East of EdenBook - 2003
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.
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"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.
“I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about.
"Perhaps the best conversationalist in the world is the man who helps others to talk."
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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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