Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Welcome to the EAST OF EDEN readalong!

(I'm posting a day late ... sorry about that. Yesterday was busy at work.)

This week we embark on the Gaps reading of EAST OF EDEN, a classic of our time, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, an Oprah pick (what could be more telling!), and a book I somehow have avoided all these years. Upon consideration of its physical presence, which I now hold in my non-typing hand, that might be because it's really heavy. However, together we shall storm against this prosaic deterrent and conquer! (Right?)

According to the ever-informative Wikipedia, EAST OF EDEN was first published in 1952, and the first edition contained one typo. (Gosh, I wish any book I've ever worked on somehow made it to press with only one typo. I think standards are a little different these days.) Steinbeck supposedly originally wrote the novel for his two sons, then 6 and 4. I have scrupulously avoided any descriptions of the plot, but I gather there are heavy themes about the relationship between Cain and Abel hearkening back to the Book of Genesis. Can't wait to see how that all unfolds.

Let's convene here again next Tuesday, February 8th, having read (if you're Abel, teehee) the first 80 pages. In the meantime, please leave your Steinbeck notes in the comments--what else have you read? What's your favorite? Why are you reading EoE? Any interesting stories about his life you might have heard?

Looking forward!


J.C. Montgomery said...

I'm loving it so far! Not like his other stories, which were hit and miss with me. Except for one of course, The Grapes of Wrath.

Both these novels carry a special meaning for me. My family, fleeing the dust bowl and depression, came to California as migrants and some worked the fields.

Where they settled isn't too far from Salinas and when I would visit, I almost always took the route that had me going through the valley and King City.

So it's very easy to picture in my mind's eye all that Steinbeck writes of. I remember stories of the prejudices my family members faced when they first arrived.

Needless to say, this will be a read full of "goose-bump" moments. And I look forward to them.

Ashley said...

I loved Grapes of Wrath, mostly enjoyed The Red Pony, liked The Pearl, although it was unpopular w/ everyone else in the class I read it for and struggled with Of Mice and Men, although I really do want to go back and give that one a reread. I'm incredibly excited for EoE!

brionywilliamson said...

I've read Of Mice and Men (a million years ago, at school), and that's it. All I remember about it is watching the movie with Gary Sinise and Vincent D'Onofrio.

Since I know so very little, I'm excited to read EoE!