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Cup of Gold

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  1,947 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
A STANDOUT in the Steinbeck canon, Cup of Gold: A Life of Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer, with Occasional Reference to History is edgy and adventurous, brash and distrustful of society, and sure to add a new dimension to the common perception of this all-American writer. Steinbeck’s first novel and sole work of historical fiction contains themes that resonate throughout the a ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published 1929)
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Aug 24, 2015 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle

To me there's something appealing about the idea of reading a writer's novels in chronological order. Apart from having the opportunity to observe a development in literary skills, it feels like a properly organised thing to do. So for quite a while I regretted that I didn't do just that when I embarked on reading the works of John Steinbeck. I no longer feel that way. If this, Steinbeck's first novel, had been my introduction to his work, there's at least a chance I would have gone no further.
فهد الفهد
كأس من ذهب

أول رواية كتبها شتاينبك، وهي روايته التاريخية الوحيدة، كما أن أسلوب الرواية مختلف عن أسلوب شتاينبك الذي طوره في الروايات التالية، تتناول الرواية قصة القرصان البريطاني هنري مورجان والذي جاء من بيئة فقيرة واستطاع بناء إمبراطورية خاصة به من السطو والاحتلال للمستوطنات الإسبانية، إنها قصة البحث الدائم عن شيء ما، الشهرة والثروة والمرأة، ولكن في كل مرة يصل الإنسان إلى ما يريده يكتشف أنه ليس كما تخيله، وأنه متروك لجوعه القديم.
Sarah Anne
First, the woman who wrote the introduction should be hanged for treason. "Thoroughly masculine and should find much favor with those male readers who delight in bloody tales of piracy and rebellion." Male readers? Hello! I quite enjoy a little bit of bloodthirsty swashbuckling and I ain't male.

And I obviously really enjoyed this story :) It was really very fun and I loved seeing Morgan's character evolve all the way from pitiful on up. He was a fascinating character. Although not particularly c
To be a fair critic of this book, you'd need to not know who the author was before you started the book. As a first book, it doesn't deserve to carry the literary stigma of The Grapes of Wrath or Of Mice and Men. And it is a stigma, because any reader who has read those books will go looking for at least the seed of what was to become some of the greatest writing of the 20th century, and if it's a readers first Steinbeck, they're going to be expecting to see what is so great about his work. Unfo ...more
Sep 14, 2014 Anastasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2012

Questo è Henry Morgan secondo un'incisione del XVIII.


Questo è Henry Morgan secondo Il cigno nero di Henry King.
(troppi Henry!)


Questo è Henry Morgan secondo Morgan, the pirate di André De Toth.

E insomma, ce ne sono tanti altri, questa qui non è una rappresentazione visiva di tutti i Morgan del piccolo e grande schermo. Sembra che da tutte e tre le immagini traspaia un Morgan forzuto - vorrei ben vedere, fare il pirata è una bella attività motoria -, barbuto come di regola e robusto.
Del suo car
Apr 25, 2016 BrokenTune rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Cup of Gold had all the elements that promised an enjoyable read for me: Steinbeck, pirates, historical fiction.

And, yet, I was so bored.

Apparently, this is Steinbeck's first novel. Knowing this, I can forgive the book some of the tediousness and lack of message, but still, knowing what Steinbeck is capable of creating in his later books makes it difficult to like this book any better.
Jun 06, 2012 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Steinbeck fans
Shelves: fiction, 2012-reads
Having left port with the completion of Cup of Gold, my friend, Mikki, and I have embarked on a reading voyage that paddles through all books Steinbeck chronologically plus a few stow-away biographies.

Cup of Gold launched Steinbeck's literary career and has the distinction of being his only historical novel. From a Steinbeck fan POV, this book fascinated me. The flashes of Steinbeck phrase-ology peeked through like the sun on a mostly overcast day in the first and last chapters, while the middle

Steinbeck Year 2016 Book 1

Cup of Gold was an awkward book. Trying to combine the history of captain Morgan with the Holy Grail was a funny idea. But you can still see something of what is to follow in this little novel.
“He has come to be the great man he thought he wanted to be. If this is true, then he is not a man. He is still a little boy and wants the moon.”

