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The Pearl: (Centennial Edition) [Paperback]

John Steinbeck
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (394 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 17 2002

“There it lay, the great pearl, perfect as the moon.”
One of Steinbeck’s most taught works, The Pearl is the story of the Mexican diver Kino, whose discovery of a magnificent pearl from the Gulf beds means the promise of a better life for his impoverished family. His dream blinds him to the greed and suspicions the pearl arouses in him and his neighbors, and even his loving wife Juana cannot temper his obsession or stem the events leading to tragedy. This classic novella from Nobel Prize-winner John Steinbeck examines the fallacy of the American dream, and illustrates the fall from innocence experienced by people who believe that wealth erases all problems. 

This deluxe centennial edition features french flaps and deckle-edges pages.

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From Library Journal

February 27 marks the great Steinbeck's 100th birthday, and the publishing world is celebrating appropriately. The Library of America volume collects the author's little-known 1942 novel The Moon Is Down along with popular standards Cannery Row (1945), The Pearl (1947), and East of Eden (1952). If you prefer individual copies, Penguin is also releasing top-quality paperback Centennial Editions of several of Steinbeck's titles, which in addition to those listed above and those in the Library of America collection include his travelog Travels with Charley in Search of America (ISBN 0-14-200070-1) and the Pulitzer Prize winner The Grapes of Wrath (ISBN 0-14-200066-3), perhaps the greatest American novel of the 20th century. Penguin, which publishes Steinbeck's 26 works, reports that the volumes still sell more than one million copies annually. Happy birthday, big guy!
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“[The Pearl] has the distinction and sincerity that are evident in everything he writes.”The New Yorker

“Form is the most important thing about him. It is at its best in this work.” Commonweal

“[Steinbeck has] long trained his prose style for such a task as this: that supple unstrained, muscular power, responsive to the slightest pull of the reins.” Chicago Sunday Times

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A fable for now June 15 2014
By SnowPharoah TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fables allow us to tell simple stories that resonate in complex situations. The Pearl tells the tale of a poor pearl diver who finds a pearl of incredible value. He knows that the pearl is useless unless he can sell it. To sell it, he must be able to protect it and sell it at its value price. Otherwise, all is for not. Instantly, there are different individuals and groups who either want the pearl and are willing to go to great lengths to get it, or other groups, who also want it but will instead devalue it. And there is also what goes on in the hearts of Kino, the diver, his wife and those who love them. The pearl is a way out, but also a way in, to broken hearts and to the reality of our harsh world. The pearl is a place and an object of contrasts, of potential pleasure, of certain pain. A wonderful, thought provoking story, that provides much impetus for thought about what we search for, how we think about the happiness that we search, and the workings of our world.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A short, simple story well told Jan. 3 2013
Steinbeck proves that morality tales don't have to be preachy and annoying in this fine, short work. The discovery of a highly valuable pearl unleashes a sequence if ugly events. The parallel to the American Dream is obvious, but the story has a simple, unflinching power that will stay with you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect! Feb. 16 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Thank you for the fast shipping and the great condition. The book is great, very useful with my students! They've learned a lot!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Simple Story Simply Told April 12 2009
By Oliver TOP 500 REVIEWER
The Pearl is essentially a morality tale about how the pursuit of wealth can lead to unhappiness. Perhaps that is unfair; putting it that way conjures up images of preachiness and boredom. The Pearl is neither preachy nor boring. It is a simple, short story, well told. It is well worth the short time it will take you to read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "The Pearl" Jan. 2 2003
By Ken Lin
The Pearl by John Steinbeck was set at a little village called La Paz in Baja California, Mexico. In this book the main character Kino has Live in this small village with his wife, Juana and his son, Coyotito. Although that they are poor, they all has a great life, until Coyotito had been bitten by the scorpion. Kina had no money to pay for the doctor to treat his son. So they went to the gulf to try to find a pearl, so that he can pay the doctor to treat his son. Fortunately he had found the pearl, and it is not just a little pearl, it is "The Pearl Of The World. "It is as perfect as the moon and as big as the sea gull's egg". First Kino thinks that this pearl will bring a good future to him and his family, but instead this pearl is the root of all the evil. It has brought fear and evil and also a lot of problems to Kino and his family. Will Kino and his family overcome all the problems or will the problems get them?
I think the book "The Pearl" is a very nice book and also a helpful book for everyone, and I will rate it with five stars. I think that everyone should read this book, because it is a very interesting book and it has all kinds of conflicts. And most important is that it tells people never to be greedy, when people are greedy, or want a thing too much, they will never get those things that they want. Instead, they will get something evil.
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2.0 out of 5 stars the pearl Dec 6 2002
The Pearl
By: Will Kern
Boring! That's the one word that I can use to describe this true but uneventful book. I mean it still had events, but lets just say they did nothing to make this book a good read. The book was also too predictable. You knew exactly when something bad are good was going to happen in the book. If something bad were going to happen then a "song of evil" would begin to play. If something nice was going to happen there either wasn't a song or it was a calm song that he would hum.

