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The Pearl

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  194,639 ratings  ·  8,993 reviews
Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull’s egg, as “perfect as the moon.” With the pearl come ...more
Paperback, Centennial Edition, 96 pages
Published January 8th 2002 by Penguin Books (first published 1947)
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Duane Well... I think nowadays we're supposed to apply situational ethics here, aren't we? To wit... :

If Steinbeck was a Liberal, we're supposed to excuse …more
Well... I think nowadays we're supposed to apply situational ethics here, aren't we? To wit... :

If Steinbeck was a Liberal, we're supposed to excuse him by saying that"he was a man of his time", (like Woodrow Wilson belonging to the KKK, etc.).

But if he was a Conservative, then we're supposed to immediately write him off completely as being a racist sexist bigoted homophobe, etc.

Did I get that right? My PC-Ometer hasn't been calibrated recently so it may be a little rusty...
Laura Herzlos Unless they totally have to, I would not recommend it. There are much better books, better written than this one. Depending on how fast they read and …moreUnless they totally have to, I would not recommend it. There are much better books, better written than this one. Depending on how fast they read and their vocabulary level, it can even be read in 3-4 hours, even, so I'd say a few days is more than enough.
But seriously, unless it's mandatory, I'd go for something better.(less)

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Average rating 3.49  · 
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 ·  194,639 ratings  ·  8,993 reviews

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Muhtasin Oyshik
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Poverty, greed, sorrow This book was incredibly strong in its ability to make readers ponder upon their own lives by pushing the limits of issues like poverty. A very fast-paced story that involved a man's family into conflict once he found a precious item that could solve all his problems but that item only ended up creating new ones. And Steinbeck's writing is always emotional and I think most people who take the time to read this story will enjoy it. If you are loo
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Steinbeck does it again. All my experiences with his writings have been fantastic. Every word, every description, every plot point, every twist - perfect!

The Pearl is very short but very amazing. It is a tale of greed and how people around wealth or who come upon sudden wealth are affected. Many of us think our life would be perfect if we won the lottery, but I think all of us could benefit from the lessons in this story.

I picked this book now because I am on vacation in Hatteras, NC, and the lo
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
John Steinbeck's chilling novella The Pearl is the short story selection in the group catching up on classics for January 2017. In his retelling of a Mexican folktale, Steinbeck tells the tale of a fisherman named Kino who finds the pearl of the world on one of his dives. Showing how money is the root of all evil, Steinbeck delivers a poignant tale.

First published in 1945, The Pearl is the story of Kino, Juana, and their baby Coyotito who one day discover a giant pearl on one of their fishing e
Ahmad Sharabiani
The pearl, John Ernst Steinbeck

The Pearl is a novella by American author John Steinbeck, first published in 1947. It is the story of a pearl diver, Kino, and explores man's nature as well as greed, defiance of societal norms, and evil.

Steinbeck's inspiration was a Mexican folk tale from La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, which he had heard in a visit to the formerly pearl-rich region in 1940. In 1947, it was adapted into a Mexican film named La perla and in 1987 into a cult Kannada movie Ond
Henry Avila
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Innocence turning to greed, and how people react to another man's good fortune, is the major theme of John Steinbeck's popular novella, The Pearl, set apparently in the early 20th century, ( the author is rather vague on the subject) in the then small, sleepy town, now a major city of La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, near the tip of the astonishing long peninsula, 775 miles ...Our main character is Kino, a young, poor Mexican man in his early 20's of Indian extraction, living in a remote part of ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
"In the town they tell the story of the great pearl - how it was found and how it was lost again..."

An amazing piece of literature!!

Beautiful words!

John Steinbeck's The Pearl is a simple story about simple people, with beautiful words.

A must-read!
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was a morning like other mornings and yet perfect among mornings.”

This novella opens with the simple contentment of a young Mexican pearlfisher: at peace with his life, wife, and baby, living in a tightknit community, and accompanied by the “Song of the Family” that plays in his mind.

Pearls, by contrast, are a consequence of imperfection - possibly of pain or discomfort. But from the irritation caused by stray sand, rare transfixing beauty can occur. Unlike gold and diamonds, a pearl needs n
Nov 08, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, it's just not very good. I keep debating whether I should rate it one star or two, but ultimately the Goodreads definition of the two-star rating, "it was ok," pushes me over the edge. It wasn't ok; nothing about this was ok.

