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Reviews of Grapes of Wrath, the (1939)

Review by datovs (2013-05-11)
John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath is a powerful story following the trepidations of the Joad family and their ill-forsaken travels. Focusing on the demise of the American people through the eyes of a family, and laying the story into very poignant moments, chapter by chapter, Steinbeck captures the mood of the Great Depression uniquely and powerfully. This novel is the epitome of America's hard-working and down-trodden history. It becomes what many can associate and empathize with, however, it leaves the climax for the reader's imagination. Constantly building the climate from oppression to wrath, Steinbeck portrays the shift in mood for every character and how they learn to adapt.

(This review refers to the 1939 version titled “The Grapes of Wrath”)

Review by computermonkey (2005-09-08)
A great American novel and probably the best book I've read in a long time.

Being my first Steinbeck novel, I really liked his writing style and found it to be a very enjoyable read. The characters are lifelike and you can really relate to them and their struggles.

Although dated in the past, The Grapes of Wrath's underlying theme and messages will always relate to a modern audience. Well worth the read.

Review by hammer587 (2004-01-23)
I liked East of Eden better but The Grapes was amazing. So well written I forgot at times I was reading a book and thought these were my own memories. If you need better perspectives on America this book will deliver and stay with you.

Review by Beaver (2003-05-14)
The Grapes of Wrath is the classic story of the Joad family's trip out west to California. It's a great look at that period of time with a lot of historical context about the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and migrant workers. The book is an excellent exposition of hope, desperation, and stoic perseverence. It's a pretty depressing story, yet uplifting at the same time, an attitude which personifies the Joads. Their trials and tribulations will make anyone feel fortunate for how easy we have it today. The story itself is very well written with great dialect, characters and scenery. The characters are very memorable and are very well developed, especially Tom and Ma Joad. The book started off slow, but once I got into it, it was a real page turner. I really like Steinbeck's style from what little I've read of him so far. The book also touches upon a lot of thought-provoking ideas: industrialization and the conglomeration of wealth, oppresive labor, the battle of the haves vs the have-nots, family and the breaking up of families, the strength of groups vs individuals, the camaraderie of the down-trodden, and the reality of the American dream. The Grapes of Wrath is a definite must-read! 10/10

Review by Jago360 (2003-03-09)
Poignant, tragic story of a migrant family searching for work (and happiness) in California. As always, Steinbeck's realistic characters draw you into the novel to share in its joys and sorrows. Well recommended; ends a bit abruptly, but leaves room for the imagination. Another long book, but worth the time.

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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