Monday, May 4, 2009
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
If you shy away from the classics because they require too much thought, then this is the classic for you. East of Eden is a great big romp of tale that you won't be able to put down. Sure, it has all the requisite metaphors and symbols, plenty of fruit for learned discussion, but the bottom line on this book is that it's highly entertaining and good historical fiction about California in the early 1900s. A family saga featuring brothers Cal and Aron, making their way in a hardscrabble world, East of Eden has is all: sex, irony, and (my favorite) such a sense of place that I could almost taste the dirt and grit of the nascent 20th c West. Steinbeck is the American master, in my humble opinion. Sorry, Hemingway.