The writing style is bad, though I haven't read enough Steinbeck to know whether his stilted, awkward prose is just an affectation for this work (in an insulting attempt to illustrate that his main characters are poorly educated), or whether he is just always like t
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So, John Steinbeck and his editor walk into a bar. . . (disclaimer: I'm making this up) and John's editor says, "John, it's so bor-ing being your editor. I mean, you've written the Great American novel, you've won the Pulitzer, you've fought for the poor man, you've made your fiction read like non-fiction and your non-fiction read like fiction."

John lights a smoke, takes a slug of beer, grunts. Reports from the war hum from a radio at the bar and his editor finds the courage to continue.

Cindy Newton
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a deceptively simple Mexican fable. It's written by Steinbeck, so of course, it's written beautifully. The story is pretty straightforward--poor, uneducated peasant finds monster pearl and now has everything previously denied to him within his grasp. Or does he?


Kino is happy despite his poverty and his low position on the social scale. He and the other natives in his village are under the control of the wealthy Spanish people who have taken up residence in the nicer
Aug 02, 2009 rated it liked it
goodreads david writes this: I'm convinced that the general besmirchers of Steinbeck are fucktards, asswads, and vibrating pustules.

it's nice as a reader (bad, i guess, as a reviewer) when a writer achieves can-do-no-wrong status. reading steinbeck i feel less distance between the writer -> his words -> myself than with nearly any other writer. his prose stylings can't touch his contemporaries, his structure and pacing can be sloppy, he's sentimental, preachy, overly didactic, and his themes arr
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Seekers of pearls of wisdom instead of riches
Recommended to Dolors by: A bookseller in Monterey
Shelves: read-in-2014, dost
“They had made songs to the fishes, to the sea in anger and to the sea in calm, to the light and the dark and the sun and the moon, and the songs were all in Kino and in his people – every song that had ever been made, even the ones forgotten.”

Can you hear it?
A melody shrouded in ancestral mystery can be heard amidst the roaring waves lapping at the shores of this pulsating narration. Summoning songs of despair and songs of hope, soothing lullabies and wrathful incantations, this folkloric tale
Jan 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
This is the first Steinbeck's book I've read, though it won't be the last, despite the horrible first impression. I hate everything in this book - from it's anticlimactic writing to its incommodious characters. There is nothing worth praise in here. After I reached the end, I've been so angry and almost ready to punch something.

Poor low-class man, living with his wife and their baby, finds a giant pearl, decides to sell it and then use the money to buy medicine for his child, who just got bitte
Timothy Urges
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
She was as remote and as removed as Heaven.

The Pearl is a beautifully written tale of avarice and the power of ignorance.
Susan Budd
There are a few novels I consider perfect and The Pearl is one of them. Steinbeck’s parable is a complex symbolic story told in simple poetic language. The symbolism is built up layer by layer, like an oyster coating a grain of sand, and the result is a flawless tale, smooth and clear, like the Pearl of the World.

This is the story of the dawn of consciousness: The story human beings have been telling themselves since human beings started telling stories. The story of us, what we are, and how we
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Continuing with my Steinbeck obsession....I meant quest to read his works, next up was The Pearl. I've decided to order them from my library and other sources and what ever shows up in my queue is what I read next. I just would not know what to select and want to read them all.

Steinbeck's The Pearl was inspired by a Mexican folk tale he heard. It tells the story of Kino, his wife Juana, and their baby Coyotito. One day Coyotito is stung by a scorpion and Kino takes him to the dr for help. But t
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

Read it and philosophize while you read it and weep.

Sometimes I have to wonder what the people who write the back blurbs of these books are thinking (or smoking). The back says "THE PEARL is a book to be read many times and cherished forever." What they're talking about, I can't imagine. If you choose to get pissed over and over again, then by all means keep reading this tragic story.

