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Previous Monthly Reads > June: Grapes of Wrath

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message 1: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) This is the discussion thread for The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

message 2: by Charlie (last edited Jun 02, 2017 11:30AM) (new)

Charlie Garratt (charlie_garratt) | 27 comments I read this at school, like thousands of other youngsters, and was struck by the sheer inequality of it all - though I didn't understand that's what it was at the time. I've read it twice since and have been stunned by its savage poetry each time. I've started it again and, as a writer, the opening pages make me want to put the lid down on my word-processor. Steinbeck builds an incredible sense of foreboding with great beauty and economy of language.
Am I on my own in this admiration?

message 3: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Garratt (charlie_garratt) | 27 comments I'd hope it should be easy to get hold of. There'd hardly be a library, or second-hand bookshop, in the country without a copy I suspect.

message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan | 2 comments Tried to read this before (after finishing east of Eden) had bit of trouble getting into it but maybe reading it as part of this group will help me to stay with it this time....

message 5: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Garratt (charlie_garratt) | 27 comments I loved East of Eden too, though I thought Grapes of Wrath was better. However, there's a rhythm to the prose which makes it hard to read if you don't quite click in to it. This is further complicated by the background dialogue - I have to say I couldn't get into it the first time I read it, only later, when I began to understand what was happening, did it stop pulling me up.

message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan | 2 comments Thanks Charlie, that's good to know. I am about to start reading it tonight. Yeah I didn't get too far at all last time...hope it clicks for me too.

message 7: by Emma (new)

Emma Flanagan (emma89) The spoiler thread is now open

message 8: by Sara (last edited Jun 25, 2017 07:01AM) (new)

Sara | 2357 comments Mod
I'm finally starting this today, as I've been swamped with reading for my summer class which ended yesterday. I do read fairly fast, so I'll be able to comment by midweek I'm approaching it with a bit of trepidation, as when we read an excerpt in high school it didn't appeal to me. I've since read two other Steinbeck books that did appeal to me though (Cannery Row andTortilla Flat), so maybe Steinbeck has grown on me in my advancing years :).

message 9: by Allan (new)

Allan I remember the vivid description at the start of the novel, Declan. I've downloaded the audiobook again onto my phone, and will be starting it next - your initial thoughts have enthused me to get to it even more quickly.

message 10: by SherryRose (new)

SherryRose | 0 comments Declan wrote: "For some reason *Joad's was changed to Kiss's by my auto-correct."

...picturing Gene Simmons in full costume and make up lol

message 11: by Allan (new)

Allan Started the audiobook on my commute this morning and already struck by Steinbeck's obviously issue driven agenda, which I can understand must have been hard hitting at the time, as well as the familiar vivid sense of place that he creates. Know that this is going to be an enjoyable couple of weeks travelling!

message 12: by SherryRose (new)

SherryRose | 0 comments Declan wrote: "Sherry, that's brilliant. Lol!"

Late reaction but thanks Declan! Lol

message 13: by Allan (new)

Allan Declan, I'm 4 and a half hours into the audio reread, and appreciating every minute. Love the chapters that deal with the general experience of the migrants and those that take advantage of them - really biting social commentary. Listening to the family interaction, I need to continually remind myself that this was set almost mid 20th century, as opposed to 19th - just underlines how little had changed in so many ways for families like the Joads in generations.

message 14: by Allan (new)

Allan Declan, how are you getting on with this now? I'm 2/3 of the way through, so the story is well developed and the political comment is dripping out of it. No doubt about where Steinbeck's sympathies lay...

message 15: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Garratt (charlie_garratt) | 27 comments I'm pleased others are enjoying this book as I have on several reads. There is a big social agenda and political commentary but the issues demanded it, and, for me, it didn't detract from the storytelling.

message 16: by Allan (new)

Allan Finished my reread of this on the way in to work this morning, and couldn't fail to be moved by the powerful imagery used, in addition to the great hardships suffered with absolutely no chance of help being provided from the state. The exploitation of workers by big business and the pro unionization themes were very obvious, And Steinbeck certainly made a great case. I haven't had a look at the spoiler thread from memory, at least not in a while, but I'll aim to contribute later.

message 17: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments Declan wrote: "I've hardly read a tap in weeks, for a number reasons, including the Australian flu, job hunting and family troubles, so the last 100 pages sat unread since almost New Year's day.

I had been enjo..."

Hi Declan, that’s rotten you’ve had the flu—and other things to keep you from reading. Hope you’re recovering well.

I did chuckle out loud when I read your response to TGOW here. Your response might just make me want to reread that novel...I didn’t care for it back when I read it, but that was way back in high school.

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