“Why do men like me want sons?" he wondered. "It must be because they hope in their poor beaten so
Oct 31, 2012 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Steinbeck's take on the pirate tale is an interesting departure from the traditional adventure story; there is substance here beyond the usual swashbuckling and plundering typical of many other titles in the genre. Instead Steinbeck has chosen to depict the familiar themes of youth and belonging through the experiences of a young Henry Morgan coming to terms with his ambitions and desires. Morgan's youth is spent as an indentured servant on a plantation in the Caribbean, where he spends his days ...more
Ahmed Tohami
سيمفونية التعب
بقلم :أحمد التهامي
(قراءة في رواية كأس من ذهب)
لجون شتاينباك

كنت فيما سبقت قد كتبت نقدا لبداية رواية كأس من ذهب شتاينباك اقارن فيه بين الخمسة وسبعين صفحة الاولى منها وعدة روايات اخر لشتاينباك واليوم اواصل الكلام حول بقية الرواية منتقدا ومستمتعا في ان!.وقد كان المثل السئ في تلك المقاربة هو هذه الخمسة وسبعين صفحة التي سوف اقترح عليكم كيفية التعامل معها لاحقا.
1. ان العلاقة بين هذه الخمسة وسبعين صفحة الاولى وبقية الرواية ليست وثيقة ؛ فهذه الصفحات الطوال مجرد سرحان طويل في تاريخ الفتى الذي
Feb 25, 2012 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books
Cup of Gold is a wonderful first novel that sets up a lot of Steinbeck's techniques and tropes to come--from the historical summary that precedes each chapter (done much more masterfully in Grapes of Wrath) to the strong but problematic female characters (Curly's wife is a more realized combination of Paulette, the prostitute and slave who loves Henry Morgan and Ysobel, the most beautiful woman in Panama who spurs Morgan's quest to capture the Cup of Gold). While the descriptive parts are well d ...more
Apr 11, 2010 Suzy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm on a "complete Steinbeck" quest , and, in my inimitable OCD style, have started to read those I have missed beginning with his first book. Being a historical novel about British pirate Henry Morgan, it of course lacked the quintessential Steinbeck California setting, which is half the draw for me. But, his psychological insights and interest, plus his lyrical style were already there, for sure. Because of that, I was able to keep reading a book I would not otherwise be interested in, but I f ...more
Jeffrey Bumiller
I'm glad I'm not much of a rum drinker because I've lost my taste for all things Captain Morgan after reading this, Steinbeck's first novel.

How does a human being have their first attempt at writing a novel be this good?

The writing is fantastic, and the portrait of Captain Henry Morgan as a brutal and ruthless pirate is incredibly believable.

I will never again be able to see a bottle of Captain Morgan Rum without thinking of the sacking of Panama(The Cup of Gold) and Morgan's obtuse lust for t
Jul 13, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A truly bad book; however, it's Steinbeck. His first. Ever. A commercial failure. But SO GLAD it eventually was published. Then once he gained fame (with Tortilla Flat), it was republished. One enjoys the stirring setting description that is present throughout Steinbeck's fiction. Several themes emerge here that we'll see throughout his work. The phalanx (group man) concept is just developing. The motherland as a source of life echoes in a great deal of his future work, and Henry's quest for the ...more
Txe Polon
Interesante y sugerente novelización de la vida del bucanero Henry Morgan, en la que se combinan gratamente la aventura y la introspección psicológica, de manera que esta primera novela de Steinbeck se convierte en una atípica novela centrada en la psique del protagonista que se lee como una novela de aventuras. Sin embargo, la envergadura y la ambición de la obra dista de la de otras novelas del autor.
Terri Lynn
I am a huge Steinbeck fan and have been for ages but this one disappointed me terribly. I didn't hate it but I felt that this-Steinbeck's very first novel-wasn't great in any aspect! Fortunately, after this first highly forgettable novel, Steinbeck improved his writing and became a superstar of literary classics that we came to know and love.
Dec 26, 2008 Charles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I wanted to like this one more than I did. I didn't think it was his strongest.

