Automotive Holiday Deals GG Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Subscribe & Save Martha Stewart American Made Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Entertainment Collectibles Outdoor Deals on HTL
Tortilla Flat (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $11.00
  • Save: $1.75 (16%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Tortilla Flat has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
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 all 3 images

Tortilla Flat Mass Market Paperback – April 28, 1977

259 customer reviews

See all 48 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$3.99 $0.01

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$9.25 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Tortilla Flat
  • +
  • Cannery Row
Total price: $17.83
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews


John Steinbeck knew and understood America and Americans better than any other writer of the twentieth century. (The Dallas Morning News) A man whose work was equal to the vast social themes that drove him. (Don DeLillo)"

About the Author

JOHN STEINBECK (1902–1968) was born in Salinas, California. He worked as a laborer and a journalist, and in 1935, when he published Tortilla Flat, he achieved popular success and financial security. Steinbeck wrote more than twenty-five novels and won the Nobel Prize in 1962. Nearly all of his books are available in Penguin Classics. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (April 28, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140042407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140042405
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (259 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #784,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Steinbeck (1902-1968), winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, achieved popular success in 1935 when he published Tortilla Flat. He went on to write more than twenty-five novels, including The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 106 people found the following review helpful By David A. Wend on September 19, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Tortilla Flat was an actual place in Carmel that John Steinbeck placed in Monterey. He took some stories about the paisanos (a mixture of Spanish, Indian, Mexican and Caucasian bloods) that lived in this marginal place consisting of shacks and, using the style of the Arthurian legends, spun these tales about Danny and his friends. They are meant to be humorous and serious at times, and the characters are larger than life. Certainly, no one could live as Danny, Pilon, Jesus Marie, Big Joe Portagee and the Pirate, consuming wine by the gallon, eating whatever they can steal and taking up and whoring with any woman they want, but this is hardly the point. The tales have an epic proportion to them like Malory's knights of yore but from the vantagepoint of the New World. This makes Tortilla Flat an entertaining and cleverly written book.
Danny is the central character of the book and the anchor that holds his group of friends together. They may be vagabonds but they have a moral code. An example: the Pirate lives with five dogs in a chicken coop. He takes some kindling wood into town each day and receives a quarter for it. He does not spend the money but hoards it. The paisanos estimate it to be $100 and think of stealing it, but are unable to follow the Pirate to where he has hidden the money. To get around this problem they invite the Pirate to live with him and try to discover the whereabouts of the money by suggesting it could be stolen quite easily. The Pirate eventually brings the money to the paisanos and discloses why he is saving it: the money is to fulfill a promise made to St. Francis to present a golden candlestick to a church in the saints honor. Why? Because the saint cured an illness one of his dogs had.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By jmh on March 20, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly recommended this short novel but I would not do so for everyone. First of all, you must appreciate the novel being written in 1935 and the language spoken by the characters reflect that time period, rightly so. It only takes a short while to adapt and I found the story moving along at a nice pace as the personalities began to assume colorful portrayals.
Steinbeck presents a group of men, or paisanos living in Monterey, California after the first World War. These are poor men, not especially motivated to work for a living and have a thirsty, never ending longing for wine. They circle around Danny, the fortunate one in the group, who inherited 2 small houses from his grandfather. Having no steady job, it makes sense to him to "rent" to his buddies. His buddies don't have jobs or revenue, either, so the compensation that takes place is in the form of companionship and the collective sharing of all foods begged from the back doors of groceries and restaurants. The hawking of whatever goods they come upon that can be bartered for the prized gallon of wine serves to be their highest priority. While seemingly desperate and pathetic, these men go to no end to rationalize their predicaments, twist truths and events to be self-serving and ultimately rewarding their endeavors by securing enough wine to satisfy them all. This can be quite a challenge, and the lengths they go to to fulfill their thirsty desires are hilarious. That the reader finds love and goodness in these fellows is reflected by the skill of John Steinbeck's writing.
The book is a quick read and it was not long before I became fond and wiped away a few tears of sorrow and joy for each of them and the circumstances these men find themselves.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By kkrome25 on March 12, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a fable set in John Steinbeck's beloved Northern California. What it's all about are friendships and the dynamics of interpersonal dealings between immortal characters. Immortal in that every generation has their Pilons and Dannys, and of having things that you can hold in your own hand versus things that cannot ultimately be bought or sold. The appeal is due in part to the similarities in our own lives and in the lives of others. In every Steinbeck novel is a little gift of insight. This has many.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By WILLIAM H FULLER on October 31, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
". . . and the tides rise and fall as a great clepsydra."

The protagonists of TORTILLA FLAT are paisanos, and the word is descriptive. Evolving through Spanish from an Old French term meaning "peasant," the word connotes comrades or fellow countrymen. Indeed, Danny, Pilon, Big Joe Portagee, the Pirate, Jesus Maria, and the other personalities that one meets in this novel certainly qualify as comrades. Still, we must use the term advisedly, for their comradeship is not that of heroes, nor that of stolid laborers, nor even that of great criminal minds. No, it is the comradeship of simplicity, poverty, ignorance, despair, and, on occasion, of simple pleasure. It is the comradeship of survival through the inexorable passage of time.

The paisanos of TORTILLA FLAT survive without hope, without ambition, and without families, at least in the comfortable, middle-class definition of those terms. Yet, from their unquestioning viewpoints, they have all of these and more. Sometimes they hope for a little money to come their way, for without money one cannot buy wine and the joy that it brings. Their ambition may be to impress "Sweets" Ramirez to enjoy her favors for a night. And for a family, they have the all of the paisanos in Tortilla Flat above Monterey. In this light, the novel is both tragic and comic, tragic in that its souls are always questing, always in need of another bottle of wine or of a suit of clothes or of a bit of rent money or of a woman's company for an hour or so or of buried treasure in a haunted forest; comic in that a bottle of wine will bring joy, a two-bit piece (a quarter) constitutes wealth, a vacuum cleaner is a treasure in a house with no electricity.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Tortilla Flat
This item: Tortilla Flat
Price: $9.25
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: classic literature, classics literature