Customer Reviews for

East of Eden

Average Rating 4.5
( 546 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(402)

4 Star

(84)

3 Star

(30)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

24 out of 25 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 9 people found this review helpful.

Good narrative

I love stories about sociopaths.

posted by hittite_girl on March 26, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2006

    the classic tale of good and evil

    Quite possibly the greatest story ever written about quite possibly the most basic of principles: good vs. evil. Inspirational and breathtaking, the story is a pure example of how to write characters that you can love one minute and hate the next. Just like in real life!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2005

    emotional

    Cried, laughed and enjoyed..a winner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2004

    This book is intoxicating

    The moment I picked up this 600 page book, I couldn't stop reading it. I was completely captivated by it. Steinbeck is a master of words, and he will make you want to read more and more.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2003

    Outstanding!

    I am glad I did not read this earlier in my life, I doubt it would have penetrated as deeply as it now does. So powerful and captivating, you wont want the story to end. Steinbeck writes with such vivid descriptions that there is no effort at all to see everything in your mind clear as day.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2002

    I Hated Steinbeck

    This book frustrated me to no end, and still does. There were some parts that were just painfully bad - clumsy characterizations, heavy handed attempts at life's deep truths, and even one chapter I am almost positive is completely unnecessary. At many points, I hated this book, the narrator, and the author. And yet I still think about this book more than most other books I've read around that time. Maybe it's only because of the sheer size of the novel, but more likely it's the better parts that redeem it a little bit. Sorry if I'm a little short on supporting details. I regard this as a messy, underdeveloped, unfocused, and failed shot at an epic novel by Steinbeck.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2001

    Steinbeck's East of Eden

    The title says it all...mankind has been banished from paradise, but is cursed and blessed with directions for finding it again. Steinbeck weaves a gripping tale that follows two naturally opposed, yet inherently good, brothers. Pay most attention to the Samuel Hamilton character; he is in my opinion the most important character in the story, both for the plot and the message of hope. He is misleadingly foiled against his wife, who embodies the virtues of strength and faith, but I think we can gain an understanding of Christianity from his actions. This book is not about the Church or religion, but when we see Samuel and his wife, I think it is reasonable to suppose that Steinbeck meant to show the beauty and life that a true Christian personifies. Liza, Samuel's wife, represents the rigid and unquestioning faith in commands (Old Testament), whereas Samuel mirrors New Testament teachings in that his words, thoughts, and actions seem to 'fulfill' the good intentions of his wife - and in a beautifully Irish way. Read the book, let yourself sink into the lives of the characters, and if you possess the strength to finish the book despite its hellish entailments, you will emerge with a more optimistic and beautiful understanding of human life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2001

    One of Steinbecks best

    I am a 16-year-old student, and am an avid reader that enjoys the works of John Steinbeck. His books are easy to understand, being that I¿m from California, and have been to the places he¿s mentioned in his books. He has amazing ability to put pictures to words. In this novel, East of Eden, two brothers reenact the ancient biblical tale of Cain and Abel. There is one brother that starves for the father¿s love and attention that he never receives, and there is the ¿perfect¿ son that everyone loves. Steinbeck makes a turn with this novel, and is unlike any of his other books that I¿ve read up until this point. It¿s an amazing novel that¿s well written and should be read by anyone who is a fan of Steinbeck. The amazing value of knowledge that I¿ve gained from this book is unbelievable. Let not the size of the novel intimidate you, because at the end it is all worth it. `Timshel¿

    1 out of 1 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 April 30, 2000

    Steinbeack's second best book of all

    East of eden was an outstanding book it thrilled all of my emotions it went from happy to sad to mad.Steinbeck is one of the best authors to have ever written and i highly recomend him.I am 15 and have already read several of his books. You will not be disapointed if you read this book. It is a must read. Feel free to im me or email me anytime.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2000

    Absolutely Evil Woman

    It always shocks me that East Of Eden is not usually listed as one of Steinbeck's best novels. I love Grapes of Wrath (probably my favorite book-that is no easy feat!), Of Mice and Men, etc. However, there is a gritty, malevolent quality about this novel that sets it apart from Steinbeck's more mainstream novels (this is probably why it isn't part of the school curriculum). It is well written, shockingly insideous in its scope of human capability and impotence. Read it!-it will encourage you to browse your own limits, and cause you to reflect on the importance of your relationships with people, particularly family.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 1999

    The best of Steinbeck

    As a young man (age 16)I had the pleasure to read East of Eden, the Spanish version, in my native Cuba. I thought the book was outstanding. In my opinion, the best work by Steinbeck. Now in my late 50s I felt that I should read it again but in English as it was originally written. What a treat !!! Outstanding. I could not put the book down then, nor could I put it down now. I had to read it from cover to cover, non- stop. I strongly recomend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 1999

    A Great Steinbeck Book

    This is the best Steinbeck book I have read yet. This book appeals to a different aspect of Steinbeck's focus. The charcters in the story are greatly developed and the most fun part of reading the book is discovering which character you are.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2015

    Wonderful fiction, seemely comes to life

    Easy to picture the living conditions , the people and their daily strife.

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  • Posted January 1, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    My favorite all time classic book! I have read and reread it ma

    My favorite all time classic book! I have read and reread it many times, and own several copies :) My favorite <3

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2014

    Tried way too hard to be philosophical, but still entertaining. 

    Tried way too hard to be philosophical, but still entertaining. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    I read this book 30 years ago and loved it then. Now being older, I love it it even more. I am a big Steinbeck fan. I've read all of his books, and this one is one of the best, I beleive

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    Catching Up with must read 20th Century Classics

    Many years ago when East of Eden was just published, my Yale room-mate and another classmate drew up a list of major 20th century literature that every well educated young[person] should read. Presumptuous? You bet! Nevertheless I've worked my way down that list and now am close to the end. Tony and Dick's selections have proved themselves worthy (in my opinion anyway)of the list, so despite the fact I'm only 30-some pages into "Eden" it's living up to my expectations. For more, ask me later.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Jisella

    She decorates her locker with stickers,glitter and posters of her fav bands and shows.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Vi

    Puts her stuff in her locker. She also puts up a mirror and some silver leapord print wallpaper.

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