THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
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Note from Kirkus' Vintage Review Editor:

John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath stands as a reminder of the harshness of drought, socioeconomic disparity and that life is not always easier on the other side.


This is the sort of book that stirs one so deeply that it is almost impossible to attempt to convey the impression it leaves. It is the story of today's Exodus, of America's great trek, as the hordes of dispossessed tenant farmers from the dust bowl turn their hopes to the promised land of California's fertile valleys. The story of one family, with the "hangers-on" that the great heart of extreme poverty sometimes collects, but in that story is symbolized the saga of a movement in which society is before the bar. What an indictment of a system -- what an indictment of want and poverty in the land of plenty! There is flash after flash of unforgettable pictures, sharply etched with that restraint and power of pen that singles Steinbeck out from all his contemporaries. There is anger here, but it is a deep and disciplined passion, of a man who speaks out of the mind and heart of his knowledge of a people. One feels in reading that so they must think and feel and speak and live. It is an unresolved picture, a record of history still in the making. Not a book for casual reading. Not a book for unregenerate conservative. But a book for everyone whose social conscience is astir -- or who is willing to face facts about a segment of American life which is and which must be recognized. Steinbeck is coming into his own. A new and full length novel from his pen is news. Publishers backing with advertising, promotion aids, posters, etc. Sure to be one of the big books of the Spring. First edition limited to half of advance as of March 1st. One half of dealer's orders to be filled with firsts.
Pub Date: April 14th, 1939
ISBN: 0143039431
Page count: 532pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1939


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