I have an older edition of this, from Bantam.
Apr 30, 2016 Jana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Zjavná prvotina, ale celkom osviežujúca ( o pirátoch) a historicky zaujímavá, doplňujúca dejiny častí sveta, o ktorých málokto u nás vie niečo podrobnejšie.
Rami Khrais
Jan 10, 2013 Rami Khrais rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
حاجة كلاسيك من روايات البطولة والمغامرة والقراصنة وبسيطة بشكل لطيف .. برضو الواحد محتاج بين الفترة والتانية يهرب من الرواية الممتلئة بالأسئلة الوجودية والنقاش الفلسفي
James F
Nov 26, 2016 James F rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was Steinbeck's first novel. It is a historical adventure romance about the pirate Henry Morgan. It's the kind of novel that becomes a best-seller (although this one didn't) and then is forgotten and goes out of print after fifteen or twenty years (as I'm sure this would have if it weren't by Steinbeck). There is a certain style in the writing, but the book is nothing out of the ordinary; the dialogue, whether spoken by Welsh peasants, pirates or whatever other character it may be all sound ...more
Jo Lisa
I can't even BEGIN to say enough about this book! It starts wonderfully, lags a bit, then finishes with Steinbeck awesomeness!! Henry Morgan is probably the most famous English pirate to ever sail! It would be fair to say that the romanticizing of pirates in movies and stories also came partially from the story of his life. In Cup of Gold, Steinbeck takes that life and turns it into a tale that captivates..The story of young Henry feeling the call of the sea; the joining of himself to other pira ...more
It's hard to know how to rate this book, because it is so very good but it isn't at all satisfying. It's not the sort of book that leaves me loving the story, or the characters, or the setting. It is much more interesting than that. This book is an introspective look at the parts of our human motivation that we might rather not have to look at. The writing is both beautiful and true, however unsettling those truths are. I loved it.

PS - absolutely do not read the introduction before reading the s
Laura Schrillo
Jan 18, 2017 Laura Schrillo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this story. Originally, I thought this was the story of Henry Morgan becoming a pirate and growing from a boy to a man. Later, as is pointed out by the sage, we realize it is the story of a boy trying to fight growing up. He is driven by fear. First of the ordinary and then of love. The writing is amazing of course and so descriptive. It is easy to see how this could be mistaken for more of a non fiction book. Good start to the year of Steinbeck.
Jan 11, 2017 Marlene rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Although John Steinbeck produced some very memorable works; this was not one of them. Long and drawn out, this very lightly factual account of Henry Morgan was extremely dry. I was hoping for a more detailed account of his actual buccaneering days but Steinbeck glossed over those entire years in one paragraph. I was painfully reminded of those long boring literature assignments in high school where I was forced to read Steinbeck and he extremely verbose dialog. I also remembered why I don't read ...more
Dec 08, 2016 Mr. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As Steinbeck's first novel, this is a really uneven work. At times it is shows flashes of the Steinbeck to come later. Unfortunately there are also times where he seems to be doing his impression of other writers, with dense, flowerly language. The plot meanders at times. The apex of the book seemed to be the Panama episode, but the story then carries on for dozens of pages, all of it feeling unimportant and cursory. I found the ending to be largely out of character with the rest of the story. Y ...more
Maria Jo
Jan 16, 2017 Maria Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was a good story of a country boy becoming the greatest and most feared buccaneer in the world. However, the story moved very fast for me, and I was a little disappointed that (view spoiler)
2.5 Stars
Wilfred Goodwin
Dec 03, 2016 Wilfred Goodwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good story.
Sep 28, 2016 Ties rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't expect the world and it was a fine book. Apparently his first and it shows. It is sometimes confusing or just uninteresting, something I've never experienced with a Steinbeck book before. I did enjoy reading it though.
Feb 13, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because Cup of Gold was Steinbeck's first publication and his only historical fiction, I read this book as if it were my first Steinbeck. History and even historical fiction interests me to begin with; early Morgan settlers from Wales to America are in my family tree. There is a belief that Henry Morgan, the pirate, is a distant relative.

I found the book to be interesting. Plot and transitions moved quickly. Dialogue, the early Welsh voice in particular, was realistic and brought the characters
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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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“In all the mad incongruity, the turgid stultiloquy of life, I felt, at least, securely anchored to myself. Whatever the vacillations of other people, I thought myself terrifically constant. But now, here I am, dragging a frayed line, and my anchor gone.” 5 likes
“Why do men like me want sons?" he wondered. "It must be because they hope in their poor beaten souls that these new men, who are their blood, will do the things they were not strong enough nor wise enough nor brave enough to do. It is rather like another chance at life; like a new bag of coins at a table of luck after your fortune is gone.” 5 likes
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