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Other titles in the Oprah's Classics Book Club Selections series:

East of Eden

by

East of Eden Cover

ISBN13: 9780142004234
ISBN10: 0142004235
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

I was once told a good novel will set its tenor by the end of its first page, so lately I've been skimming the first page of prospective reads to test this theory. When I did this with Steinbeck's East of Eden, I couldn't stop; the assault of great writing never let up, and I knew I was irretrievably in for the long haul. No one writes exactly like Steinbeck, and this century-spanning book about two families in California's Salinas Valley finds the writer at his culminating genius (Steinbeck said, "I think everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for [East of Eden]."). His prose is vivid, fine, and panoramic in vision; his characters are so richly cast that he's capable of inducing a genuine sense of the glories and tragedies they experience. I read this book so compulsively (I stayed up till 4:00 a.m. one night / cancelled dates with friends / ate soup from a can) that I'm almost mad at myself for not savoring it more slowly, but there's ample consolation in Steinbeck's prolific career for any of his insatiable, expectant readers. Good follow-up read: Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters.
Recommended by Jae, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his journal, John Steinbeck called East of Eden "the first book," and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California's Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families — the Trasks and the Hamiltons — whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

Adam Trask came to California from the East to farm and raise his family on the new, rich land. But the birth of his twins, Cal and Aron, brings his wife to the brink of madness, and Adam is left alone to raise his boys to manhood. One boy thrives, nurtured by the love of all those around him: the other grows up in loneliness, enveloped by a mysterious darkness.

First published in 1952, East of Eden is the work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love's absence.

Review:

"The book that brought the book club back!" Oprah Winfrey

Review:

"A novel planned on the grandest possible scale...One of those occasions when a writer has aimed high and then summoned every ounce of energy, talent, seriousness, and passion of which he was capable...It is an entirely interesting and impressive book." The New York Herald Tribune

Review:

"A fantasia and myth...a strange and original work of art." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"A moving, crying pageant with wilderness strengths." Carl Sandburg

Synopsis:

A masterpiece of Steinbeck's later years, East of Eden is a powerful and vastly ambitious novel that is at once a family saga and a modern retelling of the Book of Genesis.

Synopsis:

This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families — the Trasks and the Hamiltons — whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. "A strange and original work of art." New York Times Book Review

About the Author

John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in 1902, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast. Both the valley and the coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree.

Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962, and, in 1964, he was presented with the United States Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Steinbeck died in New York in 1968. Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 21 comments:

Spencer Hansen, January 4, 2014 (view all comments by Spencer Hansen)
Reading the book was akin to spending a week visiting a foreign city without checking the weather report. There was no way to prepare for the unexpected feelings of warmth and cold arriving with each subsequent chapter. I loved and hated so many characters. Steinbeck has no taste for the "lukewarm," in East of Eden. Overall forecast for the book if you read it: Sunny, with a chance of showers. The book will make you feel again. And if you haven't felt anything for a while in your recent reads, this one is for you.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Brenna Adelman, January 4, 2013 (view all comments by Brenna Adelman)
This is a beautifully written book. Following the intertwining stories of Adam Trask and Samuel Hamillton, Steinbeck creates a world where we (as the reader) are standing right there with Adam and Samuel through out their stories, we can see, hear, taste, smell everything that they do - but Adam and Samuel can't see us. We follow their lives invisibly. This is not a book to be read quickly, this is a book that should be treated as the best glass of red wine. You get aquinted with it, reading it over and getting a feel for it. Then you open it, and smell it getting a sense of it before pouring your self a glass. Then you let it stand, opening and breathing so that it can live and thrive. Last, you sip it - swishing it delicately around in your mouth, breathing it in and then immersing your self in it. While immersed you fall hopelessly in love with it, you pick out little subtle things that you hadn't noticed before, that you notice now. This is not a book to be read quickly, this is a book that you should savour and fall in love with.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Brenna Adelman, January 4, 2013 (view all comments by Brenna Adelman)
This is a beautifully written book. Following the intertwining stories of Adam Trask and Samuel Hamillton, Steinbeck creates a world where we (as the reader) are standing right there with Adam and Samuel through out their stories, we can see, hear, taste, smell everything that they do - but Adam and Samuel can't see us. We follow their lives invisibly. This is not a book to be read quickly, this is a book that should be treated as the best glass of red wine. You get aquinted with it, reading it over and getting a feel for it. Then you open it, and smell it getting a sense of it before pouring your self a glass. Then you let it stand, opening and breathing so that it can live and thrive. Last, you sip it - swishing it delicately around in your mouth, breathing it in and then immersing your self in it. While immersed you fall hopelessly in love with it, you pick out little subtle things that you hadn't noticed before, that you notice now. This is not a book to be read quickly, this is a book that you should savour and fall in love with.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 21 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780142004234
Manufactured:
Penguin Books
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Steinbeck, John
Author:
Parini, Jay
Location:
New York
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Fathers and sons
Subject:
Brothers
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Sibling rivalry
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Salinas River Valley
Subject:
Children of prostitutes
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1902
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Penguin Classics Deluxe Editio
Series Volume:
179.
Publication Date:
20030631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
608
Dimensions:
8.42x5.71x1.61 in. 1.59 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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East of Eden Used Trade Paper
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$8.95 In Stock
Product details 608 pages Penguin Books - English 9780142004234 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

I was once told a good novel will set its tenor by the end of its first page, so lately I've been skimming the first page of prospective reads to test this theory. When I did this with Steinbeck's East of Eden, I couldn't stop; the assault of great writing never let up, and I knew I was irretrievably in for the long haul. No one writes exactly like Steinbeck, and this century-spanning book about two families in California's Salinas Valley finds the writer at his culminating genius (Steinbeck said, "I think everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for [East of Eden]."). His prose is vivid, fine, and panoramic in vision; his characters are so richly cast that he's capable of inducing a genuine sense of the glories and tragedies they experience. I read this book so compulsively (I stayed up till 4:00 a.m. one night / cancelled dates with friends / ate soup from a can) that I'm almost mad at myself for not savoring it more slowly, but there's ample consolation in Steinbeck's prolific career for any of his insatiable, expectant readers. Good follow-up read: Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters.

"Review" by , "The book that brought the book club back!"
"Review" by , "A novel planned on the grandest possible scale...One of those occasions when a writer has aimed high and then summoned every ounce of energy, talent, seriousness, and passion of which he was capable...It is an entirely interesting and impressive book."
"Review" by , "A fantasia and myth...a strange and original work of art."
"Review" by , "A moving, crying pageant with wilderness strengths."
"Synopsis" by , A masterpiece of Steinbeck's later years, East of Eden is a powerful and vastly ambitious novel that is at once a family saga and a modern retelling of the Book of Genesis.
"Synopsis" by , This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families — the Trasks and the Hamiltons — whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. "A strange and original work of art." New York Times Book Review
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