East of Eden Online PDF by John Steinbeck
Click Here to Download the Book Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity; the inexplicability of love; and the murderous consequences of love’s absence.
Reviews I loved this book. It was gripping and raw and true. I originally read it to be a good mom and read the summer reading book with my son. Once I picked it up, I was a goner. Now Ed 'has' to read it. He kept chuckling over me clutching my chest and looking up at him with tears in my eyes. I'm not a book crier, or much of a crier at all anymore, but sometimes Steinbeck's sentences were just so poignant and beautiful, that they got me all teared up. (I kept welling up, Karen... :-) and happy birthday!) Now the sad part... because I am 47 and use reading glasses, I got the large print edition. I didn't find out until I was finished that the version that I read was condensed. I just ran up and got Daniel's summer reading copy, and read several chapters that I had not read. Good news: I can always read it again. Last time a book resonated with me this much was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I couldn't pick up another book for two weeks because I was so entrenched in it. Truly a captive. Beautiful and satisfying read. Can hardly wait to read the rest!
I remember the first time I was introduced to John Steinbeck. It was at school, a time when I hated learning and wasnt keen on books whatsoever. It was the classic Of Mice and Men of course and although I read it begrudgingly, it was a story that has stuck with me ever since. I decided to re-visit John Steinbeck and his greatest novel at that. It won the nobel prize for literartue….and my what an awesome feat of literature it is. The story follows the lives of two families and two generations and how they come to re-enact the fall of Eden and the bitter rivalry between Cain & Abel. The book itself is full of philosophical thoughts, something that I did not expect. It’s actual a surprisingly easy read. It does require alot of concentration though, remembering the different characters and their storylines. If you like your books to teach you things about life then I would highly reccomed East of Eden. it’s a beautiful tragic novel about life that will give you quotes that you will remember forever. The book of course has a religious slant but its one that would turn atheists into sympathetic’s. Here’s one of my favourite quotes out of so many great ones in the book: Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, weather in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man. The free exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world.”
One of my many ways to judge a book is by keeping track of how much time it takes me to read it. Of course, it's a flawed system, but it does give a sense of value to a book, it underlines strong elements in a novel. East of Eden took me one day. Yes, just one day. And this isn't a short novel. It stands at over 600 pages, and yet, I couldn't stop reading. This happens on rare occasions. I'm usually too restless to read for more than one or two hours, but in the case of East of Eden... This is Steinbeck's favorite novel, and yet, it didn't attract as much attention or acclaim as the author would have wished. I tend to disagree with the critics - East of Eden is a wonderful portrayal of life just happening, elemental and profound, and yet simple. The numerous characters in the novel interact with each other, fall in love, make babies, fight or die with a sense of the mundane echoing through the pages. And this sense, this hopelessness, is ever more present as we progress through the story, as we make sense of things, as we realize that this novel is not a novel about heroes or martyrs or villains. It's just a story about people, and I strenuously believe that readers are always looking for the human element in a story; we all want to catch a glimpse of another person living and breathing, we want to empathize with another person, to understand motives and beliefs other than our own. It's a way of absorbing experience and knowledge, and thus East of Eden is a perfect example of how human nature reacts in an array of circumstances. It makes for a very easy and fast read. Steinbeck's style doesn't get in the way of the story - everything sort of flows toward the ending in an inexorable way, like real life actually does. The best compliment I can think of is this: Steinbeck's novel feels like real life transpiring through the pages, of life that we can understand and appreciate or hate.
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