I’ve read this book 5 or 6 times now.
Just a few days ago I picked it up again after reading Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses for the first time (which was great in its own right, still falls short of The Grapes of Wrath).
It never ceases to blow my mind: the writing style, the vignettes interspersed throughout, the gravitas of the subject matter, the thinly disguised religious and political diatribes (the Bank is a monster).
(My only quibble is Steinbeck’s character lengthy descriptions, but when he’s done, you know exactly what character looks like.)
I just reached page 150.
The Joads haven’t even crossed the Oklahoma line and yet so much heartbreaking tragedy has happened.
I first read it back in high school; it was assigned by one of my English teachers.
I don’t know if she could get away with it now in today’s political correct environment. The use of the N-word, descriptions of sex, a joke about bestiality, a preacher who quit preaching, gory details about the slaughter of pigs, a dog getting run over Route 66…
Then again, The Grapes of Wrath has been banned repeatedly since its publication. It’s never been PC (which, in my mind, its one of the reasons its worth reading…)