Tortilla Flat

Tortilla Flat

By (author) John Steinbeck , Introduction by Thomas Fensch


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John Steinbeck's first major critical and commercial success, and perhaps his funniest novel, "Tortilla Flat" includes a critical introduction by Thomas Fensch in "Penguin Modern Classics". Danny is a paisano, descended from the original Spanish settlers who arrived in Monterey, California, centuries before. He values friendship above money and possessions, so when he suddenly inherits two houses, Danny is quick to offer shelter to his fellow gentlemen of the road. Together, their love of freedom and scorn for material things draws them into daring and often hilarious adventures. That is, until Danny, tiring of his new responsibilities, suddenly disappears...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 enjoyed "Tortilla Flat", you might like Steinbeck's "Cannery Row", also available in "Penguin Modern Classics". "Steinbeck...tells the stories of these lovable thieves and adulterers with a poetic purity of heart and prose". ("New York Herald Tribune").

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  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 126 x 192 x 16mm | 117.93g
  • 01 Feb 2006
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London
  • English
  • 0141185112
  • 9780141185118
  • 30,722

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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.

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Review quote

John Steinbeck knew and understood America and Americans better than any other writer of the twentieth century. ("The Dallas Morning News") A man whose work was equal to the vast social themes that drove him. (Don DeLillo)"

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Review text

An utterly unprecedented sort of book, and hard to analyze in its unique charm. Danny, a Paisano of Monterey, California, inherits two houses, and he and his friends who gather round, live in them. This is the story of their adventures and misadventures, stealing, cozening, deviling their neighbors, plotting the acquisition of food and money without work. They rescue Danny from feminine wiles, they are in and out of jail, they are never bad but unbelievably naughty. The simplicity of the telling is wholly disarming - the humor, though unostentatious, brings many a chuckle. Imagine characters that might have been handled in the Caldwell vein, turned over to Robert Nathan - and you approximate Tortilla Flat. Try it out on very special customers, sophisticated, but not smartly so; those who liked February Hill, for instance, should like this, as it is "amoral" without being really shocking. Some one of the staff should read it, surely. (Kirkus Reviews)

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