**spoiler alert** I'm not sure how to write this one up. Ever since I picked up Steinbeck I've been an ardetn admirer, which may not come as such as a...more**spoiler alert** I'm not sure how to write this one up. Ever since I picked up Steinbeck I've been an ardetn admirer, which may not come as such as a surprise for those in the know since I started with The Red Pony.
But something about this book worried me. I've had the feeling before that Steinbeck has issues, mainly women issues, particularly about his mother, and I'm certain of it now. This is definitely early work; it reads so differently from later works. I loved some of the stories, others I've dimissed. What caught me first was the nature of the women in The Chrysanthemums and The White Quail=, both women being represented by the story titles. There's something about the first one's urge to escape, and the second's isolation. The Murder was the most worrying. The husband spends his nights out at what I assume are whore houses (something Steinbeck knows a lot about, 3 marriage a coincidence?) but shoots the man he finds in bed with his wife. He cheats, but she can't? He's let off witht he murder without incident, and then whips her into submission and has her like a happy lap dog for it. Something's DEFINITELY wrong there.
In The Harness, the wife is just that to her husband, and his way of enjoying freedom is self destuction through whoring, drinking, and even for the sake of a sweet smell and beautiful sight of sweet pea crops, he's gambling for everything he's got.
Saint Katy the Pig I can't make out. So far as I can tell, Steinbeck isn't a joker by nature, so I'm guessing this actually quite a mean story meant to mock religion. Written by anyone of a sweeter nature, it could be taken lightly, but written by him it seems cruel.
So far as I can tell, Steinbeck doesn't like women. They're controlling, mean, trapped, cold, withdrawn or nasty cheating wives. But the good ones (thinking of Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday, and even of The Murder)are the whores, who're the salt of the earth. That's very telling. What fascinates me about Steinbeck is that I've never seen an author so screwed up write himself like an open book; he's totally unaware that he's screwed up, or else he'd probably be trying to justify it or cover it up like most authors today. And such a Beatnik! It's confusing because he seems to think he's very modern but a lot of what he does is very backwards, very redneck.
I'm quitting before I write a complete bio on him :P(less)
I’m sitting here trying to think of the best way to describe the reasons why I like John Steinbeck. I can’t put my finger on it; maybe if I was a bett...moreI’m sitting here trying to think of the best way to describe the reasons why I like John Steinbeck. I can’t put my finger on it; maybe if I was a better writer I could do him justice.
There’s a kind of atmosphere that Steinbeck creates, perhaps you can only know that atmosphere if you’ve lived in the country somewhere in the states. Maybe for that reason I can notice his attention to detail with some clarity, it feels real to me. What amazes me is that he takes the ordinary and mundane acts of farm life and transforms it into something nostalgic, a reminder that life like that is becoming a relic in our time. His characters are gritty, hard. They seem lost with no more land to push westwards, and whatever life holds is always somewhere just beyond those mountains.
Personally, I think The Red Pony is better than Of Mice and Men. This is going on my favourites list. (less)
All I can say is WOW. I didn't know Jane had it in her!
She's got a scorching sense of humor like nothing I've ever read from her before. I disagree w...moreAll I can say is WOW. I didn't know Jane had it in her!
She's got a scorching sense of humor like nothing I've ever read from her before. I disagree with the editors on half of everything they say though; my biggeset argument is their insistance that Jane subdued her novels from this style of writing to please the audiences of the 19th century. I think if anything Jane just plain grew up, and her writing was bound to mature along with her. She also intended her work to be published and therefor took it more seriously, unlike these notebooks with give a wonderful insight into her working heart and mind.
It's incredibly touching to read the dedications, and feel the real warmth she had for her family, especially her sister Cassandra. There is so much effort put into these notebooks that I feel completely inadequate to describe them; a must read for anyone who loves Jane.(less)
Sacrilegious as this may be to some readers, for the first time in my life I just wanted throw a book in the bin. What utter, utter tripe. The movie w...moreSacrilegious as this may be to some readers, for the first time in my life I just wanted throw a book in the bin. What utter, utter tripe. The movie was great, but the book was infuriating. Easily the worst book I've ever read. Why isn't it possible to rate a book with negative stars?
This was little better than a dime store romance novel, the movie was a vast improvement. How it got as much acclaim as it did I'll never know. I scribbled notes all over it, and got so mad at one point I flipped to the title page and crossed out 'The Bridges of Madison County' and wrote 'The Book For Bored Housewives'(no offence intended for those who did like the book).
The author clearly thought he was cool, it's just that no one else did. Too much description of the little things, not enough story. He repeated himself ENDLESSLY. To say the characters were flawed would be an understatement, and the sex scenes were cheesy. There were so many things wrong with this book I could probably equal it's length in pages of crtisism.