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Author Steinbeck's Book Reviews

Cannery Row
The book is set on a street in Monterey, California called Cannery Row. It's a fairly poor district. Mack is a poor but kind-hearted character who lives with some of his friends in an abandoned warehouse. He and his friends want to do something nice for Doc, a marine biologist who everybody likes. However, when they do this, it usually ends up going wrong. The novel concentrates more on a wide assortment of characters rather than the plot....
Cup of Gold
Henry Morgan is a young boy in 17th century Wales when he meets an ex-pirate. He hangs on the man's every word and dreams of nothing more than becoming a pirate himself. As he gets old enough his parents realise he is determined and they send him off to the port city to find work on a ship. Young Henry is tricked into slavery aboard a merchant ship and is later sold again to a plantation owner in the Caribbean. There he becomes the master's head Boy and ...
East of Eden
It tells the story of a boy becoming a man as he overcomes the jealousy of his brother and realizes self-worth. He also discovers that everyone posseses good and evil, including his mother who he has been lied to about all of his life. ...
Of Mice and Men
Lennie and George are wheat buckers in the 1930's. They travel around together even though they are very different; Lennie is big, but mentally retarded and George is small, but very smart. Lennie also has a problem, because he is retarded, he does not know what he should not do, so he gets in a lot of trouble. He relies on George and does everything George tells him. They get a job in a new place and meet Slim, the leader of the worker, and Curley...

Steinbeck booklist

The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath is the story of a family who is struck by the great depression, and travels to California with the hope of a new life. They encounter many problems and dissapointments, and struggle with poverty and the threat of starvation. It is hard to find a job, and they live day by day, with only a glimmer of hope. This book is somewhat depressing, and really illustrates what the dust bowl was like....
The Moon is Down
This novel is set in a small town in Norway during World War II, a unique setting for a Steinbeck novel. Nazis have occupied, overrun and exploited the town, because of help from a trusted member of the community who was in reality a Nazi spy. Although the war-weary Nazi Colonel and his men are able to force the townspeople to work in the mines for Nazi Europe's war machine, they are shocked that the townspeople do not immediately celebrate the Na...
The Pearl
Kino is a poor Indian pearl diver. When his baby, Coyotito, is stung by a scorpion, he fears that he may not make it. One day, when diving, he finds a huge pearl he knows to be worth a lot of money. At first, to him and his wife Juana, the pearl seems like a blessing. But as the book progresses, it's greatness is questioned. After he finds the pearl, life for Kino and his family becomes more complicated. Juana wants to destroy the pearl, ...
The Red Pony
The Red Pony is split into main short stories; The Gift, The Great Mountains, The Promise and The Leader of the People. Jody, the protagonist is given a pony in the first short story, the gift. He loves the pony and following the instructions of a knowledgable horse handler on the farm, cares for it, fantazising about the great adventures the two would have when after spending many anxious months preparing to break it. However, tradgedy occurs, and J...
The Winter of Our Discontent
Ethan Hawley is discontented. He's a store clerk in a long line of wealthy men; a store clerk in a store his family used to own. He lives in the family home, the Hawley House, with his wife and two children. It's a large house in a prestigious part of a small town, but Ethan has no money. The last of the riches went out in his father's day. Day after day, Ethan tends the store that is now owned by a kind and elderly Italian immigrant named Marullo. Li...
Tortilla Flat
Danny, a young man living in poverty and alcoholism in California, finds out after being released from prison that his grandfather has died, and Danny has inherited two houses. Soon, he has invited one friend to live with him, who invites another, who invites another, until the floor of the rooms are covered with peoples' belongings. Steinbeck describes in detail the escapades of the friends, from chasing women and buying them vacuum cleaners to rooti...