Tom's Reviews > East of Eden

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
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's review
Aug 27, 08


I found the first 100 pgs really slow going, even turgid, to the point that if I hadn't been reading it for my local book club, I would've abandoned it. I was beginning to wonder how this man ever won a Nobel Prize. But once he sets up the narrative threads, Steinbeck does prove an entertaining story-teller, with a gift for fine description at times. But good lord, is he ever heavy-handed. The Biblical motifs are so obvious and pushed so relentlessly as to make you wince in places. Another annoying quality is the tendency of narrator (who I take to be thinly disguised voice for Stenbeck)to lapse into sweeping psychological pronouncements, as if he were lecturing from a textbook. For all these flaws, however, this novel can be a compelling read more times than not.
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