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3.46  ·  Rating details ·  141 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Combining despair, determination and optimism, the writing of John Steinbeck gave a powerful voice to the suffering poor of America during the Depression and beyond, and Penguin have made the whole range of his most well-loved novels including The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men available to millions of readers. These four tales consider the struggle for survival in 19 ...more
Paperback, Pocket Penguin 70s #69, 55 pages
Published May 6th 2005 by Penguin Books (first published 2005)
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Sam Quixote
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
The four short stories in this small collection - The Chrysanthemums, Breakfast, The Vigilante, and The Murder - are set in early 20th century America, focusing mostly on rural communities.

Of the four, I wouldn’t say any really stood out as particularly great which is disappointing as John Steinbeck is easily one of my favourite writers.

The Murder is about an American farmer who marries an eastern European woman but the gulf between their cultures proves too great and they drift apart. She finds
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
The short story "Vigilante" got to me the most because sadly, so little has changed since the 1940s. "The Murder" was a gripping story and so was "The Chrysanthemums", both portraying the role of women in America at the time.
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Feeling all disturbed and gross after the last two stories in this collection... a spectacular read.
May 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: short-stories
Complete waste of my time.
Shawn Birss
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
(This review is for the single short story, The Murder, by John Steinbeck)

Steinbeck has an understated style of writing that is so frighteningly disarming. The worlds he creates with an economy of words are so very real, perfectly normal, beautiful in their everyday familiarity, that even a minor nuance of change in expression or tone can have great impact. This is multiple times true when a steady and familiar setting is disturbed by horror and death.

I read horror fiction. This short story by
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nobel-wenner
John Steinbeck's finely crafted stories are set - as much of his writing - in the western USA, where life is tough and not always precisely regulated by law. Besides the themes of poverty, or, sometimes a more affluent lifestyle which is still extremely hard work because of man's grappling with nature, other themes come to the foreground. In 'The vigilante' racism underlies the lynching that takes place, but other relationships and attitudes are also investigated. In 'The chrysanthemums' there i ...more
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I haven't read any Steinbeck in years, and I'd forgotten how good his writing is. Like Of Mice and Men (the only other book I've read of his), the short stories of Murder capture glimpses of America's great depression. They very casually show the issues that arose on a day to day basis: the way women were kept only as housewives, the way men could lynch a black man and be branded vigilantes, the way a rich white man could get away with murder. It's profound in that the every day style - the smal ...more
Julie Rylie
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve Mitchell
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Steinbeck is just one of the greatest authors whose descriptions of emotions are just superb, read this for an excellent example.
Apr 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Four slight but enjoyable stories by American icon Steinbeck
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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
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