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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on February 27, 2017
In the reading of "The .rapes of Wrath", i discovered that the publishers wanted to change the ending out of fear that it might cause the book to be banned. I am glad that Steinbeck declined to follow that advice. The climax of Rose of Sharon sharing her mother's milk with a starving moribund man captures the collective spirit that Stenbeck attempts to bring out in the novel. Throughout the novel, grand economic forces attempt to drive people apart. The Joad's and escally "Ma" realize the importance of the family and work tirelessly to keep it together. The Joad family is a metaphor fr the collective of the people who have been impoverished and driven from their homes by the workings of impersonal inhuman forces. The land company sends the tractors and no human makes the decision.The Joad's lose "Noah" and "Connie". Young "Tom" is driven way. But the family stays together. The family, the family becomes the exploited migrant labor class. The only way to overcome the impersonal inhuman forces that exploit them is to become more human and to join and retain the family.
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Some of the reviewers view this masterpiece as being a clear and historical view of the oppression felt by tens of thousands during this era. There can be no denial of this obvious fact. As this historical novel is read you not only see through the eyes of the author's characters but experience the smells, the sounds, and, most importantly, the emotional impact on the lives of the displaced sharecroppers. Other, less favorable, reviewers find this novel both depressing and very slow moving. With them I also agree for the life of the Joad's was neither joyful nor fast-paced and Steinbeck made certain that we experienced the mundaneness of their existence. My additional conclusion is that this tale can also be viewed as an allegorical of life of Universal Man. Yes, the events are magnified, the helplessness more keenly felt, the oppressors were even more foul and the Joad's life path was even more tragic, but, that being said, we are all like the Joad's and remain powerless against the slings and arrows that society throws at us. Like the Ma Joad, all we want is a peaceful end to our life story..........
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on October 4, 2016
A powerful novel depicting life during the mid-1930s of those personally affected by the dust bowl droughts and the consequent migration to California of families seeking a living. The main theme involves the realities faced by those left by nature and big business with loss of property and home, before, during, and after their migration. Hundred of thousands of homeless Americans were lured to California and found their dreams smashed by rejection, hatred, and little chance to find jobs and feed their families. Present but more subtly than in his later novel, East of Eden, this book reveals Steinbeck's familiarity with biblical themes dealing with the contrast between poor and rich, especially the readiness with which the poor share what little they have while the rich defend their wealth. In our new period of homelessness, this nearly 80 year-old-book is well worth visiting.
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on July 20, 2013
My son needed this book for his English course. I had actually taught it myself. It was a pleasure to revisit the characters, the theme, the era. A classic story and at such an affordable price.
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on December 4, 2014
John Steinbeck's of Mice and Men is one of my all time favourite books, for a number of reasons this book delivers a powerful punch that is sure to move anyone who reads it. The book was originally published in 1937 and has been adapted to film a number of times (and with some success) but it's the original novel that demands the fullest attention of readers of any genre.

Steinbeck's story is based around two travelling farm workers who have dreams and aspirations for a better life a simple dream to have their own place and a small piece of land. The two main characters feature George Milton an uneducated man but with some natural intelligence, and Lennie Small who is somewhat backward and simple but with a kind heart and enormous physical strength/

George is plays something or a guardian role for Lennie he looks out for him and tries to keep him out of trouble as much as possible. Lennie is often unaware of the consequences of his actions and cannot comprehend his strength, but has a kind heart and a love of rabbits and small soft animals.

The two soon start working on a farm and all goes well at the start but it's clear that the farm owners son (Curley) has an intense dislike of Lennie due to his larger stature and strength. Curley frequently mocks Lennie and tries to provoke him at every opportunity this ends in a physical confrontation in which Lennie crushes the hand of Curley demonstrating in a brutal way how strong he is. Despite this set back things settle down as Curley realises he was the instigator and lets thing lie.

On the ranch an older man in the shape of Candy, a worker/handyman who lost his hand in an accident offers to join the two men and contribute his savings to go with them and get a place of their own. Candy feels his days of being useful on the farm are numbers and shares the dreams of George and Lennie, but their plans are soon tested when Curly's Wife (who is clearly bored and flirts with the ranch workers) unwittingly tests the strength of Lennie with dire consequences.

It's a straight forward and simple story that harks back to the era of the great depression but seizes on the hopes and dreams of people in the time of a better life with some security. Steinbeck's ending is crushing in it's intensity as the dream becomes a shattered reality rather than take an obvious way out he's chosen to leave a very lasting impression on readers. The authors ability to absorb the reader in both the characters and environment is unsurpassed he grabs you in and refuses to let go, the title of "classic" is often banded around a bit too much, in this case the story is magnificent; the execution near flawless and without question a modern masterpiece. Regardless of your preference in books taste or genre this is not to be missed
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on July 4, 2004
As a Junior AP English student, I was bombarded with summer work, and my assignments included chosing a summer book to read from a selected list. I chose the "Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, and was immeadiatly captured in the sad story of the Joads and there turbulent Oddessy. Sad and depressing yes, but hopeless it is not; if anything this book is about hope and compassion and empathy for others, and for many of us, including the characters in this novel, that is a lesson learned the hard way. There will probably never be a writer as talented as John Steinbeck; he has a way of making you not only imagine, but feel what is happening in his story. Steinbeck uses his great skill to show both great beauty and harsh reality, and I hope at the time this book was published that it caused political uproar and brought the people in American aristocracy down to Earth to realize what was occurring. Although people moving from Oklahoma to California are the least of our great nation's worries, the thoughts expressed in this book have the power to open the eyes of Americans to many troubling situations that exist today.
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on April 18, 2016
Such a great work of fiction. Fantastic read.

It was a great story. Sad, but great, none the less.

As the final scenes were unfolding I couldn't help but look back on Candy's dog and realize the lesson learned in his final moments........Sometimes the thing you feel you cannot do yourself, is the one thing that only you should do.

And George, he did what only him should do.
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on March 11, 2016
Right from the first chapter Steinbeck's skill with words gripped my interest. The plight of good people forced out of their way of life and still managing to maintain their dignity made a compelling story in Steinbeck's hands. I suppose I like a happy ending, but life is not always like that and one is left pondering the impossible situation the family finds itself in at the close of the book. Thoroughly recommended.
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on November 5, 2015
I bought this for my grandson. Having loved and read this book over many years, in my opinion it should have been named the most important novel of the 20th century. It has so much in it of family life, love, history, despair and hope. These people come alive for me, and it represents an important time in the history of North America, should be required reading.
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on June 24, 2013
I would recommend this product to anybody who loved the book and is looking for an 'old' copy but isn't necessarily a collector looking for first editions. The shape the book was in was perfect! you could tell it was old, the pages were slightly yellowed, and one corner was slightly dog eared, but for a book from this long ago, it was excellent and nicely worn. Super pleased with my purchase.
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