One word of warning, if you haven’t read The Grapes of Wrath please be advised there are spoilers contained in this entry. Over the years there have been many great books I’ve heard of and read about but haven’t actually read. Of course there are those I was supposed to read in high school but didn’t for one reason or another and those I read just enough of to fake it. I’ve added those books to my bucket list as one item. The first one I chose was The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I finished it last night.
I’m not sure what I expected but the book was different from anything I imagined. When I began reading the book I had a problem with the dialect which Steinbeck used in his dialogue. I’ve never been a fan of dialect in dialogue. In this case the more I read the more that dialect echoed back to me from my childhood. I heard the voice of my great grandma, my grandparent’s neighbors and even the man who ran the little grocery store in town. He not only used the dialect to convey images but Steinbeck also used color to paint the countryside. The first line of this novel will never win a prize but it says so much for one sentence.
“To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the rains came gently, and they did not cut the scared earth.”
Steinbeck takes aim at the Joads, the main family in this epic adventure. He drags them through the dustbowl in Oklahoma with the government machine nipping at their heels all the way to California where torrential rain continues their torment. There are deaths along the way including Rose of Sharon’s baby who is still-born during the torrential rain storm. This one fact leads to possibly the most bazaar and unexpected ending I have ever seen.
I enjoyed the story but I have to say I like stories that have happier endings or at the very least are a bit more upbeat. I do understand this was written with actual events in mind such as the dust bowl and the great depression. I haven’t decided what the next book will be on my bucket list shelf but I’ll let you know. Overall I really enjoyed The Grapes of Wrath and gave it 4 stars on my Kindle. With that said, I need to find a nice, light book to read next, something that will make me laugh.
- The Grapes of Wrath: From “I” To “We” (101books.net)
- “To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth.” (followingpulitzer.wordpress.com)