East of Eden

By John Steinbeck
Man. After Moby Dick, the first third or so of this seemed refreshing and awesome and interesting. Then all the things that annoy me about American lit in general and Steinbeck in particular started bugging the crap out of me. I often get the feeling when reading AmLit (and especially Steinbeck) that the author was sitting there writing with a pretentious “I am a Great Author ™” attitude. Steinbeck’s work is so dry and spare that it seems self-conscious. Moreover, he creates interesting characters and then doesn’t do anything particularly interesting with them. East of Eden appears to be telling me that (whoa!) sibling rivalry exists! And sometimes has bad consequences!
Well, no shit, Sherlock. I’m an only child and I know about sibling rivalry. At least bring something new to the table.
Maybe I just can’t get past his writing style. I have the same problem with Hemingway.
Regardless, I finished the damn book, and am now two-thirds done with the summer reading I’m doing for my tutoring student (we’re both reading the books together so we can discuss them and I can help her with the essay she has to write about them). Next up: Sophie’s World, which I’m about four chapters into. So far, it’s written in astonishingly simple language but about very complex things. I like it.
Book 17 in 2007.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.