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100 Greatest Novels: Grapes of Wrath

30 Oct

Moving down the list of the 100 Greatest Novels, I just finished Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

I’ve read this novel before and I always enjoy it. I’m a huge fun of Steinbeck and this is a favorite of mine. The novel follows a family that loses their farm in Oklahoma during the Great Depression and the mid-west droughts. They load up in a used car and head towards California to a bountiful land of promised jobs and high wages. Hardships abound. Arguments fought. Lives end. And spirits are crushed. Just like any good road trip.

The novel alternates between following the Joads to California and the overarching story of farmers searching for a better life between chapter and chapter. The first chapter is one of the most depressing descriptions of somebody dying I’ve ever read. Oh, and it’s not about a person. It’s about the farm land in the midwest. Steinbeck’s writing makes this chapter more sad than the many human deaths I’ve read in other books.

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I’m at a little standstill on the list. The next novel, Under the Volcano, is not currently offered on the Kindle and no local bookstores have it in stock. It will be available on the Kindle on November 6th (I have it pre-orded) and so I’ll start the novel then. Currently I’m reading James Joyce’s collection of poetry, Chamber Music.

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