Betty Smith, not bad, girl. In fact, one of the best, allowing for your narrative style which put me off, I have to concede, a classic.
You deserve fiv Betty Smith, not bad, girl. In fact, one of the best, allowing for your narrative style which put me off, I have to concede, a classic.
You deserve five stars for your guts in putting together A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. In this modern world, where story-telling is so very different, I apologise for allocating four.
I would have so loved to have worked with you, editing your stuff and getting you to rewrite this as a character-driven novel. We would have had fun.
Your style is autobiographic and for the first third, comes across as a document. I could not get close to your characters. Up until then, I had put your book aside many times, but always came back because of the classic feel.
Rick told me about the film they made of your novel. I watched some episodes on Youtube and seeing and hearing your characters come alive, brought tears to my eyes.
So yes, you did touch my heart ... and that is one of the most wonderful things a good novel can do. ...more
I am a John Steinbeck fan and have read most of his stuff two or three times. I love the way he tells a story. So at ease, I become part of the story I am a John Steinbeck fan and have read most of his stuff two or three times. I love the way he tells a story. So at ease, I become part of the story myself. I have recently read Journal of a Novel, his field notes jotted down while putting together East of Eden. A real treat to look over the shoulder of someone who knows how to tell a story.
The Grapes of Wrath too. I recently downloaded this masterpiece onto my Kindle. Ha, but found I still rated East of Eden higher. Nevertheless, the way Steinbeck uses his characters to bring the story alive is something else.
I am a strong believer in character-driven story-telling, rather than narrative oriented stuff which leaves the reader at a distance.
Tortilla Flat is a masterpiece of characterization, and very funny, almost alarming in what Steinbeck's character get up to. Alarming because they are losers and they deteriorate from bad to worse, causing much anxiety in the reader.
Not sure why, but I enjoyed this novella less than I wanted to. Perhaps times are moving on and we become used to a new way of writing.
Nevertheless, nice work Mr Steinbeck. I wish you were among us today.
Well, Mr Steinbeck. I go down on my knees before you, Sir. It was you who taught me how to tell a story. You, who are so darn good, yet so vulnerable
Well, Mr Steinbeck. I go down on my knees before you, Sir. It was you who taught me how to tell a story. You, who are so darn good, yet so vulnerable and humble.
What writer would have the guts to admit, 'Although sometimes I have felt I held fire in my hands and spread a page with shining, I have never lost the weight of clumsiness, of ignorance, of aching inability.'
And this just after he has put East of Eden together? The writer who doesn't use adjectives or adverbs, but seeks the appropriate noun and verb. Who writes tightly, but gives the appearance his work is casual.
Oh Sir, I have learnt much from you. And I pass your wisdom on to any writer who will listen. One told me she received a publisher's contract because she adopted your wisdom.
I have read Journal of a Novel twice now, Grapes of Wrath, twice. East of Eden, three times, plus Cannery Row, Tortilla Flat, Of Mice and Men, The Pearl, at least once.