Steinbeck fans discussion

Sucess or failure in style changes?

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message 1: by Pandora (new)

Pandora  | 42 comments I'm currently reading In Dubuios Battle. I tried his King Pippin but, after a couple of pages I just didn't like the changes in his style. I remember also not being thrill with his Captain Morgan story.

It seems to me Steinbeck is best when he keeps to a realistic nitty gritty style (Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, The Moon is Down) and is not suited for fantasy or lighter styles. Does anyone else find this to be true or I'm just being a stick in the mud?

Eternaldisturbance | 9 comments I don't know- I am a huge fan, so my opinion must be biased. But one of the reasons I like him so much is because of his versatility. Contrast the style of "Moon is down" with that of "East of Eden",for example.
Just finished King Pippin, and was not disappointed in the least. May be not his best work, but certainly one that will stay with me for a long time.

message 3: by Leanne (new)

Leanne | 17 comments I agree with Eternaldisturbance on this one. I see what you are talking about when you mentioned Cup of Gold, but the book was no less enjoyable to me, it may not have been the masterpiece that E.O.E was but it was a still a good read to me. I am just now reading Pippin and I am anxious to see how I like it.

The books that he wrote that I was not so fond of are like you said, In Dubious Battle (even though it was well done, it seemed like it drug on), and I was also not fond of America and Americans, which is not fiction but more of an opinion piece.

Loving the discussions on here!

message 4: by Pandora (last edited Mar 24, 2010 07:28AM) (new)

Pandora  | 42 comments I found In Dubious Battle to be pretty good. Then again it was what I have come to expect from Steinbeck. I might give King Pippin a try again. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood.

Still, I do find that the books I like best are the ones in which he is taking on real issues and useing real people.

It may just my nature as a libraian but, I find that most authors have a certain style - voice that ususally comes across in most of their books. For example I don't read Katherine Patterson anymore because she is too sad. I enjoy Mark Twain's pointed humor. Dumas I expect exictement and noblity.

As for Steinbeck I expect realism. It is hard to put in words but, I do think East of Eden, The Moon is Down, Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men do have a similar flavor. They about common ordinary people trying to struggle and get by. A nitty gritty realism like an Woody Gruthie song. That is when I think Steinbeck is at his best.

Problem I had with King Pippin and Cup of Gold was they were not in this tone. For one me I think the problem was that the tone was too much of a switch. Like he was trying to do the Beetles and not Gruthie.

PS Is this making any sense?

Eternaldisturbance | 9 comments Yeah you echo my thoughts in saying that "most authors have a certain style - voice that ususally comes across in most of their books." Steinbeck is able to communicate a sense of calm, an observer in a mad, rushing world around him. This is what I have come to expect of him. This is one reason, imho, that everyone finds "Moon is down" so powerful-no fiery speeches there, just a calm courage.
And the same is found in , for example Cannery Row.
The dialogs between Pippin and other characters in the book also give me the same feeling.
I could go on and on. One of the best examples of this calm he is able to communicate is "Travels with Charley", closely followed by "A Russian journal".
Even when writing about WWII, he does not lose this. For those who have read it, I'd particularly refer to the chapter where he describes the chance meeting between an English lady and American troops.

He has a soothing effect on me, and that is one of the reasons I love him so much. In my opinion, he is the greatest writer ever.

message 6: by Pandora (new)

Pandora  | 42 comments Yes, this is it. That is why I like his books for the calmness and courage they give in a crazy world that often doesn't make sense. The Moon is Down is my second favorite after East of Eden. I especially like that he didn't make the Nazi fierce superior evil but, instead made them ordinary men that could be defeated.

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