The only excuse I had for not reading The Grapes of Wrath was the name sounded boring. I believe at one point I remember saying, “I can’t imagine anything more boring sounding than The Grapes of Wrath.
I was young, and, yes, dumb.
I love Steinbeck. East of Eden is my favorite book. Has been for years. Maybe I was afraid that I would read something by Steinbeck that wouldn’t be as good and tarnish my high opinion.
At some point in college I saw a theatrical production of The Grapes of Wrath. It was better than the experimental play about scientology I snuck out of during intermission only to be caught by the performers taking a smoke break outback. No strong desire to read the book gripped me then.
For six hundred plus page book, two weeks isn’t shabby. My reading pace is average. The narrative compelled me to pick it up instead of my phone.
The Joad’s persistence, belief in family, hard work, care for other humans. Steinbeck’s dissection of wealth and greed. The bruising and uplifting final scene.
It’s not better than East of Eden but it’s more controlled, meticulous, and subtle with plot and character.
Younger me would have found this book boring. Older me found it a necessary, prophetic story.