It is nice that he would write a story that had been passed down for generations in this small little village, but he picked the wrong one. He should have picked one with more action and adventure to it. It was also unfortunate that in the end Kino becomes the bad guy, but learns a lesson that money is not always everything.
John Steinbeck makes a mistake in making the family to blind in what is going on around them. Like when the doctor says the effect of the scorpion sting will come later and may cause Coyotito to become blind. So the doctor gave the baby a white powder in a gelatin capsule. The baby takes the pill, and the doctor says this will stop the pain although the baby seems to have no more pain. He says he will come back in an hour. So he does and for some reason gives the baby water with ammonia. Kino is unable to pay him at the time, but once he sells the pearl he will repay him. He makes a big mistake at that time. The doctor says that he should keep with him, in his safe. At that time Kino looks down at the floor where he has buried the pearl. The doctor realizes it and has a plan. He comes the night to steal it, but wakes Kino and is nearly stabbed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Pearl by John Steinbeck Dec 2 2002
By "junim"
Although this book may be slim and thin, it gives a powerful and straight forward teachings of the natures of men. Kino, the main character, goes through a tragic event of being unable to afford his son's visit to the doctor as the wound from the poisonous scorpion kept on getting worse. To save his beloved son, he dives into the waters and finds a pearl that seemed to posess the shape and the size of a full moon. When the words quickly spread about the mysterious pearl, he soon finds him self stranded between the greedy who devastatingly want to purchase his beautful item. Unluckly, as the story progresses towards the end, Kino faces many depressing results. However, to those who love short and heart thrilling novels, I highly recommend this book... READ IT TODAY!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Moral fable or political diatribe? You decide!
Kino is a pearl diver in La Paz, Mexico, eking out a meager subsistence living for his wife, Juana, and their infant son, Coyotito. Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2009 by Paul Weiss
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
Kino and his wife, Juana, have a beautiful baby boy, but one morning he gets stung by a scorpion. He is rushed to the doctor, who will not treat him because they have no form of... Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2007 by TeensReadToo
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my recent reads
I recently read three excellent books and felt I must share them with other Amazon readers. First came Sedaris's "Me Talk Pretty One Day," which was possibly the funniest book I've... Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2006 by Seabold
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Parable, Amazing Plot, Powerful Message...
The Pearl, by John Steinbeck, is truly a timeless, well-crafted masterpiece. Steinbeck, the winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize for literature, uses vivid descriptions to portray an... Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2005 by lovepoke
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of "The Pearl"
I rated this novella three stars because I felt that the story was a little bit rushed and the author left some important details out. Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2005 by Pop D.
3.0 out of 5 stars The Pearl by John Steinbeck
The story is set in a brush hut in a town in Mexico with a pearl fisherman named Kino. Kino wakes up to find a scorpion next to his son's cot and he desperately tries to remove the... Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2005 by Mrs. S. A. Eckersley
4.0 out of 5 stars No Happy Ending
A tragic ending for an almost to good-to-be true story
It happens, you have 5 of the 6 numbers needed too win the lottery. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2004 by MiCh_L
4.0 out of 5 stars No Happy Ending - A tragic ending for an almost to good-to-b
It happens, you have 5 of the 6 numbers needed too win the lottery. At this point, you think to yourself: what is it that you most desire? Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2004 by MiCh_L
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun and as usual, great Steinbeck
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. No, it's no GRAPES OF WRATH or EAST OF EDEN, but it is better than most other books I've come across. My summer reading list? Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2004
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