Friday, October 29, 2010

The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath: 50th Anniversary EditionThe Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Evan’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = R (Language, Adult Concepts, Language, Violence, Language, Did we Mention the Bad Language?)

“You’re bound to get idears if you go thinkin’ about stuff.”

Why:  Did someone say Pulitzer Prize?  Seriously, I swear I just heard something… nobody?  Ah well, let’s move on… 

Contrary to popular belief, The Grapes of Wrath is not an account of an evil mutated fruit that inflicts it’s fury on the city of San Francisco.  Instead, the novel features the tale of a simple family of Oklahoma sharecroppers who flea west for improved prospects.  The hardships that follow are almost unfathomable, and the unpleasant lower intestinal effects of consuming large quantities of fruit is a lesson everyone should take to heart.  The narrative is masterfully written although the sequence at the very end is just a tad on the creepy side.  You’ll find yourself wanting to grab a pitchfork and assemble a mob against the fruit farmers of California.  

Critics and advocates for The Grapes of Wrath have been all over the map.  Steinbeck’s work picked up both a Pulitzer (apparently we did hear something) and a Nobel Prize, yet, at times, has been banned in numerous US cities.  Even today it stands at the top of the ALA’s most challenged book list.  We, however, challenge you to read it.   

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