Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Pearl” as Want to Read:
The Pearl
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Pearl

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  147,286 Ratings  ·  6,228 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
ebook, 96 pages
Published February 1st 1993 by Penguin Books (first published November 1947)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Pearl, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

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...
(less)
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)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Brina
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Matthew
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
Cecily
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
...more
Stephanie
Entertaining classic Steinbeck novella highlights greed as an evil force...

The Pearl was published as a novella in 1947 and released in conjunction with a movie. Wikipedia notes that this story is one of Steinbeck's more popular works and is studied widely in high school and middle school in the U.S. I wasn't lucky enough to have read this parable before.

"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 w
...more
Dolors
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seekers of pearls of wisdom instead of riches
Recommended to Dolors by: A bookseller in Monterey
Shelves: read-in-2014
“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
...more
Cindy Newton
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?

*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***

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
...more
brian
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 them
...more
Mario
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
...more
Fernando
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Qué hermoso libro. Una historia sencilla, narrada en forma clara, sin rodeos ni términos difíciles. Steinbeck logra atraparme siempre con sus libros. Al igual que como con "De Ratones y Hombres", "La Perla" nos muestra una historia en donde apreciamos la naturaleza humana al desnudo, las emociones a flor de piel en situaciones límites. No he leído "Las Uvas de la Ira" ni "Al Este del Edén", pero siento que Steinbeck es poderoso en este tipo de novelas cortas. En este libro todo gira alrededor de ...more
Issa Deerbany
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
من اروع ما فرأت ، هل كانت اللؤلؤة تحمل اغنية الشيطان كما عبر عنها المؤلف.
الفقير، الصياد الباحث عن الآليء الذي لا يملك علاج ابنه يعثر على لؤلؤة وجد فيها فرصته وفرصة ابنه في حياة حريمه وأهمها التعليم وإعلان زواجه في الكنيسة.
فجأة زاره القس والطبيب الذي رفض علاج ابنه تغيرت نظرة الناس له .
وأكنه من الهنود سكان المكسيك الأصليين الذين منذ ٤٠٠ عاما تعودوا على الطاعه فهذا هو نظام الحياة وتآمروا عليه بسعر اللؤلؤة ولكنه تمرد وأعلن هدم الطاعه.
أراد ان يتشبث بحقك في حياة كريمة ، رغم محاولة زوجته التخلص منها بع
...more
Julie
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

"Well.
...more
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
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The pearl, John Ernst Steinbeck (1902 - 1968)
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 Kann
...more
Kaya
Jan 27, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 Indian, who lives in the South America with his wife and their baby, finds giant pearl, decides to sell it and then use the money to buy medicine for his child, who
...more
Madeline
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
Connie
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nilesh Kashyap
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 the
...more
Betsy Robinson
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Carmo
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norte-americanos
A Pérola é provavelmente de todos os livros que tenho, o que li mais vezes. É uma história comovente cheia de simbolismo. Desde o inicio da narrativa que se sente a tragédia a pairar sob as personagens. Kino e Juana não têm mais nada na vida além da canoa que utilizam para apanhar ostras. Acalentam a esperança de um dia a sorte lhes sorrir e encontrarem a pérola que lhes permita dar ao filho, Coyotito, uma vida melhor.
E precisamente quando mais precisavam encontraram. Uma pérola enorme, que num
...more
Cathrine ☯️
Apr 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a sense of adventure
4+★
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
...more
Erin Clemence
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in high school (doesn’t everyone?) and then recently re-read it, surprising even myself. Initially I had picked it up because it was such a small book, and the 89 pages were just long enough to get me through the day. I normally try and avoid massive literature greats like Steinbeck, as the easy reading I normally do helps me to escape my reality without a huge deal of thought.
Anyway, Steinbeck’s story (for those who don’t know) tells the tale of Kino, his young bride Juana and
...more
Aj the Ravenous Reader

This is one of the first novels I have ever read. The story is simple but very genuine. The plot is interesting and the messages the story contains are timeless and universal. It is also a very quick read.
Shannon (leaninglights)
Greed is a dangerous thing.
Luís C.
This book is an allegory of money or, at least, a parable on the theme of physical possession.
All is symbol in this book, the pearl, object coveted by bead researchers, like money, sought by those who do not, are in the center.
The story takes place in Mexican California, near the end of the peninsula. The protagonists are poor (as seems to me at Steinbeck) and one of them will find, so to say, the gem. I'll let you see what can happen to the poor who die of a magical stroke let fly fortune ... T
...more
Duane
Steinbeck's tragic novella is about a poor pearl diver, Kino, and what happens to him and his family after he finds "the pearl of the world". This great pearl should bring incredible wealth to it's owner, but the ways of the world are not set to benefit Kino which he quickly learns. This book is likable and easy to read, even for people who are not generally fond of Steinbeck's writing, I would think.
Richard Derus
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4* of five

A beautiful fable of life's central issue: greed. How awful it felt to write that sentence.

Particularly important to read in this horrendous passage in American history.
Karen
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
The story of "The Pearl" starts off like a fairy-tale. Like all stories this one has a life message within its pages. "Money or sudden riches can bring greed, jealousy and wanting. Kino and his wife find sudden wealth in a big Pearl but with it comes nothing but bad luck.
Mackey St
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
...more
Kim
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

A jewel of a novella, short, suspenseful and moving, The Pearl is the re-telling of a Mexican folk tale. It's the story of Kino, a poor pearl diver, who finds an enormous pearl. He sees it as the path to dignity for his family and an education for his son, but it brings tragedy instead. Essentially a parable, a central message of the work is to be careful what you wish for. The message is obvious from the text and there's nothing subtle about the way in which it's presented. On the other hand, S
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
نادي أصدقاء نوبل: اللؤلؤة - جون شتاينبك 1962 94 270 Jul 06, 2017 12:18PM  
The Pearl 1 13 Mar 08, 2017 10:36AM  
Quote 1 7 Jan 10, 2017 12:16PM  
Catching up on Cl...: This topic has been closed to new comments. * The Pearl 1 24 Jan 01, 2017 11:50AM  
Play Book Tag: The Pearl - John Steinbeck - 3 stars 5 16 Nov 23, 2016 09:00PM  
  • Seek: Reports from the Edges of America and Beyond
  • Boy Scouts of America : The Official Handbook for Boys (Reprint of Original 1911 Edition)
  • The Crisis
  • The Book of Deeds of Arms and of Chivalry
  • American Boys Handy Book
  • The Frontier in American History
  • Essential Manners for Men: What to Do, When to Do It, and Why
  • The Young Man's Guide
  • The Rough Riders
  • The Stone Leopard
  • The Coalwood Way: A Memoir  (Coalwood, #2)
  • Love of Life (Short Story Collection)
  • A River Runs Through It
  • The Song of the Lark
  • Intruder in the Dust
  • The Light in the Forest
  • The Survivors of the Chancellor (Extraordinary Voyages, #13)
  • The Moon Pool
585
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
...more
More about John Steinbeck...

Share This Book

14 trivia questions
2 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“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.” 151 likes
“Luck, you see, brings bitter friends.” 71 likes
More quotes…