A Salinas Girl Reads East of Eden by John Steinbeck

East of Eden: A Few Collected Thoughts

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I‘m about a hundred and thirty pages into East of Eden. These are just a few quick thoughts to keep you guys in the loop while it’s fresh in my mind.

1. The beginning had me worried. Several dour, humorless, religious wives. The men are all charming, of course. Steinbeck, you’re on the verge of pissing me off here.

2. Charles, you mad dog wack job. A hatchet? Seriously?

3. Adam, I don’t get you. So you feel kind of lost and you don’t like your dad and the army isn’t where you belong. Re-enlisting is not the answer. Neither is becoming a hobo. Get a hobby. Rent a room. Build something, dude. Man up. If this were set in 2014, you’d be a couch-surfing loser wearing sweats for the 456th day in a row after getting your AA, playing video games for all waking hours because it requires no human contact. If someone called you to come over, you’d say you’re coming and then totally flake. That’s a dick move, Adam, especially when the person who wants you to come over is your brother. Oh, he tried to kill you once? Shit happens, and it ain’t like a chain gang is any better.

4. Cathy. Oh, Cathy. Is there going to be a reasonable, non-extreme female anywhere in this book? I’m glad she’s here, but she’s also a raging sociopath. The rope was a nice touch.

5. Shit, Cathy, what did you do to that teacher?

6. What if Mr. Ames is to blame for all the presumably tragic events in the entire book because he told Mr. Grew to go away? What if this whole book never would have happened if this man hadn’t been so afraid of hearing the truth about his own daughter? Oh, God, that’s a horrible thought. What if weak fathers are the worst thing that can befall a town or a whole society?

7. I have never known anyone who fell in love hard enough to do all the stupid things that pimp guy did for Cathy. And I’ve done a barrel’s worth of stupid things in the name of love. A house? Really? Everyone knows you rent for a mistress. You don’t buy.

If you’re on Twitter, I’ll be tweeting more random thoughts using #JWreadsJS. Hit me up with your reactions and memories of the book. I’m @JenniWiltz.

Have You Read East of Eden?

Chime in! What did you think when you got to any of the parts I mentioned above?

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Jenni

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I write thrillers, romance, historical fiction, tiara posts, and more. Right now, I'm working on a nonfiction trilogy: Grand Duchess Hilda of Baden, Grand Duchess Elizaveta Mikhailovna of Russia, and Princess Augusta of Brunswick.

Comments

  1. It’s so interesting to hear your thoughts part-way through instead of just a final review! When I read EoE, I flip-flopped a couple of times. Definitely looking forward to hearing another update before the end–and I’m suddenly wishing you had a book club I could join….

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