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To a God Unknown (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century)

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To a God Unknown (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) Cover

ISBN13: 9780140187519
ISBN10: 0140187510
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ancient pagan beliefs, the great Greek epics, and the Bible all inform this extraordinary novel by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck, which occupied him for more than five difficult years. While fulfilling his dead fathers dream of creating a prosperous farm in California, Joseph Wayne comes to believe that a magnificent tree on the farm embodies his fathers spirit. His brothers and their families share in Josephs prosperity, and the farm flourishes—until one brother, frightened by Josephs pagan belief, kills the tree, allowing disease and famine to descend on the farm. Set in familiar Steinbeck country, To a God Unknown is a mystical tale, exploring one mans attempt to control the forces of nature and, ultimately, to understand the ways of God and the forces of the unconscious within. This edition features an introduction and notes by Steinbeck scholar Robert DeMott.

 

Synopsis:

Set in familiar Steinbeck territory, To a God Unknown is a mystical tale, exploring one man's attempt to control the forces of nature and, ultimately, to understand the ways of God.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. xxxix-xl).

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

meghanjanssen, January 31, 2008 (view all comments by meghanjanssen)
I opened this book for the first time - one of the few Steinbeck novels I had not yet read - shortly after completing my own first attempt at writing a novel. The little book is one of Steinbeck's earliest published works and, interestingly enough, the one that took him the longest to complete. It was in this context that I found the book most provoking: myself an aspiring writer, it was interesting to witness part of the development of one of my favorite novelists. Although not yet as strong and defined as in his later works, the classic Steinbeck tone is still there, and, of course, it is set against the oft-revisited setting of the fertile farmlands of Central California.

What prevents me from giving this book a higher rating is that, in the scope of Steinbeck's literary career, it is not very impressive. The characters do not gel together as flawlessly as those in most of his later works and the classical allusions to parallel stories and characters in the Bible are a bit shaky and somewhat inconsistent. Nevertheless, what prevents me from giving this book a lower rating is that it remains a thoughtful, intriguing, and insightful piece on the nature of man's relationship to the land and to God.

Overall, it is certainly a worthwhile read. In both its length and the complexity of its symbolism, To a God Unknown is certainly more accessible than Steinbeck's more celebrated longer works, such as The Grapes of Wrath or East of Eden, but it is in no way a comprehensive sample of Steinbeck's essential style and literary voice.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780140187519
Introduction:
Demott, Robert
Author:
Demott, Robert
Author:
Steinbeck, John
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
California
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Farm life
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
California Fiction.
Subject:
Salinas River Valley (Calif.) Social life and customs Fiction.
Subject:
Salinas River Valley
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Revised
Series:
Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century
Series Volume:
week 8
Publication Date:
19950831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
7.94x5.08x.44 in. .36 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

To a God Unknown (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) New Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140187519 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Set in familiar Steinbeck territory, To a God Unknown is a mystical tale, exploring one man's attempt to control the forces of nature and, ultimately, to understand the ways of God.
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