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THE GRAPES OF WRATH

Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

This is the sort of book that stirs one so deeply that it is almost impossible to attempt to convey the impression it leaves. It is the story of today's Exodus, of America's great trek, as the hordes of dispossessed tenant farmers from the dust bowl turn their hopes to the promised land of California's fertile valleys. The story of one family, with the "hangers-on" that the great heart of extreme ... Read full review

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bibleblaster - LibraryThing

Ok, I finally read this masterpiece...and even though I knew what was coming, as the book has seeped into so many creative cracks in the culture, I still loved it and was surprised by the beauty of some of the passages. Steinbeck's a novelist, where Sinclair (Upton) sometimes failed. Read full review

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The title should be renamed to "THE GRAPES OF THE WRATH OF SAWRATH".

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the grapes of wrath

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Great book
I watched the film but the book is way better I like this so much. Never thought it was on play book

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Not too bad
The book was pretty lengthy, and it moved quite slowly for me. I had to get an audio book because my mind kept wandering off while I read. I enjoyed the change of dialect, though.

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I am not an economist so I am not even going to try to understand the economic mess were are in as a nation - but I cannot help but think about The Grapes of Wrath and the odyssey of the Joad family when I think about our current financial times. Massive debt. Budget shortages. Home foreclosures. Business failures. Bankruptcies. Job losses. In some ways I feel that we are all (well many of us) Joad's now - trapped in a financial system that we do not understand, trying to make a daily living, but always feeling that we are taking one step up and two back.
My favorite scene in The Grapes of Wrath was early in the book, when a tenant farmer is trying to stop his home and land from being plowed over by tractor-operator hired by the bank. This is a man he knows, a local, who has taken a job with the bank to gain a regular salary and some stability for his family. But, this stability comes with a huge price. His job is to repossess the land of his friends and neighbors and ready it to be turned over to the banks. How many of us would do the same? Life is a struggle and when money is tight we would do most anything to pay the bills and feed our own - but where do we draw the lines? The tenant wants to shoot him - but the man explains the truth - it's not him, not his fault - it's no one's fault - we are all ghosts in the money machine. This is a slice of that conversation:
"It's not me. There's nothing I can do. I'll lose my job if I don't do it. And look -- suppose you kill me? They'll just hang you, but long before your hung there will be another guy on the tractor, and he'll bump the house down. You're not killing the right guy."
"That's so," the tenant said. "Who gave you orders? I'll go after him. He's the one to kill."
"You're wrong. He got his orders from the bank. The bank told them: "Clear those people out or it's your job."
"Well, there's a president of the bank. There's a Board of Directors. I'll fill up the magazine of the rifle and go into the bank."
The driver said: "Fellow was telling me the bank gets orders from the East. The orders were:
"Make the land show profit or we'll close you up."
"But where does it stop? Who can we shoot? I don't aim to starve to death before I kill the man that's starving me."
"I don't know. Maybe there's nobody to shoot. Maybe the thing isn't man at all. Maybe, like you said, the property's doing it. Anyway I told you my orders."
The financial machine we live inside often challenges our morality, our faith, our ethics in exchange for a paycheck. Think Glengarry Glen Ross, think sell or be fired, think it me or you and its not going to be me. So we take a nice long trip to Disney to forget all about it. Maybe we have a food drive at school - help the less fortunate. How are we supposed to live? Is this really it? Work your butt off, get as much as you can, hoard as much as you can - every man for himself. Really? The Joad's are not bums, not lazy, not moochers. They are simple folk who want to work - an honest days work for an honest days pay. But the fruit growers of this novel are the factories of Mexico, China, Vietnam, and every other "third world" country that produces our clothes, shoes, food and products. They are in a race to the bottom - pitted against one another for jobs - always pushed to do more for less. Why? So we can buy three dollar T-shirts at Wal-Mart.
Don't get me wrong - I shop at Wal-Mart - we all do - we have to make our money stretch. We are all stuck. But can it change? As the tenant farmer went on to say:
"I got to figure," the tenant said. "We all got to figure. There's some way to stop this. It's not like lightning or earthquakes. We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change."
I think the beginning is within each of us - within me. We (I) made
 

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Seems like a while since I read it but remember being slightly dissapointed having read Cannery Row and Of Mice and Men before hand. Will give it another go one day, Steinbeck deserves it.

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