The Beans of Egypt, Maine and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Beans of Egypt Maine Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1986


See all 21 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$0.75 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Bone Clocks" by David Mitchell.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 10 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1ST edition (July 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446300101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446300100
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,425,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carolyn Chute is the author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine; Letourneau’s Used Auto Parts; Snow Man; and Merry Men, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Thorton Wilder Fellowship. She currently lives in Maine with her husband. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From AudioFile

Some novels should be heard and not read, and Chute's classic about the tiny town of Egypt, Maine, and its mostly related residents, last name Bean, is definitely one of them. There is just no way to accurately write a backwoods Maine accent; you've got to hear it. When Joyce Bean and William Dufris speak in their characters' heavily Maine-inflected voices, Chute's characters are suddenly standing there right in front of you, even if you wish they weren't. As in William Faulkner's novel AS I LAY DYING, these characters provoke more disgust than sympathy, sinking lower and lower till they hardly seem human. The surprise is, they are human, and, partly due to beautifully understated readings, by the end of the book your heart is breaking for them. N.G. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Rather a serious book you'll think about for a long time.
Amazon Customer
We like to pretend the world of these characters does not exist and even if we may admit it does most of us don't want the details.
Shelley C. Raker
A story of genuine compassion, told with great warmth and humor.
Mark Hanley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is not a novel for those looking for a simple, pre-digested read with a typical setting-action-climax structure. This is a literary novel - rife with atmosphere, amazing imagery and allegory - and well worth the extra brain-cell workout it might take to discover all the nuances. Even without the analytical approach, you'll enjoy it as a fresh and unsettling picture of poor poor poor life in America - it's a window to another world.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jay Dee on May 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
Reading this novel will make you feel like the brave individuals who want to experience the more unfortunate part of our world...some such adventurous souls take on the garb and guise of a homeless person...actually going out to spend time, sleep on our planets big city streets and "really" find out how the other half lives...Or, barring the misfortune of having been born into and raised in the fictional but epidemically unfortunate true to life community of "Egypt" Maine, and/or not wanting to experience homelessness or extreme poverty and it's trappings yourself...it is possible to get a strong idea of what it's like to live how Ms. Chute describes by working in one of the social services...in particuarly, teaching...

This reviewer has taught in the area of New England ( New Hampshire and Maine ) that Ms. Chute describes...and while I have since been teaching in a nearby state, I can tell you that she is right on in her descriptions of many New England, or for that matter, ANY of the rural and too often depressed locales that cover our country.

Often, as was this reviewer's experience, such counties are indeed populated by three or four "Maine" family names that account for a disproportionate amount of the community and surrounding schools. These "families" or really, distended living groups, certainly with no semblage of a nuclear family, tend to always be at the head of the local police department's blotter and also tend to acquire the lion's share of their self admitted need for help and social services.

It is hard not to read Ms. Chute's work without coming to the "conclusions" that she hopes the fair minded reader will avoid.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By J. Beaulieu on August 7, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I wonder if I should be even thinking of reviewing this book, given that I have had the very good fortune of being friends with the author for over 20 years now -- we met before "Beans" was published.

However, I also feel that somebody out there should understand that this is a wonderful, honest, painful, loving, remarkable book. Carolyn writes about things she knows, and then gets very up close and personal about it.

This book is an attempt to show those who have never known [or even seen] the lives of people some would term "unfortunate" and others simply disdain, and to show that THESE PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE. Being poor does not mean that one cannot live with dignity, or honesty, or humor. Being poor does mean that these people are often forced to live in a society that demeans them, insults them, and often forces them into places where they are regarded as nothing but yesterday's garbage.

Let there be no mistake; The Beans are with us, and are not about to go away anytime soon, nor should they. If we have eyes to read and lips to read aloud the story of The Beans, we just might realize that they have much to teach us about truth, honor, respect, and love.

I understand that many people will not understand how on earth I can make this statement because I understand that many people prefer to look for the tawdry and speciousness in environments that they find uncomfortable or even unbelievable.

But this is above all a book of hope. It shows us that everyone lives a life of worth and influence, even if at times some of these "everyones" live lives that are in large part cruel and uncaring.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Many years ago, I had to read this book when I began working for our local Legal Aid Society. It's amazing to me how "The Book of Ruth" got so much publicity when this book did a much better job of detailing the desperate lives of people living in poverty.
I write reviews for a local newspaper and when "Ruth" came out, I reviewed it, mentioning this book. Several readers called to tell me they read this book instead of "Ruth" and to express their gratitude for my recommendation.
If you need to look into the eye of abject poverty, forget Oprah's suggestion. Read this book.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is unlike any other book I've read, though it does remind me of Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying." It is so completely believable-the imagery is excellent--not excessive--just enough to create an image that you can feel with all your senses. The story unfolds in such an unexpected way...I couldn't put it down, and when I finished it, I couldn't stop thinking about it for days. I highly recommend it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 1998
Format: Unknown Binding
This is a totally unexpected literary treat. Written with an clear, earthy feel for the characters' ever-revloving entrampment in their culture and destinies, Ms. Chute creates an indelible picture of destitute life in the backwoods of Maine. The writing is creative and well-crafted enticing the reader to boldly view the borderless and interwoven lives of these subjects. This is reading on a par with "The Grapes of Wrath".
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?