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Pass the Prozac
on June 19, 2003
Let me preface this review by saying that I absolutely LOVE Steinbeck. I would consider him one of my five favorite authors. I think East of Eden is one of my favorite books of all time. I especially like Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat. I even liked The Wayward Bus.
HOWEVER, having said that, I must say that I cannot handle The Grapes of Wrath. My tolerance for pain is not nearly high enough. I have to be honest - I've never actually read the entire book. It's much to difficult to read through the tears in my eyes. I am sure that it is, like most of his other novels, a well-written, fascinating account of the lives of some very interesting people. I simply cannot willingly subject myself to such abject despair. I read novels for enjoyment, and I don't enjoy the feeling of having my heart pulled apart piece by piece, page by page.
Undoubtedly it is to Steinbeck's great credit that he is able to draw that kind of emotion out of a person through simple words on a page. Only one or two books have ever been able to move me in that way. Unfortunately, it is not a feeling I desire. Perhaps I'm overly sensitive. The book made me want to open up a vein, but apparently millions of people loved it...