I get what Steinbeck is saying in his beautiful writing voice - to be content with what is had and to not let th
Connie G
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic, mexico
John Steinbeck adapted a Mexican folk tale into a novella about fate, evil, the perils of greed, and the plight of oppressed people. The infant son of Juana and Kino, a fisherman and pearl diver, is stung by a scorpion. The doctor refuses to treat the baby because Kino does not have the money to pay him, and because the affluent Spanish colonialists look down at the natives. Kino dives for pearls in the hope that he could afford to pay a doctor, and comes up with a huge, valuable pearl--the "Pea ...more
Jul 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: assigned-reading, ugh
Poor pearl diver in South America finds giant-ass pearl, decides to sell it and use the money to buy medicine for his baby, who just got bitten by a scorpion. The mierda hits the fan, people die, everything generally goes to hell in a handbasket, and it all happens in about the space of time it took you to read this review.

Verdict: meh.

Read for: 10th grade English
Nilesh Kashyap
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nobel-laureates
It was a big mistake I made 3 days ago, I was going to start 'Charlotte's Web' but instead I started 'The Pearl' thinking it was written before ‘Of Mice and Men’ and on just finishing I found it was written much later. All I remember is my decision to read books in sequence they were published. Anyway it can’t be undone.

The Review:

“In the town they tell the story of the great pearl” how it was found and how it was lost again. They tell of Kino, the fisherman, and of his wife, Juana, and of t
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it
i have had this sitting on my bookshelf for a while now (about 5 years! what?!) so i finally decided to read it. and, although i didnt enjoy it as much as some of his other novels, i appreciated the cautionary message of the story and the classic steinbeck writing style.

3 stars
Fiona MacDonald
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
A simple story about a young man who finds a pearl, and the tragic consequences that greed can bring, yet I came away from this absolutely gobsmacked with the intensity and beauty of Steinbeck's writing. It was powerful, gripping and heartbreaking, all in less than 100 pages. I can only liken this to Hemingway's 'The Old Man and the Sea' - utterly flawless. ...more
Alice Lippart
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
A layered story and I really like the writing, but found it a little predictable and it didn't feel that impactful to me. ...more
John Steinbeck is as diverse as his literature. Nonetheless, there is a common denominator in the American author's charming writing: the story is always rooted in the orality of the tales and legends that the ancients transmit over time to new generations so that they never forget they came. Here he is inspired by a traditional Mexican story.
This little parable can be read in one go, as the writing is so rich and limpid. The themes dear to the author and familiar to many of these novels are sti
Nate H.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Short but very, very powerful.
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Kino, a poor pearl-diver, finds a big pearl one day, at first everything seems good - now they can afford things they have dreamt of with the money they'll get. But trouble starts brewing immediately, for others want it either cheap or by force, and things keep escalating...

Written 1944-45, released in 1947, this is a story on what evil sudden great wealth can bring. This book is critical of the American dream, the selfishness of wealth. There is selfishness in the people already wealthy in
Betsy Robinson
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can’t help it. I’m seeing everything I’m reading these days through the metaphor of our insane political culture. Maybe that’s because we are in the midst of iconic metaphors—the stuff of Shakespeare, Aristotle, and more recently John Steinbeck.

The Pearl, based on a classic Mexican folk tale, tells the story of Kino, Juana, and their infant son. They are simple people, whose life explodes with a scorpion bite. Poison! Poison leads to a need to pay for a bogus antidote, which leads to the disco
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I will preface this by saying that I'm a HUGE Steinbeck fan. A friend and I took the time to follow through the route of many of his books in the west just to see where he wrote, the places he wrote about it. It was one of the greatest highlights of my life. With that said, I recognize that this is not his greatest work, but it still is a great work of literature.

Steinbeck is very well recognized for his lean writing style. It is what made him so very popular at the time after years of reading
Cathrine ☯️
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with a sense of adventure
This short novella (90 pages) brings to mind the biblical parable of The Pearl Of Great Price. Like the parables, the telling juxtaposes contrasting motifs of good and evil and what defines them or makes them so. How sudden wealth can corrupt depending on one’s choices, needs, or morals. Is it better to let things be or risk irreperable change for possible transformation or benefit? The reader has much to ponder throughout the pages which turn beautifully. I could hear the sounds of water, sm
Jon Nakapalau
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, classics
At some point you can sell your soul and not even be aware of it. This book should be required reading for anyone who is working on their MBA.
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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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“For it is said that humans are never satisfied, that you give them one thing and they want something more. And this is said in disparagement, whereas it is one of the greatest talents the species has and one that has made it superior to animals that are satisfied with what they have.” 199 likes
“Luck, you see, brings bitter friends.” 91 likes
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