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The Winter of Our Discontent

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  34,595 ratings  ·  1,805 reviews
Ethan Allen Hawley, the protagonist of Steinbeck’s last novel, works as a clerk in a grocery store that his family once owned. With Ethan no longer a member of Long Island’s aristocratic class, his wife is restless, and his teenage children are hungry for the tantalizing material comforts he cannot provide. Then one day, in a moment of moral crisis, Ethan decides to take a ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Penguin Classics (first published 1961)
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Brenda Go to page 21 at this web site.

Apparently he's talking about a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. In the…more
Go to page 21 at this web site.

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Community Reviews

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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  34,595 ratings  ·  1,805 reviews

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Meghan Pinson
Aug 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction
I think I have a crush on John Steinbeck. But even if I met him somewhere -- a cocktail party, a barbeque, even my own bookstore -- I don't think I'd talk to him. Maybe make eye contact in a brave and silent way. Sometimes I get the feeling that he is friendly and easy-going, compassionate and kind, and really interested in people in general and persons in particular ... but I know that he is deeply brilliant, and I would say something ridiculous that I would turn over and over in my head (menta ...more
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Steinbeck’s The Winter of Our Discontent was first published in 1961 and was his last novel.

It was also the latest book published prior to his winning the 1962 Nobel Prize for literature. Interestingly, when asked if he felt that he deserved the award, this “giant of American letters” said: “Frankly, no.” Further, recent archives revealed that Steinbeck was a “compromise choice” for the award amidst a group described as “a bad lot”. Although the committee believed Steinbeck's best work was behin
Richard Derus
Dec 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 6* of five

The Publisher Says: Ethan Allen Hawley, the protagonist of Steinbeck’s last novel, works as a clerk in a grocery store that his family once owned. With Ethan no longer a member of Long Island’s aristocratic class, his wife is restless, and his teenage children are hungry for the tantalizing material comforts he cannot provide. Then one day, in a moment of moral crisis, Ethan decides to take a holiday from his own scrupulous standards.

Set in Steinbeck’s contemporary 1960 America
Joe Valdez
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
I was forwarded a blog post recently (written by someone much sharper than me) that asked where our contemporary John Steinbecks have gone. The masterful fiction dedicated to the minimum wage worker, the family displaced by the Great Recession living out of a motel room, or anyone living from paycheck to paycheck seems largely extinct from the bestseller lists.

Hard luck stories about average American families fill newspapers, while in fiction, it seems like world building, not world reporting,
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
The brilliance of John Steinbeck intimidates me. I spend a great deal of my time while reading his books nodding my head in agreement and gasping in awe at how he tackles the profound and the everyday with the same amount of elan.

First off, I enjoyed this story. I cared about Ethan Allen Hawley, and not just his person but his soul. I wanted him to emerge unscathed even though I knew he could not, because no one can compromise his own morality and remain unsoiled. I cried for what I knew was his
Sono forse io?

[Questo è un romanzo da maneggiare con cura, perché contiene materiale esplosivo.
A vent'anni non lo capisci.
A trenta ti insinua sotto la pelle un malessere strisciante.
Alla mia età ti schianta.]

Se non avessi letto poco meno di un mese fa Viaggio con Charley, non avrei potuto immaginare quanto John Steinbeck amasse Sinclair Lewis.
Se non avessi saputo quanto John Steinbeck amasse Sinclair Lewis, forse non avrei colto sin dall'inizio le analogie con Babbitt, e non avrei riconosciuto i
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle

When I started reading this, the last novel written by John Steinbeck, I initially thought that I wasn’t going to like it. The prose was as fine as I expected it to be, but it seemed such a small story, compared to powerful epics like The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden. However, the story grew on me as I read and the ending packed a punch.

Mostly in the form of a first person narrative, the novel is about Ethan Hawley, a likeable man in his late thirties, married to a woman he loves and the fa
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
به طرز عجیبی هیچ ریویو فارسی ای از این کتاب در گودریدز نیست! با اینکه ریت خوبی داره و در بین خوانندگان خارجی زبان کلی ام ازش استقبال شده اما نه تا به حال جایی ازش چیزی خوندم و نه تونستم نقد و نظری پیدا کنم.
در ادامه روند خوندنم از جان اشتاین بک به این کتاب برخوردم که بعد از خوشه های خشم و شرق بهشت حجیم ترین کتابیه که در ایران ترجمه شده.
اسم اصلی کتاب «زمستان نارضایتی ما» که اشاره به جمله ای از نمایشنامه شکسپیر داره. فضای کتاب رو دوس داشتم. شهری که داستان درش اتفاق میفتاد، مردم شهر، روابطشون و حتی

كم من الناس نظرت إليهم دون أن أراهم

المال لا يُبدل المرض ، ولكن يبدل أعراضه فقط

أنت أعمي مثلي ، إلا أن نوع عماك يختلف عن عمايّ

لقد انقرضت القرصنة ، لكن يبدو أن دوافعها لم تمت

إذا أردت الاحتفاظ بصديق ، فلا تجربه

إذا ملكت جوهرة ، فلا تسرف في تلميعها ، حتي لا تتأكل من معجون التلميع

لقد عشت مع هذه الرواية شهراً تقريباً ..

