East of Eden by John Steinbeck


Yes, I realize the photo is for the movie East of Eden, not the book. However, I've been in love with James Dean for, literally, thirty years, so why not use some eye candy instead of a relatively boring book cover for the blog posting??

Originally published in 1952, John Steinbeck's East of Eden is considered an American classic, and certainly not without cause. He has the quintessential Cain-Abel (Cal and Aron, in this instance) story, plus a lot of details about life in Salinas Valley, California, in the early years of the twentieth century.

The beginning of the book is slow to the point that I almost fell asleep, and reading never puts me to sleep. If you can get past, or just skip, the beginning, you'll be rewarded with the descriptions of relationships and how tangled lives and families actually can be.

As an aside, the movie has a "happier," albeit not exactly happy, ending than the book, and also shows a love triangle between the two brothers and a local "good girl" in a very different way. Ah, Hollywood!

My overall personal rating of the book East of Eden is a B.

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