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.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Grapes of Wrath Paperback – March 28, 2006
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
When The Grapes of Wrath was published in 1939, America, still recovering from the Great Depression, came face to face with itself in a startling, lyrical way. John Steinbeck gathered the country's recent shames and devastations--the Hoovervilles, the desperate, dirty children, the dissolution of kin, the oppressive labor conditions--in the Joad family. Then he set them down on a westward-running road, local dialect and all, for the world to acknowledge. For this marvel of observation and perception, he won the Pulitzer in 1940.
The prize must have come, at least in part, because alongside the poverty and dispossession, Steinbeck chronicled the Joads' refusal, even inability, to let go of their faltering but unmistakable hold on human dignity. Witnessing their degeneration from Oklahoma farmers to a diminished band of migrant workers is nothing short of crushing. The Joads lose family members to death and cowardice as they go, and are challenged by everything from weather to the authorities to the California locals themselves. As Tom Joad puts it: "They're a-workin' away at our spirits. They're a tryin' to make us cringe an' crawl like a whipped bitch. They tryin' to break us. Why, Jesus Christ, Ma, they comes a time when the on'y way a fella can keep his decency is by takin' a sock at a cop. They're workin' on our decency."
The point, though, is that decency remains intact, if somewhat battle-scarred, and this, as much as the depression and the plight of the "Okies," is a part of American history. When the California of their dreams proves to be less than edenic, Ma tells Tom: "You got to have patience. Why, Tom--us people will go on livin' when all them people is gone. Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." It's almost as if she's talking about the very novel she inhabits, for Steinbeck's characters, more than most literary creations, do go on. They continue, now as much as ever, to illuminate and humanize an era for generations of readers who, thankfully, have no experiential point of reference for understanding the depression. The book's final, haunting image of Rose of Sharon--Rosasharn, as they call her--the eldest Joad daughter, forcing the milk intended for her stillborn baby onto a starving stranger, is a lesson on the grandest scale. "'You got to,'" she says, simply. And so do we all. --Melanie Rehak --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Journey with the Joads for 21 hours in this first unabridged version of Steinbeck's classic. Controversial, even shocking, when it was written, the work continues to be so even today. The keen listener can hear why, because it poses fundamental questions about justice, the ownership and stewardship of the land, the role of government, power, and the very foundations of capitalist society. As history, this brings the Dust Bowl years to life in a most memorable way. Steinbeck (Travels with Charley, Audio Reviews, LJ 11/15/94) is a master storyteller and manages to engage the listener's sympathy with this epic story. Reader Dylan Baker, who gives each character a distinctive voice, draws the listener in. His female characters, especially the minor ones and Rose of Sharon, don't seem as authentic as his wonderful evocation of the fictional Tom, Ma, and Pa. But his voice is easy to listen to, and he is faithful to the characters' backgrounds and the plains region. The music that ends each individual tape is perfect for the story. This program is a well-produced, affordable, and worthwhile addition for any library with a serious audiobook collection.?Nancy Paul, Brandon P.L., WI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
This author captures the heart and soul of this family who will do anything to save each other and keep their family together. They experience much hardships and tragedies but show a resilience that is astounding to see how they make do with so little and yet show such compassion for others.
This tale was written in 1939 but is still timely in its message of the meaning of love of family and survival of the fittest. It also conveys the differences of those who are affluent and those who are needy. It is a very moving story that will stay with you for a very long time.
You could argue that he idealized the virtuous indigent and vilified the wealthy as cruel and callous but much of what he wrote came of direct observation and much of what occurred in fiction happened in fact. When the pie from which we all feed from shrinks the fight for what remains is dirty and there's a tendency for the empowered to leave the rest behind regardless of legitimacy.
The Joad family have lost their farm in Oklahoma and they are joining the great migration to California and the promise of jobs and opportunity. They are a healthy close-knit family that care and look out for each other. The strain of homelessness and uncertainty pays a heavy price which is at the root of the book's story. It would be a hard man not to feel empathy for them and the millions like them. Steinbeck wrote the book in 1938-39. He is staring right into the abyss of the Depression. You can feel the immediacy still. His writing is beautiful as his characters take life and the scenes are clear.
When you read one of the most famous books in American literature do you try to ignore the hype and just read the book? There is so much going on here. Is he arguing for bigger government? Is he anti-capitalist or perhaps supporting communism? My conclusion is he saying "look - people are suffering. We Americans have a collective responsibility to each other." I did not see this as philosophy or a soapbox polemic against anything other than the breakdown in respect for human potential. It is a book that is supposed to raise your empathy and recognize the wasted potential of so many.
That the book is still popular and evoking passions 70 years later is a good thing. I wonder if our legislators in Arizona or Alabama recognize their own actions as creating another generation of homeless, dispossessed immigrants who are fleeing their homes, jobs and schools. What are the costs for these broken families that will no doubt slip into poverty similar to the Joads? I hope there's a Grapes of Wrath being written now to give voice to them