وهي في نسختها العربية 367 صفحة وقد قرأت فيها الكثير من الاقتباسات الرائعة التي فعلا تستحق التوقف عندها

استطاع جون شتاينبك أن يقدم رواية غريبة قليلاً عن المعتاد ، فأنت تعي
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Evanescence of Morality

Maybe it's my age where I find myself amidst a thousand questions because I like to think that I am understanding a little of what goes around. And as it goes with books, the count of unanswered questions is on an exponential run. Anyway, the most prominent and adamant question I find myself wrestle with these days is 'Morality'. The realms of it, the undefined criss cross intersecting patterns of it, the lawlessness and sometimes the hypocritical pride of it, and lastly
William S.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There is a certain emotion in Steinbeck I have not found in other authors. Faulkner comes close, Hemingway a bit further off, perhaps Woolf is on a parallel path. Steinbeck shows us something into ourselves, he states in the book that we all have our own light, we are not a bonfire. We only understand others to the point that we assume they are akin to ourselves. Steinbeck, like Woolf in the Waves, shows us that we are all connected, and that we can find a path in this world through this novel. ...more
Oct 02, 2007 rated it liked it
John Steinbeck's The Winter of our Discontent is a study of morality in the individual and in the community. Set in a New England town where everyone knows everyone else's business and history, Ethan Hawley narrates his experience with the various moral temptations one season offers him.

Under pressure from associates and his own family, Ethan becomes increasingly dissatisfied with his diminished station in life and begins to consider a brief transformation, a temporary suspension of his identit
Jan 02, 2008 rated it liked it
I learned a lesson about why I should finish books, even if the story does not grip me and I find the protagonist boring. (Thanks, book club) Initially, I thought... oh man... middle aged man making bitter jokes out of his miserable life. I felt sorry for his wife.

However, as I realized what was happening as I got farther and farther into the book, I found myself wishing there was a sequel because I want to know what happened to Ethan a year or two down the road. Was he able to live with himsel
Adam Floridia
Jun 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star-books
East of Eden was 600 some-odd pages and I didn't want it to end. This didn't reach 300 and it could not end soon enough. There was just nothing good about this; I can’t believe this is a Steinbeck work. Moreover, not the work of a budding author still perfecting his craft, but an author who was in the winter of his profession, having already penned Of Mice and Men, Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden and countless other works.

The story is about Ethan Hawley, a man of noble ancestry reduced to a groce
Makis Dionis
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bourbon
Η ματαιοδοξία του μικροαστισμου στην Αμερική λίγο πριν τα 60s κ ο σαρκασμός για το πόσο εφικτό μπορεί να είναι το μεγάλο όνειρο
Oct 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: you
there was a time in my life when i read this each fall, as the the michigan winter was about to make my psyche turn to salt. i first read it by accident, finding it in my co-op on the floor in a room that had been abandonded and now was only used for smoking this and that. the walls of the room had been painted different superheroes from the previous tenant's childhood. i liked the rendition of green hornet, although the renderer claimed he was an after-thought, someone to fill the space between ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bontà passiva

Che bel libro, che piacere il pensiero che sarebbe stato lì, appena avessi avuto il tempo di dedicarmi a lui. Siete in quel periodo della vita in cui gli enta sfumano negli anta? Come va con il bilancio di ciò che è stato? Mi sono riconosciuto nell'inquietudine di Ethan Hawley, non mi era successo con quella di Bernardo Soares.
".. Ossia dico un uomo si batte contro le cose grosse. Ma quel che l'uccide è l'erosione; a furia di colpetti finisce al tappeto." A poco a poco s'impaurisce
I adore Steinbeck's writing. Simple lines which all readers can relate to. Philosophical content, but never laid on thick. It is difficult to convey the feeling Steinbeck creates with his words, so I give you a few lines instead:

It sounds uncomfortable and silly sitting cross-legged in a niche like a blinking Buddha, but someway the stone fits me or I fit. Maybe I have been going there so long my behind as conformed to the stones. As for its being silly, I don't mind that. Sometimes it is great
Apr 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Meghan by: Sera
It's a little difficult to put into words how this book made me feel. It's a short book so I thought I'd fly through it in a day or two. Instead, it took a couple of weeks to finish. It was not because I was overly busy or because my mind was drifting or that I was distracted by...ooh! shiny! It was mainly because Steinbeck put so many layers upon layers of depth and feeling into each of his superbly crafted sentences that I could have made baklava with them.

I found this story extremely timely c
Jun 04, 2016 rated it liked it
DNF--sorry! Maybe I'll give it another try sometime. Anyone else who wants to, go ahead, and I hope you enjoy it more.

