Customer Reviews for

East of Eden

Average Rating 4.5
( 540 )
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(398)

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(83)

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(29)

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(17)

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(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

23 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

A TIMELSSS CLASSIC!!!

A well-written book, a classic deemed worthy of reading. Steinbeck does a great job of making the piece of literature entertaining. I felt glued to the book many times because the plot would be wonderfully constructed, leading readers on an adventurous journey through t...
A well-written book, a classic deemed worthy of reading. Steinbeck does a great job of making the piece of literature entertaining. I felt glued to the book many times because the plot would be wonderfully constructed, leading readers on an adventurous journey through the lives of the characters in the Salinas Valley.What surprised me the most were the characters in the story. Each individual character had his or her own unique personality. Each person seemed real and true to life. I would be going through the book and start saying to myself "oh this character reminds me of so and so." Plus, the characters are dynamic and many of their personalities are not at the extremes, but instead they have both the good qualities and bad qualities of mankind. I love how I can read into each character and judge him or her through his or her actions. The subtlety in revealing the motives behind each character was astonishing. The way Steinbeck depicted the characters through their dialogue and actions was overwhelming as I soon developed my personal opinion on each character. It made me feel like I was involved in the story itself.
Adding to the amazing characters is in intricate, well-developed story line. The plot was complex in that there were many subplots running through the main action. However, when I was reading, the complexity of the story did not hinder my progression because everything seemed to flow. The story was being pieced together in a rhythmic fashion as one event leads to another. The biblical allusion to Cain and Abel was also a fun thing to locate. After reading the story of Cain and Abel, I would go through the East of Eden and get excited when I would notice the similarity or the differences between East of Eden and the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Steinbeck truly does a fascinating job of weaving his story together. His work is fascinating and artful.
Although the book is rather long, the wonderful characters and amazing plot line makes up for it ten times over. I highly recommend this book to those who appreciate good writing that stays with you for days on end, and then some!

posted by 148617 on October 27, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Good narrative

I love stories about sociopaths.

posted by hittite_girl on March 26, 2012

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 83 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted September 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Better than I expected.

    I had to read this for school, and I was surprised. I actually enjoyed it. The characters and plot were complex, and it was well written. It was a true classic.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2008

    Great Read...

    Symbolism and metaphor abound in Steinbeck¿s historical novel. Beautiful in scope and imagination, the retelling of the book of Genesis couldn¿t get any better than this.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2000

    Epic Novel

    I had an assignment to Read East of Eden for an 11th grade advanced english class. It is truly the best book I have ever read. It tells the story of human life. It shows that everyone is capable of being good or evil and it is a person's choices that determine the paths their lives will take. One of the many things I will take with me from the book is the word 'timshel' and it's deep meaning. I'm completely hooked on John Steinbeck's works and am so grateful I had the oppurtunity to read this epic and beautiful novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2000

    Good/Bad

    East of Eden might be long, but it is Good! If i had to pick one problem with it, the only thing would be that it is kind of confusing. My first time reading it, I was confused with the different people and stories it had, but hang in there, it is all worth it in the end!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    Steelfur

    "Oh, sure no problem." He smiled.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2011

    East of eden

    I read this way back in high school. I enjoyed it more this time.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    Higly recommended

    This is a deep book that contrasts good vs evil, the 602 pages does seem intimidating, but once you get in the book, you won't want to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2011

    Must read for anyone

    East of Eden by John Steinbeck is beautifully written. I was absorbed within the first couple pages. His writing drags the reader right into the story, making them feel as though they knew each and every one of the characters personally. He creates a setting so perfectly that one can picture it once again as though they were right in the story. On top of the writing the plot was also crafted perfectly, a somewhat complex plot, going between two different families, but keeping the balance between the two. This book is not confusing at all but such a great read.

    This book references the story of Cain and Abel from the bible and puts a more interesting twist on it. In this book there are multiple "Cain" and "Abel" characters, only in different generations. This is a must read for anyone, whether they are a teenager or an adult. I would recommend this to anyone, even if they have hated Steinbeck in the past.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2010

    intriguing novel

    East of Eden is an interesting allegory that portrays good and evil as well as biblical references. Steinbeck use biblical references to symbolize good and evil. For example, he uses the tale of "Cain and Abel" throughout the two generations of the Trask brothers: Charles(Cain), Adam(Abel), Cal(Cain), Aron(Abel). Steinbeck used an interesting way of telling an under lying story throughout the novel, thus keeping our attention in the novel. Although the novel was intriguing the length was a bit of an issue. We feel Steinbeck could have shortened it enough to achieve the same goal, while still being a powerful novel. Besides the length the novel was quite grasping. Next years juniors should read this novel, because it makes them think outside of the box in order to see the different views on good and evil. To a normal reader, Cal and Aron's relationship just seems like two normal brothers, while the allegory shows Cal's inner conflict and jealousy that symbolically kills Aron. In Salinas Valley, where most novel takes place, the valley represents the land that is "East of Eden" where Cain is banished to in the biblical tale. Overall the novel was intriguing. Kayla V. & Billy B

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    John is a genius..

    This book is an amazing eye-opener.It shows you and teaches you the difference between good and evil. Is a book you have to read. Has amazing characters that by the end you feel that you knew them. Read it! =)

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    good character study...

    East of Eden is a good character study exploring themes of guilt, self-destruction and free will. It's not a very fast paced story but it is satisfying in the end and kept my interest. There's a fairly diverse set of characters in East of Eden. Some are good. Some are evil. Most important though are the ones that are neither good nor bad but both at the same time. We are witness to such internal struggles with self that the tenseness and strain are almost palpable. At the end of the book there's a certain deliverance and a sigh of relief escapes. Steinbeck originally wrote this story for his young sons at the time. He "wanted to describe the Salinas Valley for them in detail: the sights, sounds, smells, and colors." Mission accomplished!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2006

    A different way of telling two stories

    I liked reading this book because the author starts out telling two stories about two different families but combines them into one. I like that style and would read another book by the same author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2006

    nadine omeyaka

    This book is a very good book for people 15 years and over. It base on family crisis and how love can really affect someone's life and live question other people's mind. And how friend and family never live when you are need of confort .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2006

    Bloody Brilliant

    This novel is one of my personal favorites. Steinbeck marvelously connects the characters to biblical scripture, yet creates such realistic situations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2006

    East of Eden

    It was a very interesting and educational book. It was about Good Vs Evil. I would defiantly recommend this book to future readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2005

    Great Book

    I am a thirteen year old who watched the movie 'East of Eden' (witch was awesome), and I thought is was very sensational. I knew that there was a book of it so I bought it and thought it was even a little better than the movie, I love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2004

    Fantastic!!

    i read a few other books from Oprah's book club and i enjoyed them all so i decided to read this one too. The size is at first very intimidating, but you feel so good when your done!! its rich and beautifully written- i def would recommend to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2004

    This is a pretty good book

    The book East of Eden,Is about two familys.Who are very corrupted. The parents are like Adam and Eve,and the brouthers are like Cane and Abel.Both of the familys fougt a lot about things.One of the brothers try to kill is other brother.And one of the wifes killed her self.This book has a lot of some religion stuff in it.I recomend this book to all people.Because I really liked this book,And maybe you will to.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2004

    A Classic

    Well developed characters, insightful writing. Easy to see why this is so highly regarded.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2003

    Super classic -- a must read

    I was apprehensive to start with, but once I got going, I couldn't put it down. It's a truly fantastic book, a lovely, yet sad story with a life lesson in each chapter.

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