Updated : Finished
I am an avid reader and today I thought I would write a little about what I am currently reading – East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I can understand why it is considered one of America’s great literary classics along with his other much adored book and cinematic masterpiece, ‘The Grapes of Wrath‘. According to Steinbeck’s third wife, Steinbeck considered East of Eden his magnum opus. He further claimed: “I think everything else I have written has been, in a sense, practice for this.”
I have only read about a third of the book, but I think its reputation as one of the ‘ greatest books of the 20th century’ is richly deserved, at least based on what I have read so far. It’s an epic novel of 601 pages and my mind is swimming in the complex tapestry Steinbeck has woven of these two families, namely the Tresks and the Hamiltons. I noticed a movie was adapted from the book which stars ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ protagonist James Dean. I will of course wait until I have completed the novel, before I watch the movie.
Wikipedia states, ‘The novel was originally addressed to Steinbeck’s young sons, Thom and John (then 6½ and 4½ years old, respectively). Steinbeck wanted to describe the Salinas Valley for them in detail: the sights, sounds, smells, and colors.’ I can attest to this since the book evokes such a wondrous feel of the places and the period it was set. A truly remarkable novel. I cant wait to dive in yet again to this beautiful book for my usual hour of kindle reading before bed time.