Tuesday, October 18, 2016
East of Eden by John Steinbeck is a re-telling of Cain and Able in Genesis. It begins with Adam and Charles, half brothers who are opposites in personality as well as in their feelings for their father. In a twisted father and son triangle, their father loves Adam and hates Charles, Charles loves his father and Adam hates him. Sadly, history is doomed to repeat itself, and not remembering his own childhood, Adam favors one of his twin sons over the other, despite the fact that the one he loves doesn't love him and the one he doesn't love can only think of how to get Adam to love him.
What I Liked
Steinbeck is an amazing author. His words are so simple, but eloquent, detailed, and descriptive. What he doesn't say is just as important as what he does. The plot was intriguing. The characters were amazingly real in my mind. The depth and meaning in the book never ended.
A prostitute was also one of the main characters, and I thought it was handled well. Steinbeck did not try to hide or cover up the truth, but at the same time he did not flaunt it nor have inappropriate scenes as far as I can remember.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
"Perhaps the best conversationalist in the world is the man who helps others to talk."
"And the books that came into the house, some of them secretly- well, Samuel rode lightly on top of a book and he balanced happily among the ideas the way a man rides white rapids in a canoe. But Tom got into a book, crawled and groveled between the covers, tunneled like a mole among the thoughts, and came up with the book all over his face and hands."
"'Adam', he said, 'I don't know whether you notice it, but it seems like every other word you say is California. Do you really want to go?'
Adam chuckled. 'That's what I'm trying to figure out,' he said. 'I don't know. It's like getting up in the morning. I don't want to get up, but I don't want to stay in bed either.'"
"Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man."
What I Didn't Like
The only thing I didn't like was the amount of language. There was more in the book than I anticipated, although it was not as bad as other books I started to read.
I recommend this book for readers who don't mind a medium to high level of language, a very long book (about 600 pages), an intriguing but somewhat slow moving plot, a more character driven story, and a book that will leave you thinking after every page.
Labels: the love of reading
I am a sinner redeemed by Jesus Christ, a writer, a sister, an ice skater, a reader, a college graduate, a watcher, a singer, a creative writing major, a hopeful published author, a collector of sea glass- all to bring glory to my Creator.