Book Review – Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

I read this as part of a buddy read and it is one I have wanted to read for a while. I read Of Mice and Men as part of my school studies many many years ago and I found I really enjoyed it and liked Steinbeck’s writing style so I thought I would give this a go.

Grapes of Wrath tells the story of the great dustbowl migration of the 30s where thousands of Americans were forced out of their land in the North and the west and all migrated south in search for works on the multitude of farms. What they experienced instead was a lot of poverty and hardship trying to find work and survive day by day. This story follows one family’s journey of survival from Oklahoma to Califlornia for a new start and to find new jobs after they are forced off their farm.

I instantly recognised Steinbeck’s style from the very start. Although, I feel like he would have made a great British writer as he spent the whole first chapter talking about the weather. It starts off very slow, then it seems like we have a bit of action or development every other chapter so it did take a while for me to get into it.


  The character development was good and I liked seeing how they grew as they faced some of life’s worst challenges. However this book is just plain and simple misery and melancholy. It is just  blow after blow and it is difficult to find any particularly happy events. So if you do read it, prepare to be emotionally knackered and also drained of all happiness.

I liked Steinbeck’s style however I found many parts of the book a chore to read and the pace was very slow for the majority of the novel, and not in a good way.

I am glad to have read it,but it won’t be a book I would choose to read again. The mixture of pure misery, the pace and the lack of action simply didn’t appeal to me.

⭐⭐⭐ – I enjoyed the writing style and the characters but the crushing atmosphere and pace was difficult to absorb and was often too intense.

Much love 💘

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