East of Eden
“All great and precious things are lonely.”
Such an amazing book. An instant all time favourite.
I'm sure you've heard of this book. Often touted as one of the "greatest novels of all time" or "books you must read before you die". For some reason, I've been putting it off. Maybe because I was made to study Of Mice and Men to death in school, or maybe because I thought The Grapes of Wrath was a little overrated. But I've been missing out.
A closer look should have told me that. Because I love fa ...more
I could write a summary of the book, but it would be more trouble than it's worth. You will often hear it referred to as a "modern retelling of the Genesis story of Cain and Abel" but that is too simplistic. Steinbeck takes the story of Cain and Abel and makes Cain (in the form of Ca ...more
It is like a high priced, high quality buffet with lots of different stations. At each of those stations is a main table with an awesome featured food (thick cut prime rib, chocolate fondue fountain, Mongolian BBQ bowl, etc.). In layman's terms, there is SO MUCH awesome story here with a HUGE payoff every 50 pages or so. I am very satisfied ...more
«The Salinas Valley is in Northern California. It is a long narrow swale between two ranges of mountains, and the Salinas River winds and twists up the center until it falls at last into Monterey Bay»
"East of Eden" is a powerful novel, thick with biblical reference, in which the characters seem real and not fictional, protagonists of a generational saga about good and evil. About pure hatrded and unconditional love. You will love all the characters of the novel,...more
It was my first Steinbeck, and it made me fall in love with his writing, his ideas, his cry for individual freedom and social justice. It made me ache for goodness in a world of evil, and it made me respect the power of storytelling to explain the inexplicable difficulties of family life.
It was the first time I felt scared of a fictional character!
I don't think I have ever been so deeply shaken as by Cathy/Kate, and she remai ...more
The characters are all beautifully drawn and the story is captivating.
I'll add some quotes here before returning the book to the library, but it was extremely pleasurable to read cover to ...more
It’s probable that Steinbeck’s ambitious scope and his need to reach universal meaning might encumber the narration with ...more
They move out to the Salinas Valle ...more
I did watch the movie adaption first (ages ago) and loved it, and it has a very special place in my heart because it started off my obsession with James Dean (who I now call my favorite person of all time, so yeah, it's a pretty big deal to me). I've been wanting to read the book ever since, but I was a bit ...more
East of Eden is a novel by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck, published in September 1952. Often described as Steinbeck's most ambitious novel, East of Eden brings to life the intricate details of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, and their interwoven stories. The novel was originally addressed to Steinbeck's young sons, Thom and John (then 6½ and 4½ years old, respectively). Steinbeck wanted to describe the Salinas Valley for them in detail: t ...more
East of Eden is an epic story about good and evil. It tells the story of two families: the Trasks and the Hamiltons. It spans 3 generations and retells the Biblical story of Cain and Abel set in the Salinas Valley of Northern California.
Alright friends, here's the dealio.
When I read this book, lots of things in my personal life were a hectic. When I finished this book, things were still hectic. I'm writing this now, and things are still a little hectic, but slowly they are leveling out (so no worries.)
The thing is, because of all that hectic, I did not document my thoughts about this book the way I normally would do. I also made the fatal mistake of waiting far too long to sit down & write my review upo ...more
I read this again now as a 30-year-old avid reader who has become much more critical when it comes to books.
I’m happy to say that while this was a bumpy revisit, “East of Eden” remains one of my favourite books!
This novel is about inheritage and how hard it sometimes is to develop away from your inheritage. What makes you good? What makes you bad? And do some of us contain more of one or the other? Those are some of the questions that C ...more
East of Eden might be taken leisurely as the re-telling of biblical tale of original sin, or a family biog ...more
Human life is a repetition. It repeats the lives of old and it repeats itself. Human life is also a spiral. Sometimes it seems we are walking in circles, but actually we’re getting ever so slightly closer to the center. We make mistakes that people smarter than us and people more stupid than us also made, but we continue moving towards our own centers. Everything that could ever be done has already been done, we only change it a bit and ada ...more
I was too busy to write a proper review of this last year after I'd finished it, but let me try now. It's Steinbeck's epic look at two families – the Trasks and the Hamiltons – in the Salinas Valley, California setting of his own childhood. (Steinbeck himself is a minor character in the book.)
There are lots of biblical echoes: Cain and Abel; the sins of the father; etc.
What amazed me was how contemporary the book's language and insights felt. This is not some d ...more
A modern retelling of the story of Cain and Abel, East of Eden brings to life the intricate details of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons.
No review I could ever write would do this book justice. I was almost tempted to just have my review as this simple statement: “if you haven’t read this, just do it.” But.... incase you haven’t noticed, I often have a lot to say.
Where to begin? I’ll start with Steinbeck’s writing. This was so ...more
This book is one of the masterpieces of literature. A story that will stand the test of time, with vivid, unforgettable characters that will haunt you long after you've closed the book. East of Eden is the story of life. It's a story about brotherhood, jealousy, anger, pain, love, evil, sacrifice, redemption. It's one of those books you want to thrust into the hands of your friends, family, neighbors, peers and shout, "Read this, it's g ...more
It’s the Hebrew word meaning “thou mayest” and is the lynch pin concept that this glorious novel swirls around – basically, we as humans have the power to choose our paths in life, whether it’s to be good or evil or somewhere in between.
This isn’t the perfect book, but it’s sort of like a beautiful woman, who has a chip in her front tooth, the imperfection is there to heighten the beauty around it, not detract from it. Steinbeck has arguably never been better; the description (read: ...more
This is the the age-old story of the struggle between good and evil, but with an interesting twist. Steinbeck sees the coexistence of good and evil as necessary for the emergence of character or greatness. He lays the responsibility for that emergence squarely on the shoulders of the individual and sh ...more
This was my first fully engaged experience with Steinbeck, and I was completely blown away. His prose was lovely in the way a desert is lovely; sparse but absolutely breathtaking in a certain slant of light. I read The Grapes of Wrath in college, but did so while reading 4 or 5 other classic chunky novels at the same time for various classes, ...more
Before this, my only exposure t ...more
Before he started writing this novel, Steinbeck conceived of it as a gift for his sons. He wrote:
They are little boys now and they will never know what they came from through me, unless I tell them. It is not written for them to read now but when they are grown and the pains and joys have tousled them a little. And if the book is addressed to them, it is for good reason. I want them to know how it was, I want to tell them directly, and perhaps by speaking to them directly I shall speak directly...more
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In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley ...more