Re: RARA-AVIS: Grapes of Wrath

From: E.Borgers (
Date: 09 Oct 2006

I was on the way to answer Miker's post on "The Grapes of Wrath" and advising him to read "In Dubious Battle" which is a harder novel, with a lot of hard-boiled episodes and a harrowing feeling of despair, that makes it a real noir novel. And a top one. So I fully agree with Ed's recommendation. On the other side, Grapes is probably an attempt to reach a wider public at the time, a kind of "Great American Novel" way... (?). Anyway it is still a good novel and a de facto kind of testimony of a difficult and inhumane time, a period of real social turmoil in the recent history of the USA, but available for a large public bu this novel. Steinbeck is really a great novelist as well. Do not forget "Totilla Flat", "Cannery Row" , excellent stories with a real social content.

> For all the sweep and drama and historical value of Grapes of Wrath, there is
> a deliberateness of Purpose that's always made it seem awkward to me..a
> self-conscious air of Importance. I know that's heresy but I prefer his In
> Dubious Battle and Of Mice and Men and many of his short stories (he's very much
> underestimated as a short story artist) to Wrath.


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