.
It's hard not to think of John when Thomas' char ...more
His tale begins with the recovery of ancient Chinese artifacts accidently unearthed in the vicinity of Monterey Bay, California circa 1906. This discovery provides the foundation for this illuminating chronicle that not only tells of the lives of Chinese immigrants ...more
If there is one thing I can say about Mr. Steinbeck’s writing, it’s that he really does seem to have a way of instilling life into this book. It’s easy to get bogged down in a complicated stor ...more
Steinbeck the younger presents a tale that starts in Monterey's Chinatown in 1906. Dr. Charles Gilbert, of the Hopkins Marine Station, writes a journal about some artifacts found buried at the base of a cypress: a carved jade seal with an imperial "chop" and a navigational tablet -- items which may just prove that the Chinese explored the West Coast before the Spanish. His ...more
Although the basic premise of the story is interesting, it was Thomas Steinbeck's writing that made this a bit of a slog. A mystery story devoid of conflict and with minimal suspense isn't exactly an edge-of-your seat read. To make it worse, the younger Steinbeck, unlike his father, does not draw the reader into the lives of his characters. In fact, the characters are barely al ...more
In the last third of the book, I was trying to figure out why the pacing seemed so strange. The plot was moving along, the events were interesting, but it still felt like nothing was happening. I then realized that we were straightforwardly moving towards the resolution of the puzzle, and no one was trying to keep this from happening!
I'm not sure that this is good or bad. It makes for a very intellectual plot, and there is no "thriller" aspect to ...more
As a Californian who enjoys visiting the Monterey Peninsula Area it was great to heard about areas I have visited, and the possibilty that an ancient fleet from China could have explored this area in the 1400s and planted the famous Cypress.
This book by Thomas Steinbeck tells a fictious story about the finding of a tablet and offical jade seal in 1906 that wa ...more
In the Shadow of the Cypress by Thomas Steinbeck is a unique story told primarily through the journal entries of Dr. Charles H. Gilbert beginning with the China Point fire of 1906. China Point was a fishing village and will prove later in the novel to be a pivotal point of mystery and intrigue. Before that point the reader is taken back to when Dr. Gilbert first became acquainted with and hired, William "Red Billy" O'Flynn to work one day a week at Hopkins Laboratory. Dr. Gilbert ...more
The plot also attracted me. A scientific treasure hunt which could overturn centuries of smug certainty and reveal great historical mysteries. This was the promise.
Steinbeck tells his story in three voices. First we have the viewpoint of the scientist, Dr. Charles Gilbert who accidently stumbles onto the secr ...more
When I started In the Shadow of the Cypress I soon realized where it was headed. The book is two parts. The ...more
This book is a multigenerational saga of mysterious treasures and information. It reads like a journal in some spots and more like fact than fiction.
My initial reaction to the book wasn’t overly positive. It seemed somewhat dry and boring. The style was almost contrary to excitement. The story turned out to be interesting and thought provoking. I’m fond of history so I ended up enjoying the story as it read like history. It is speculative fiction ...more
The storyline was very interesting with a wonderful historical background rich in Chinese culture. I enjoyed the description of the fishing experience, and could almost smell and taste the food. ...more
On the other hand, if Thomas Steinbeck does write the novel dealing with the origins of the Olmec heads that he playfully mentions in his a ...more
The writing is good and I liked that ...more