the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)
“And they stand still and watch the potatoes float by, listen to the screaming pigs being killed in a ditch and covered with quicklime, watch the mountains of oranges slop down to a putrefying ooze; and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”
Tom Joad, jr is coming home after having spent 4 years in prison for killing a man, only to find out that his family has disappeared and their house is wrecked. His family has, along with thousands others, been kicked from their land and the tractors are moving in and they are now preparing leaving for California where workers are needed. But in California hundreds of thousands like the Joads are looking for work.

Set during the Great Depression, the book follows the Joads from the loss of their property to poverty in California. And along the way, they meet all sorts of people; unfriendly employers, terrible police and kind strangers. Steinbeck is an excellent writer and his portrays of the people along the road and the Joad family are amazing. I especially liked those chapters which zoomed out from the Joads and gave a broader perspective on the conditions for the migrants. And his writings made my skin boil with anger because of all the unfairness and discrimination. I actually had dreams about this book, which means that it left a huge impact on me.

It is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. The only thing I didn’t like was the abrupt ending. But it was a nice book to read when I have just came back from California myself and I have vivid memories of the landscape. It will not be long until I read another work by Steinbeck.

This was August’s book in Line’s 1001 books challenge.

5 thoughts on “forty.

  1. Jeg er enig med deg i at boken sluttet veldig brått. Jeg skulle ha likt å vite hva som skjedde med familien videre.
    Men det som først og fremst sitter igjen er hvor aktuell boken er i dag, og hvordan mange av beskrivelsene kunne dekket hva som skjedde under finanskrisen i USA. Eller, som jeg skriver, men rumenerne i dagens Norge. Boken kommer til å følge meg i tankene kjenner jeg, den gjorde et sterkt inntrykk.


  2. Ser ut til at vi som har lest den er veldig samstemte om hva vi synes om denne boken. Ja, det var en litt underlig avslutning, men når nøden er stor er det utrolig hva en er i stand til å gjøre.
    Flott omtale :))


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