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The Pearl/The Red Pony

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,486 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The Pearl:
When Kino, an Indian pearl-diver, finds 'the Pearl of the world' he believes that his life will be magically transformed. He will marry Juana in church and their little boy, Coyotito, will be able to attend school. Obsessed by his dreams, Kino is blind to the greed, fear and even violence the pearl arouses in him and his neighbours.

The Red Pony:
Set on a ranch i
Paperback, Penguin, 181 pages
Published September 30th 1976 by Penguin Books (first published 1947)
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3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,486 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
These are two of Steinbeck's shorter works combined in a Penguin edition. Perhaps a better description is "just right stories"--beautiful writing with no more words than necessary. The Pearl explores what happens to a pearl diver and his family when he finds "the pearl of the world." We see how the potential of riches transforms the diver's heart as well as his community and how he struggles with the tension between the 'song of the pearl' and the 'song of his family'.

The Red Pony is a rich stor
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Pearl is a story I had not read since my school days. It's funny, I remembered it as an "island story" but it's really set in Mexico. And man, is it a tragic tale. The end is just too darn sad. But it is superbly well written!

The Red Pony is great, and sad, too! Reading Steinbeck is like talking to a great friend! I read the first story in this collection in school and I'm really glad I re-read it and read the whole thing! The characters are so vivid - Jody, Billy Buck, Gabilan, and Gitano,
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This slender volume joins two short works by John Steinbeck. The Pearl tells a parable about the dangers of sudden fortune; a poor young couple, Kino and Juana, find a pearl of magnificent value which brings them only trouble and tragedy. The Red Pony spins a pastel yarn of life in the American west, where a young boy named Jody finds purpose and aspiration when he is gifted a vivacious pony only to learn a tough lesson about how ephemeral life can be.

So in one way these stories mirror one anoth
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Two very good stories, albeit hard to digest in typical Steinbeck fashion. The Red Pony was more a collection of 4 very short stories than a continuous story.
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
I think I read this book after reading "The Red Pony." I set the bar low since I hated "The Red Pony", but I ended up loving this book.
Ariel Jensen
Steinbeck doesn’t know how to write happy stories! I love what the back of the novel says, though: “Two classic stories, in one volume, celebrating the spirit and courage of ordinary families.” That sums up this book perfectly. The Pearl is about an extraordinary event that happens to a very ordinary man. V depressing, would not recommend if you enjoy stories of progression or improvement; poor Kino & Juana. The Red Pony is a tale about an even MORE average boy, Jody, and all of his time spe ...more
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Pearl stands tall amongst Steinbeck's works, in my eyes. I can't get over the images that gird the moral decay and the sense of imminent doom. The pearl's existence, and its surreptitious collection, rends the souls of Kino and Juana. They sink to a low place, populated by colonialists, common thieves, and the depraved greedy in such a human way that I too can still hear its evil song.

As for The Red Pony, well, I think I just didn't immediately get what Steinbeck was going for. But man, I ad
Matt Glaviano
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, fiction
When no one ever asks the question, "What were you reading the day you turned 40?" I will never have to answer, "This book."

I've probably had this book following me around since I was 12, which is a good enough reason to read it. Another vacation read -- you'll see a trend of short novels and graphic novels this trip. Neither of these did a hell of a lot for me. "The Red Pony" worked more than "The Pearl," but the end didn't do anything for me.

And now, to the dustbin of history, the book and the
Bruce Langley
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My memory from my junior high English days is that this literary duo opened the door for me to explore other writings of Steinbeck. Consequently, this read served a good purpose to lead me into deeper waters of this marvelous writer.
Dustan Holland
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
These are two short stories by John Steinbeck. Both were beautifully told and deeply engaging. I especially loved The Red Pony, as it reminded me of growing up on the farm. I love Steinbecks writing style of never going over descriptive, just enough to make his point. Each and every sentence is carefully constructed. I just ordered the short story collection, so I'm excited to check out Of Mice and Men, and his other well known works.
Wijnand Marchal
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sad stories, beautifully told.
Shota Matcharashvili
"He wanted to live in a great heroic time, but there weren't any heroes now"
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, favorites
if ''The Red Pony'' was better i give this book 5 stars, bc ''The Pearl'' wow, that was amazing.
Stephanie Moore
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
"The Red Pony" was yet another beautifully written story by Steinbeck, though I did not enjoy it as much as The Pearl. Steinbeck had such a way with words in getting straight to people's emotions.
Sep 02, 2012 rated it liked it
The Pearl Review (8/30/12)
Gave 3.5 stars
The novella is widely entertaining with great plot and characters, still, I was just really hoping that the infant, Coyotito, could have gained something. I was anticipating a happy ending. I was not hoping for Kino and Juana to become rich after they found the pearl (that would go against Steinbeck's message), but I was disappointed when Coyotito was killed off like that! Once Kino and Juana found the pearl, I was rooting for them the whole time and shari
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
These 2 stories are the John Steinbeck I love. Some of his work is depressing and a little dull.

The Pearl is about a man who finds a pearl in Baja, California. As a result of his new-found wealth, he runs into thieves and other troubles, which end up in deaths, among other tragedies. He ends up throwing the pearl back into the sea.

The Red Pony is about a young boy who gets a new pony that dies. At the end of the story, a mare is pregnant and the boy is promised the colt. There is a problem with
Grada (BoekenTrol)
May 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Grada (BoekenTrol) by: Bloedengel
The amount of stars is the average for both stories 4 for the first The Pearl and 3 for the second, The Red Pony.

The first story I liked a lot. Especially the beginning, when I had the idea that I was there in the book, in the hut near the ocean.
A wonderful tale of the human nature captured in words that went straight to my heart.

The Red Pony I liked less. It was not nearly as scenic, I had difficulty with the graphic scene with the fowling horse. And just the story itself was not so gripping,
Nov 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
i've only read the pearl and not the red pony just wanted to be honest.
everyone probably read this book in middle school or high school. me i stole a copy one day while i was subbing at a middle school. i fully intended to give it back but alas i never subbed in that building ever again.
i dont feel bad about this because it seemed like the book had never been opened and it was in a box full of copies of the pearl.
plus those kids were really stupid and i doubt that they could have made it th
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ненатрапваща поучителност (поучителност, защото след Стайнбек човек се чувства някак добър, зрял и изпълнен с уважение). Допаднаха ми и двете повести "Червеното пони" и "Бисерът", но "Бисерът" е по-поетичен, заради преживяванията на Кино, които са представени като мелодии. Стайнбек трябва да се чете, за да се усети бисерът вътре, за да се чуе музиката - дело на духа и природата
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I am half cheating with this addition because I read "The Pearl" in middle school. Still, from what I remember, these two stories encapsulate many of Steinbeck's literary accomplishments. With "The Pearl," Steinbeck uses more mythical devices, while "The Red Pony" seems to derive from the author's life experience.
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to choose between these two books, as they're both great pieces of literature. I read them as a child, and I can never forget it. Very powerful, but then anything by Steinbeck is wonderful. He is an artist with language. I've read them again, and cried just as hard.
Anna Szabo
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I would like to state right here that I am sorry Mr. Erikson (7th grade English teacher), this book is wonderful. I ought to have appreciated it all those years ago...even if the pony does die on page 30...oops...spoiler alert.
Mar 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
A terribly descriptive and depressing account of a boy and his father and their search to express love to each other through the gift of a roan horse. The ending is quite grim...or so it was for me as a teenager. This is a great story for impressionable children.
Mar 05, 2010 rated it liked it
This review is only for The Pearl. Charming story, even if a little too transparent with the theme of riches ruining character. This was timely reading--after a big promotion and raise :)
Meg Berquist
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought that the Pearl was beautifully and simply written, but also very depressing.
Jamie Eberle
The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
Jan 30, 2010 rated it liked it
The Pearl was great, but I couldn't quite get into The Red Pony.
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Linda DiMeo Lowman
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Both stories read like children's stories, but with brutal happenings. Thinly-veiled life lessons in both.
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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