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Steinbeck Centennial East Of Eden Paperback – Feb 7 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 345 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Paperbacks (Feb. 7 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142000655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142000656
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 3.9 x 21.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 345 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,773,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"A novel planned on the grandest possible scale...One of those occasions when a writer has aimed high and then summoned every ounce of energy, talent, seriousness, and passion of which he was capable...It is an entirely interesting and impressive book."
The New York Herald Tribune
 

"A fantasia and myth...a strange and original work of art."
The New York Times Book Review
 

"A moving, crying pageant with wilderness strengths."
—Carl Sandburg

"When the book club ended a year ago, I said I would bring it back when I found the book that was moving…and this is a great one. I read it for myself for the first time and then I had some friends read it. And we think it might be the best novel we've ever read!"
—Oprah Winfrey --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

No writer is more quintessentially American than John Steinbeck. Born in 1902 in Salinas, California, Steinbeck attended Stanford University before working at a series of mostly blue-collar jobs and embarking on his literary career. Profoundly committed to social progress, he used his writing to raise issues of labor exploitation and the plight of the common man, penning some of the greatest American novels of the twentieth century and winning such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He received the Nobel Prize in 1962, "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. I honestly was a tad bored at the slowness of it but I kept reading to see how it ended (after reading half of a book this long you can't very well put it down!) now I am excited to see the movie version! five stars because it was extremely well written, and very descriptive. you are easily transported back in time as one of the townsfolk who knows these characters.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. It is brilliant and give you such a perspective of live, how and and small it can be.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in reading it.
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Format: Paperback
"East of Eden" is based on the biblical story of Cain’s fratricide of Abel from Genesis -- Cain is banished to east of Eden for his crime. "East of Eden" is a sprawling saga across several generations which deals with some deep fundamental human conflicts and issues – the conflict between good and evil, the competition between siblings for the affection of parents, love which is not reciprocated, the nature of the human soul.

As well as the antagonistic dynamic between Adam and Charles Trask, and reproduced in Adam’s sons Cal and Aron, there is the troublesome relationship between Adam and his wife Cathy. When Samuel Hamilton, another of the key characters in East of Eden, first meets Cathy he experiences great revulsion. Steinbeck's description of Cathy -- as someone who is missing something essential in her soul -- when he introduces her into the novel is an absolute masterpiece. All of which enhances the sense of the great depth of Steinbeck's classic.

There is an interesting monologue central to "East of Eden" in which Lee (Adam Trask's Chinese cook, and ultimately his confidante and mentor) describes how a group of Chinese Buddhist scholars spend two years studying the story of Cain and Abel and conclude that Christians have misinterpreted the Biblical story. Their interpretation: Cain had a choice. Maybe that is as much as we can realistically hope for, that people strive to make the right choices.

This is a difficult read because of seriousness of the issues raised, but also richly rewarding.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hereby ordain Steinbeck "Rabbi Steinbeck". Anyone who's read the novel will understand. Besides a myriad of other great things, this novel is a masterpiece of exegesis on an important part of the Book of Genesis. A memorable classic!
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Format: Paperback
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 lives up to its predetermined hype. 'East of Eden' is such a novel and deserves the accolade of being called a 'classic'. While Steinbeck's abilities never reaches the heights of England's Dickens, one can honestly state that he is America's best version of Charles Dickens. His prose if highly fluid and borders on poetry at times. His characters, while not as quirky as Dickens's do border on the obtuse and forlorn. The message Steinbeck gives forth is not the social universality of his English counterpart's but is more personalized and compartmentalized into everyday occurrences. 'East of Eden' gives the reader all of that and so much more; inherent good vs. situational evil, naiveté vs. realism, dreams vs. despair and fakery vs.commitment. Sit down, relax and plan to spend the next three days in deep and reflective thought. This is the journey the author will take you on.
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Format: Paperback
An all time fave. Why? Because there is next to no ego in the last book John Steinbeck ever wrote. You finish "East of Eden" and you remember the characters not the writer. You remember Lee, who is so selfless and good and wise; you remember the two sets of brothers, Adam and Charles, and Cal and Aron; and with a series of spinal shudders you find you cannot forget Cathy (or Catherine) who has to go down as one of the most sinister - and interesting - characters in all fiction.

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:

"Dear Pat,
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.'
'What for?'
'To put things in.'
'What things?'
'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.
John"

What more need be said?

-Probably Because I Have To
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