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The Grapes of Wrath: Text and Criticism; Revised Edition (Critical Library, Viking) 2 Sub Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140247756
ISBN-10: 0140247750
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It is Steinbeck's best novel, i.e., his toughest and tenderest, his roughest written and most mellifluous, his most realistic and, in its ending, his most melodramatic, his angriest and most idyllic. It is great in the way that Unlce Tom's Cabin was great. One of the most impassioned and exciting books of the year." —Time

"One comes away moved, indignant, protesting, pitying. A fiery document of protest and compassion, as a story that had to be told, as a book that must be read." —Louis Kronenberger, The Nation

From the Back Cover

John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize--winning epic of the Great Depression follows the western movement of one family and a nation in search of work and human dignity.
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Product Details

  • Series: Critical Library, Viking
  • Paperback: 712 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 2 Sub edition (July 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140247750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140247756
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
"The highway is alive tonight, but nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes. I'm sitting down here in the campfire light, searchin' for the ghost of Tom Joad."
--Bruce Springsteen, The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995)
And John Steinbeck's novel is still with us, still proving relevant. I would suggest listening to some Woodie Guthrie or Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska or Ghost of Tom Joad while reading this. Though many people clamored for Steinbeck to create another "Grapes of Wrath" throughout his career that would have been a shame. "Grapes of Wrath," is definitely Steinbeck's best-known novel and maybe most socially-conscious, but not the pinnacle of his writing. He creates far more in less pages in works like Cannery Row and Of Mice and Men.
The strength of Grapes of Wrath lies in capturing the migration West of people in need, people from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas during the dust bowl of the 30's coming to California to find work and a new beginning. The historical accuracy of the plight of the Joad's is up to debate. That is the strength of the Viking Critical Library editions of literature, because the reader gets all the background information divided into the social and creative context as well as a section on criticism. I would highly encourage The Viking Critical Library editions of any great works of literature you are planning on reading.
Back to the point of historical accuracy, there are articles from Frank J. Taylor and Carey McWilliams that give a point-counterpoint to what the Dust Bowl migrants actually went through during that time. Maybe the squalid pallor and rancid prejudice experienced by the Joad family wasn't the average migrant family's ordeal, but I have no doubts that there are elements of migrant families lives pieced together.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This text with criticisms covers Steinbeck's life and work very well. Its focus is the writing of "Grapes of Wrath" and the reaction to the novel at publication and over time. I found it easy to read and informative.
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Format: Paperback
The Grapes of Wrath is one of the most important novels both historically and stylisticly that has ever come out of America. As the reader is taken down the road of hardship and economic injustice that the Joad family must travel, his eyes are open to the terrible calamities that the depression and the Dust Bowl brought on poor farmers. We gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the courage and perseverance displayed by thousands and thousands of migrant workers forced out of their native lands and compelled to compete for slave labor. Through his poetic use of the English language, Steinbeck educates us and inspires us to recognize the indominatable human spirit.
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The book arrived promptly was in great condition and the criticisms were helpful. The book needs to be read by everyone. I had missed the magnitude and profundity of the book from when I read it as a teen.
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