East of EdenBook - 1992
A Penguin Classic
In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden "the first book," and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California's Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families--the Trasks and the Hamiltons--whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.
The masterpiece of Steinbeck's later years, East of Eden is a work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love's absence. Adapted for the 1955 film directed by Elia Kazan introducing James Dean and read by thousands as the book that brought Oprah's Book Club back, East of Eden has remained vitally present in American culture for over half a century.
This edition features an introduction by David Wyatt.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the critics
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We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immoral. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.
When a child first catches adults out–when it first walks into his grave little heads that adults do not have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just—his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone.
You can boast about anything if it's all you have. Maybe the less you have, the more you are required to boast.
In March the soft rains continued, and each storm waited courteously until its predecessor sunk beneath the ground.
“All great and precious things are lonely.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
"And she picked her words as one picks flowers in a mixed garden and took her time choosing."
“…Samuel rode lightly on top of a book and he balanced happily among ideas the way a man rides white rapids in a canoe. But Tom got into a book, crawled and groveled between the covers, tunneled like a mole among the thoughts, and came up with the book all over his face and hands.”
“But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.”
"I have no bent toward gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe."
If you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.
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jazminefinuliar04 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over
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A classic. Multi-generational epic about love, siblings and the battle of good and evil. Set in Salinas, California it is a retelling of the Book of Genesis
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