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The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath

Book rating: 05 Paperback Penguin Modern Classics

By (author) John Steinbeck, Introduction by Robert Demott

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Paperback | 528 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 32mm | 360g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2005
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141185066
  • ISBN 13: 9780141185064
  • Sales rank: 3,135

Product description

John Steinbeck's powerful evocation of the suffering and hardship caused by the Great Depression, and a panoramic vision of the struggle for the American Dream, "The Grapes of Wrath" includes a critical introduction by Robert DeMott in Penguin Modern Classics. 'I've done my damndest to rip a reader's nerves to rags, I don't want him satisfied.' Shocking and controversial when it was first published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning epic "The Grapes of Wrath" remains his undisputed masterpiece. Set against the background of Dust Bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of Tom Joad and his family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel west in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and broken dreams, yet out of their suffering Steinbeck created a drama that is intensely human, yet majestic in its scale and moral vision. Adapted into a celebrated film directed by John Ford, and starring Henry Fonda, "The Grapes of Wrath" is an eloquent tribute to the endurance and dignity of the human spirit. John Steinbeck (1902-68), winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for literature, is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. During the Second World War Steinbeck served as a war correspondent, with his collected dispatches published as "Once There Was a War" (1958); in 1945 he was awarded the Norwegian Cross of Freedom for his novel "The Moon is Down" (1942), a portrayal of Resistance efforts in northern Europe. His best-known works include the epics "The Grapes of Wrath" (1939) and "East of Eden" (1952), and his tragic novella "Of Mice and Men" (1937). John Steinbeck's complete works are published in "Penguin Modern Classics". If you liked "The Grapes of Wrath", you might enjoy "East of Eden", also available in "Penguin Classics". "A novelist who is also a true poet". ("Sunday Times").

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Author information

Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. His complete works will be available in Penguin Modern Classics.

Customer reviews

By James 16 Apr 2009 5

"There is a crime here that goes beyond denunciation. There is a sorrow here that weeping cannot symbolize."

So reads the start of one of the most moving passages in The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbecks classic tale of the fate of the thousands of Oklahoman farmers ("Okies") forced to move East in search of a new way of life.

Their farm destroyed by numerous droughts and their home taken from them by the "monstrous" banks, the Joad family are lured to California by a promise of new work amongst the sunny orchards of the East. Their journey, and what they find at its end, remains a compelling indictment of the evils of unfettered capitalism and an appeal for more humanity in the modern world.

Considered by many to by Steinbecks greatest novel, The Grapes of Wrath deals tremendously with its varying themes - the meaning of family, religion and worker rights, amongst others - through an effective literary framework that captures the plight of the "Okies" both at the personal level of the Joad's, and at the general level of the mass emigration East.

A "must read", if ever there was one.

Editorial reviews

This is the sort of book that stirs one so deeply that it is almost impossible to attempt to convey the impression it leaves. It is the story of today's Exodus, of America's great trek, as the hordes of dispossessed tenant farmers from the dust bowl turn their hopes to the promised land of California's fertile valleys. The story of one family, with the "hangers-on" that the great heart of extreme poverty sometimes collects, but in that story is symbolized the saga of a movement in which society is before the bar. What an indictment of a system - what an indictment of want and poverty in the land of plenty! There is flash after flash of unforgettable pictures, sharply etched with that restraint and power of pen that singles Steinbeck out from all his contemporaries. There is anger here, but it is a deep and disciplined passion, of a man who speaks out of the mind and heart of his knowledge of a people. One feels in reading that so they must think and feel and speak and live. It is an unresolved picture, a record of history still in the making. Not a book for casual reading. Not a book for unregenerate conservative. But a book for everyone whose social conscience is astir - or who is willing to face facts about a segment of American life which is and which must be recognized. Steinbeck is coming into his own. A new and full length novel from his pen is news. Publishers backing with advertising, promotion aids, posters, etc. Sure to be one of the big books of the Spring. First edition limited to half of advance as of March 1st. One half of dealer's orders to be filled with firsts. (Kirkus Reviews)