Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
Your Shopping Basket
Total number of items: 0
Sub total: £0.00
Go to Checkout
Our Birmingham Shop
Our Bristol Shop
Animators Survival Kit

#FoylesFave: East of Eden

19th May 2017 - Jon, CXR

Foyles Fave<

#FoylesFave: East of Eden

 

 Jon from our Charing Cross Road branch has chosen East of Eden as one of his all-time-favourites and explains why it is the book for which John Steinbeck should be remembered.

 

Cover of East of EdenAs far as I'm concerned this is not only Steinbeck's greatest work (and that's quite a bunch to be the best of), but one of the great pieces of 20th-century narrative fiction. First published in 1952, Steinbeck himself reckoned it was the summation of all of the storytelling craft he'd come to hone in his (then) 50 years. He's not wrong.

 

This is a book of biblical ambition, the familiar California setting providing the perfect backdrop for the story of familial sin begetting generation after generation. For me it's not just the towering ambition of the storytelling, but the efficiency with which Steinbeck weaves it. Your senses come alive with the sights, sounds and smells of the Salinas Valley, as it goes from the American Civil War right up to the First World War.

 

You know that a book has immediacy when you become so emotionally involved that the very appearance of a character can drive you made with anger and pity; in Cathy Ames Steinbeck has created one of the greatest female characters in modern literature. There's so much more but not enough space to talk about it here. A towering work of art, if you're going through The Greats and you can only read one Steinbeck, make sure it's this one.

 

 

Leave Comment

Related Items

East of Eden
(Paperback)
John Steinbeck
 
 
£8.99
 
Latest Blog
Richard Aronowitz on the darkness lurking in his past and its connection to his role as a Nazi loot-hunter at the auction house, Sothebys
25/05/2017

Richard talks about the darkness lurking in his past and its connection to his role as a Nazi loot-hunter at the auction house, Sothebys.

Finding Awe in the Extremes
25/05/2017

Brian describes how his ambivalence at having served in the Iraq war, and the awe to be found in extremes, provided the basis for his novel.

On National Brothers Day, Stuart Heritage Reflects on his Relationship with his Brother, Pete
24/05/2017

On National Brothers Day, Stuart Heritage reflects on fraternal dynamics, how he came to write about the 'whirlwind of aggressive single-mindedness' that is his brother Pete and how their relationship is reflected by that of brothers everywhere.

View all Blog Entries
Twitter
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd