5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Price of Modernity,
This review is from: The Winter of Our Discontent (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin) (Paperback)
When John Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962, many felt that this book was what reminded the Prize committee of Steinbeck's greatness. Like all of his books, short stories and non-fiction journalism, this is very well written, has developed characters who readers will recognize and presents a useful moral at the end. This might be his most modern and recognizable story, however.
Ethan Hawley is the well educated scion of a prominent Long Island family that has fallen on hard times and has lost its place at the top of society. Ethan is known throughout the community for his honesty and integrity, but there is pressure from everyone--his family, his boss, friends and local big wigs--for him to sacrifice his morales to earn a better living and make a name for himself. As he struggles with the temptation of a big pay day, he develops a plan which will destroy his own standards of decency, but will elevate his family back into the prestigious position he thinks they deserve.
The story is well told and engaging, plus it gives readers a great opportunity to decide whether the modern society Steinbeck sees is really worth the price it costs. I would highly recommend this book to Steinbeck fans or people who enjoy good writing and stories that make them think.