Steinbeck fans discussion

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To a God Unknown

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message 1: by James (new)

James | 10 comments I really love To A God Unknown. It feels like a bit of a prototype for East of Eden, though it is certainly more mystical. It was written 20 years prior, but I think it is one of his finest early works, though The Pastures of Heaven is really quite amazing as well.
Any thoughts?


message 2: by Keith (new)

Keith (keithandrewwilson) | 4 comments Thanks for the tip on To a God Unknown! Looking forward to reading that now.


message 3: by Buck (last edited May 26, 2015 08:01PM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 58 comments I just finished To a God Unknown. I agree with James and Karen above; early on it put me in mind of East of Eden. At first I found the prose a little stiff; not so much the comfortable flow of Steinbeck that I have come to like so much. But as it moves along, the writing comes into its own. It is a good story, but it is the writing that makes it so good, as usual with Steinbeck. It moves along on its steady pace and then there is a thing that happens, and it grabs us, and we, the reader, are caught up in the reading. And then he does it again, and then again as the story moves inexorably to its inevitable end.

This is an early work of Steinbeck's, before he was famous, and maybe even before he could be considered successful. And it is good; it is good writing.

It's unusual for me to visualize a book as a movie, but I did here. In my mind's eye, I saw Gary Cooper in the role of Joseph Wayne, especially towards the end. As far as I know, it has not been made into a film.


message 4: by Mark (new)

Mark | 35 comments I loved this book - it's high up amongst my Steinbeck favourites.

It's quite pagan - I think it was influenced by his friendship with mythologist Joseph Campbell, who later may have had an affair with Carol S.

The symbolism of Joseph Wayne's journey home with his new wife (through the mountain pass) is particularly well written IMHO


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