John Steinbeck

PDF EBook by Catherine Reef

EBook Description

After more than 2 years of heavy reading, John Steinbeck is still my favorite author for all times. John Steinbeck PDF EBook His The Grapes of Wrath (1939) was one of the books that made me who I am now: a certified voracious reader. The book craved me to read more modern classics. It shocked me to know the sad flight of the Oklahoma “Okies” farmers during the late 30’s. It is unthinkable now considering that the world, especially the Third World countries, looks up to American as the land of milk and honey. It was so shocking yet beautifully written. I still remember how my heart beat faster and my mind seemed to burst out reading the alternating- PDFchapters: odd ones describing the Oklahoma farmers as they went through their lives during the Great Dust Bowl years and the even ones focusing on the Joad family.

That’s why I bought this book, John Steinbeck by Catherine Reef. I saw this last weekend being sold only for P150 (~$3.5) and with lots of pictures both of the Steinbecks as well as the locales of his novels particularly the California farms (The Grapes of Wrath), Salinas Valley (East of Eden), San Francisco canneries (Cannery Row), etc., I bought this without any second thought and started reading upon arriving home. Being an ALA Notable Children’s Book, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age and a Jefferson Cup Honor Book, the narration was sparse and easy to understand.

I was not disappointed. The book covers all the things that I wanted to know about Steinbeck and this book cemented my belief that he is one of America’s literary greats. Some of the inspiring trivias:
1) His first novel Cup of Gold was turned down by most publishers not because it was not written well but because of the Great Depression. He and his wife struggled during that era living one day at a time. When finally published, this and his second book, The Pastures of Heaven did not sell well primarily because of the same reason. One day publisher Covitt was visiting a bookstore and heard an owner suggesting to his customer to try Steinbeck’s books. This made Covitt interested on Steinbeck. He financed the publication of Tortilla Flat and it became Steinbeck’s first clear literary success so Covitt also re-published the first two books. However, after few years, Covitt also folded up his publishing business.

2) Steinbeck was an intuitive writer. He did not outline his plot. He allocated at least 4 hours a day to fill up at least 20 pages of his journal. At the early part of his career in writing, he paid more attention on how his sentences sounded and let the proofreaders catch his errors in spelling, syntax or grammar. But later when there was a big push to be a better writer, he changed this and made sure that his grammar, spelling and syntax were correct.

3) He listened to classical music while writing. He noticed that when he played Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake he finished more pages than when he played other classical tunes.

4) That novel that made him interested in writing was Sir Thomas Mallory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. He and his younger sister Carol played knights in search of the chalice during their childhood years riding a pony in Salinas Valley.

5) He was branded as a communist during the height of The Grapes of Wrath-created controversy. His detractors were only silenced when he supported the US government stand during the Vietnam war and for a while, this made him unpopular among the masses.
Just like any other writers, famous or not, Steinbeck’s life also had his ups and downs. However, in the end, it was a well-spent life for him: Nobel Prize for Literature (1962) awardee and 1939 Pulitzer award for The Grapes of Wrath plus an array of best-selling critically acclaimed works such as East of Eden, Of Mice and Men and In Dubious Battle among many others.

I am delightfully inspired by this bio. Put our pictures side by side. Don't you notice that we have some similarities? *wishing* :)
Like this book? Read online this: A Journey into Steinbeck's California, The Gospel of John--Part One, The Light Shines (John 1--12) (John 1--12) (Adult Bible Study Guides).

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