Trampling Out the Vintage (Read: Grapes of Wrath)

I finished reading John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath a few weeks ago. I’d intended to write about it a lot sooner, but long hours at work and the usual Holiday Madness torpedoed my good intentions until now. Plus, the darn thing is just so weighty, I needed some time to think about it. Spoiler alert: I’m going to talk a little about some plot points in the novel, so if you haven’t read it, don’t read further unless you mind a little revelation.  I probably won’t add any amazing new insights on The Grapes of Wrath here — it is one of the most acclaimed and book-reported novels of all time, after all. But there a few things I’d like to talk about in terms of how it impacted me. First, I think I was surprised by how political the novel was. I know that Steinbeck was a fairly … Continue reading

The Joad Less Traveled (Reading: The Grapes of Wrath)

Here I am, untold years out of high school and finally getting around to reading The Grapes of Wrath. (Sorry for the pun in the title. I just couldn’t resist.) It’s been high on my “to read” list for quite some time, but kept dropping to the perpetual back of the line like some Jean Claude Van Damme movie on my Netflix Queue everytime something new came along. And in case you think I’m a total jerk for comparing one of the Greatest Novels Ever Written to JCVD,  I should point out that my favorite book is East of Eden. (I don’t know whether that absolves my sin or compounds it…) I just started reading, so I don’t have a lot of well-formed opinions on the novel yet — other than as usual, Steinbeck does a wonderful job of evoking character through place. Few worlds are as vivid to me … Continue reading