Suzy 's Reviews > Tortilla Flat

Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
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's review
Dec 26, 2010

really liked it
Read in December, 2010

By the time I was finished, I wanted to give Tortilla Flat four stars, but the first half would only have earned three. This is the story of a handful of paisanos--friends with no jobs whose main aim in life is to procure wine--and how the bonds of their friendship strengthen over time. Steinbeck's writing seemed to me to improve in quality toward the middle of the story, which is really a collection of stories, each of which practically stands alone. It not only seems to become more philosophically and spiritually interesting toward the middle, but funnier too. I can't say I laughed out loud, but I definitely snickered a lot. At times, Tortilla Flat reminded me of Latin American writing wherein magical things happen with no eye-batting in the otherwise real world. This makes me think that Steinbeck must indeed have been pretty familiar with the culture of the paisanos. At any rate, he is a very clever writer, and his imagery is electrically spot-on. I happily continue my quest to read all his work!

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