Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Book Review: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

A modern retelling of the story of Cain and Abel, East of Eden brings to life the intricate details of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons.

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”

No review I could ever write would do this book justice. I was almost tempted to just have my review as this simple statement: “if you haven’t read this, just do it.” But.... incase you haven’t noticed, I often have a lot to say.

Where to begin? I’ll start with Steinbeck’s writing. This was some of the most gorgeous writing I’ve ever read - it’s readable yet breathtaking. Especially when he is describing the Salinas Valley, or when he is providing commentary on human nature. It simply blew me away.

And the characters!! This is an epic, multi-generational tale that focuses on two families and they are all so exquisitely developed and BELIEVABLE. My favourite was Samuel (of course I’m going to go for the Irishman!), but they were all so incredible. Even Cathy, who was so dark and twisted!

I’ve been thinking about this one ever since I finished, pondering the concept of good and evil, and free will. My brain just cannot deal with how fucking amazing this book was. 700+ pages and yet perfectly paced and wonderfully crafted. Please do not let the length put you off, it is worth every goddamn page.

East of Eden has firmly cemented its place in my top 5 books of ALL TIME.


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