Friday, 13 February 2015

The Short Novels of John Steinbeck

Okay second post of 2015 and it shall be another book review cause I have no one to talk to about books I've read.

I always thought it was John Steinback instead of Steinbeck. So one thing I learnt from reading this book was the author's name.

I borrowed this book having already read two of the novellas inside, Of Mice and Men and The Pearl. And it was kind of interesting to re-read them again seeing as how I only remember the *spoiler* parts and forgot the rest of the stuff mostly. Haha.

I read the Pearl as my literature text in Secondary 1, and that was an amazing long 10 years ago. It was the first time reading anything by John Steinbeck though, and I have to say that being forced to analyze the text takes all the joy out of reading. Especially when you have to analyze it as homework.

I only remember reading the whole thing in about 2 days, then slogging through all the 'literary analysis' and answering questions like why Kino heard the music of this and that. Blah blah blah.

It is ironic then, that here I am 10 years later, willingly writing my thoughts about the exact same book, of my own volition. I completely forgot some *spoilers* from The Pearl as well, so there's that self-created deja vu feeling again.

Of Mice and Men was bought back in Polytechnic Year 2, which is another staggering 5 years ago. Such a nice multiple of 5 thing going on here huh. I do remember bringing it to New Zealand to read though, and finishing it by day 6 cause it was so short. Reading it again really showed how everything from the start of the book leads and builds up to the ending. I think if this book was given to us to read instead of The Pearl in Secondary 1, it would definitely have led to more "analysis" with more grey areas to discuss about. Instead of the usual "Corporation vs the man" thing. Although then again, it was for 13 year olds so maybe learning about greed and income inequality is the best subject for that impressionable young age. Haha.

Okay the other 4 books were pretty much the same. I thought that Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row were hilarious at some parts. But I do think all of John Steinbeck's books have depressing endings. Or if not depressing then at least melancholy. Very bleak endings, but still, you feel better for having read it.

Maybe a modern day equivalent would be say, Korean Dramas and how they make us feel so sad for the plight of the characters. I can not believe I am comparing John Steinbeck to Korean Dramas. What is this world coming to. Hahaha.

But I do think it's a book that causes you to think and reflect for some time after reaching the ending of each story. I remember reaching the end of "The Moon is Down" whilst on the train to work, and being unable to read anything for the rest of the day because the ending was so *spoiler*.

That's all I have to say.

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