East of Eden Paperback – Jan 26 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
No tricks, no overly clever plot-twists or wordplays, this is just a straight-ahead, old-fashioned, fascinating story about the greatest biblical theme of them all: people's struggle with good and evil. But that's not all. It's so much more than that. [Ok, nerdy confession time:] I drew up a list of all the great themes "East of Eden" covers but have since scrapped it because Steinbeck does precisely that in the book's appropriately humble epigraph, delivered as a simple letter to a dear friend:
You came upon me carving some kind of little figure out of wood and you said, 'Why don't you make something for me?'
I asked you what you wanted, and you said, 'A box.'
'To put things in.'
'Whatever you have,' you said.
Well, here's your box. Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is not full. Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad and evil thoughts and good thoughts - the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation.
And on top of these are all the gratitude and love I have for you.
And still the box is not full.
What more need be said?
-Probably Because I Have To
->The story is tragedy, with rays of hope strewn throughout it and a moral lesson behind it. It is about the intertwining destinies of two sets of people in the Salinas Valley: the gregarious and emotionally diverse Hamilton family and the passionate, moody Trask clan. The book centers many of its themes around biblical references, such as the fall of Adam and Eve, and the deadly rivalry between Cain and Able. The importance of individual identity, and the consequences of blind love are also discussed.
->The book is a example of great story telling. Steinbeck had a natural flow of language that the reader can relate to and uses practical, to-the-point diction to easily communicate his story. The progress of the Trask family's development from zealous and impulsive into contemplative and vigilant is fascinating to watch. Steinbeck makes you either love his characters or loathe them, depending on whom he's talking about. There's something about his writing that compels you to read on to the next chapter to learn what new tragedy or jubilance will afflict the character next. It is simply a book that you won't put down; that is, until you realize how much time has gone by.Read more ›
Despite its intimidating length, "East" moves along quickly as we follow the life of Adam Trask - from his East Coast childhood and troubled relationship with his brother to businessman and father of two sons with equally complex relations of their own. As the title suggests, the book is a modern retelling of the biblical story of Cain and Abel story. As with most of the "classics," the novel is rife with topics and themes to deeply delve into and discuss with your book club. My only criticisms are that the "good vs. evil" angle gets a bit heavy-handed at times and, for me, the novel loses some steam in the final quarter - but these are certainly not enough to not heartily recommend the work.
The nice thing about "Eden" is if you choose not to take the "literary" route, you can still be simply entertained and enthralled by Steinbeck's plot and characters. There is enough suspense and intrigue that make it not terribly different from many of today's bestsellers.
Most recent customer reviews
In a literary world where the words like 'page-turner', 'must read' and even 'classic' are thrown about like confetti in the wind, it is extremely pleasurable to read a novel that... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ronald W. Maron
My son recommended my reading of EOE. He had read it and had been thoroughly taken up by the story and the issues that were raised. Read morePublished 5 months ago by SnowPharoah
had no idea this was a classic until after I read it. long, interesting read. not normally my style but I was dared by a friend. Read morePublished 9 months ago by young mom of 3
I think it might be one I got a few years ago but cannot find, I will know once I start reading it again, I will know for sure.Published 16 months ago by frances poirier
Every person should read this - doesn't matter who your favorite authors are, you will like this. And it should be a graduation present for every kid coming out of high school if... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Brett Matthews
This is the first thing I've ever read that is not science, psychology, business, etc. and I absolutely couldn't put it down. I read the entire book in two giant power sessions. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Alex Drysdale - Crik Nutrition
I'm still reading this book and thoroughly enjoying the story. It took me awhile to get use to John Steinbeck's style of writing but he's up there with my favourites now.Published on Aug. 22 2013 by Gary Miller