East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Steinbeck-EastOfEden     East of Eden tells the history of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons. The narrator, a member of one of the families, recounts the stories as they were told to him. We follow several generations through life, death, love, and hatred.

The book summary says that this is a modern retelling of the book of Genesis, which is what caught my attention when selecting this book. Sadly, with the exception of Cain and Abel, I don’t see the parallels. Admittedly, I only made it halfway through the book before deciding to stop. At 600 pages, with half of that left to go, I knew it was time for me to stop.

Since I’ve enjoyed Steinbeck’s work in the past, I was disappointed with this one. As usual, his characters are very human. They are flawed, some of them deeply. I found what I enjoyed most about this novel were the long sections of dialogue between characters.

It was the rest of the book that failed to keep my interest. Long sections of narration and scene description. At one point, there was almost an entire page describing how a wooden structure was built. The story often felt disjointed as it went from one character to another, until many of the stories merge. However, more characters are added as the novel moves along.

Be aware that there is a lot of cursing and adult themes in this novel.

1) Overall Plot = 3
2) Characters = 4
3) Flow/Pace of the story = 2
4) Is the story easy to follow? = 4
5) Overall Enjoyability = 2.5

Average of score 3.1 out of 5

Where to buy the book: CBD | Amazon | B&N

4 thoughts on “East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    1. I haven’t seen the movie, but from what I understand the movie is based on the second half of the novel. I’d also be willing to bet a lot was cut out of it. I hate to discourage anyone from reading anything, because everyone’s preferences are different. I would honestly tell you to, if you were thinking of giving it a try anyway, to go ahead and do it. You may find something in it that keeps you going. Maybe check it out at your library so you don’t spend the money on a book you may not like.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I saw the movie years ago, and there are many parallels to the Genesis story. It is creepy though. Very creepy. I have had it on my shelf for years as my friend did not finish it, like you. But she knows I like Steinbeck (she gave Grapes of Wrath a “1” and I gave it a “9” in our book club).


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