Wednesday, April 02, 2008
April book review
"The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck.
It has been decades since the last time I saw the movie "The Grapes of Wrath". A 1940 black and white movie starring Henry Honda. I had never read the book but as always the book is the better of the two (that is saying something since the movie was so great).
This is the most POWERFUL book I have ever read, period! Yes, sometimes the Pulitzer Prize committee gets it right. Partly because my family were the "Joads" only a few years later with only slightly improved conditions and partly by the magnificent way it is written.
Steinbeck's novel is based on articles he had written in San Francisco. The book is about "the Joad" family, one of many thousand (or hundreds of thousands) of Oklahoma "Okies" that were driven from their sharecropper homes because of the great depression and the dust bowl.
Just hard working "salt of the earth" people that just wanted to be able to feed their family at the end of the day.
If you think "money hunger companies" are some thing new, then you need to read this book. How about the whole family picking oranges all day and just making enough money to feed the family one meal.
Not only is it a novel but a great history lesson as well. While fictionalized, it is based on the facts of the era.
If you only read one book this year, PLEASE read this one.