Best wishes.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-kindle, 2018, reviewed
It’s weird that this book seems to be among people’s least favorite Steinbeck novels. What gives? In The Winter of our Discontent, Steinbeck once again proves himself a master at the craft of characterization, but whereas in prior novels his protagonists find themselves up against a litany of circumstances beyond their control (but which ultimately dictate their fate), his star character here is a little more sinister. Not to say that this isn’t a fatalistic novel, because it is, but certainly E ...more
Paula M.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Início dos anos 60. Ethan Hawley vive numa pacata cidade costeira da East Coast. É um cidadão despreocupado, bem humorado, que troca impressões com os cães e gatos de rua e expõe os seus pensamentos aos picles e conservas da mercearia onde trabalha. Continuaria a ser um cidadão honesto e despreocupado, não fossem o descontentamento e ambição da mulher, a insatisfação permanente dos filhos , a convivência com o banqueiro da cidade e empregado deste . É a pressão da sociedade a exigir o sucesso e ...more
Reading Badger
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love Steinbeck’s way of writing. It just kind of flows, these are no humps and before you know it, you’re at the end of the book.
This one follows Ethan, once part of the aristocracy of Long Island, now working as a clerk in a grocery shop, after his father loses the family fortune. At first, it seemed that he is quite content with his life. He has a wife that he adores, Mary, and two kids, a girl, and a boy. He struggles to keep his moral values, but the constant criticism of his family and fr
Barbara Rodrigues
Tenho a sensação que todas as personagens deste livro, exceto a principal, são más pessoas. Todos criticam o Ethan por tentar ser sempre honesto e ter bons valores, até mesmo a família dele. Até quando é que Ethan vai aguentar ouvir de toda a gente que ele é um pobre falhado? Será que a opinião dos outros vai mudar a atitude dele?
Pensei que ia ser uma leitura muito mais dramática e emocional. Gostei da crítica à falta de moral, à corrupção, ganância e desonestidade, mas no geral não me tocou.
Eti Mishra
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You can read full review here.

“You know how advice is – you only want it if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyways.”

This book is beautiful, and that is some great writing right there. Steinbeck is what I would like to call a true literary genius. I haven’t read his other books and this is the first one, but already I’m his admirer. I think this is a finely crafted book.

As I read this book, I came across many little but profound messages, throughout the book, and they were easy to deciphe
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! My head is reeling. I spent half of this novel in suspense, almost holding my breath, hoping that everything would turn out OK. The Winter of Our Discontent revolves around Ethan Hawley, a Harvard educated descendant of a wealthy family, who works as a grocery clerk to support his wife and two children. He is complex and fascinating - likable, flippant and so very frustrating.

Nobody in the small Long Island town of New Baytown is quite what they seem, and the lines between right and wrong
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
ვახ, პატარა წიგნია,ვიფიქრე მალეც დავასრულებ მეთქი. მაგრამ არა, საკმაოდ გამიგრძელდა კითხვა. თუმცა არა იმიტომ,რომ არ მეცალა ან მეზარებოდა.უბრალოდ არ მინდოდა მორჩენილიყო.
სიამოვნებაა ეს ადამიანი
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shakespeare , Kafka , Steinbeck .L’elenco potrebbe continuare e comprendere altri meravigliosi custodi , uomini indulgenti con il resto delle umane genti.
Ho scritto custodi , non scrittori , drammaturghi o poeti perché questi artisti della parola sono soprattutto i benevoli custodi del significato più profondo della legge che governa l’uomo e il suo agire.
Se il legame con il bardo è evidente , non solo nel titolo ma anche in una sottile linea rossa che congiunge Riccardo III e il protagonista di
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I feel like it's cliche to say that The Winter of Our Discontent is well-written. If you've taken ninth grade high-school English, I'm confident you've encountered John Steinbeck at least once. There's no doubt he's a fantastic writer. Of Mice of Men or East of Eden, anyone?

However, The Winter of Our Discontent was not as fluid as Of Mice and Men nor did it possess the sheer strength in characterization or plot as East of Eden. It may be my underdeveloped adolescent mind at work here, but I foun
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why do I even bother reading another author? Always in the nick of time I pick up a Steinbeck novel and it is a relief to read carefully and beautifully constructed sentences again. And the dialogue! This story delivered all the things I love and need from Steinbeck. As usual, it had me scribbling its sentences in my journal so that I may remember them and repeat them as my own. But I never will. I do not have it in me to summon these perfect, wise, funny things to say when they would be most ef ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Corrections 3 17 Nov 18, 2018 01:07PM  
Im confused about the very end of the book (SPOILER ALERT) 7 173 Nov 13, 2018 03:47PM  
Ending 13 508 Jul 28, 2016 12:01AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck 3 38 Jul 29, 2015 05:29AM  
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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
“I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen.” 6335 likes
“It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” 2242 likes
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