Customer Reviews for

Tobacco Road

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Story Written To Be A 'Page Turner'

Erskine Caldwell is, in my opinion, one of the greatest writers of all time. 'Tobacco Road' depicts the Lester family as a poor, illiterate and ignorant family who will do whatever it takes to survive. This book not only contains humor and surprise but also an overal...
Erskine Caldwell is, in my opinion, one of the greatest writers of all time. 'Tobacco Road' depicts the Lester family as a poor, illiterate and ignorant family who will do whatever it takes to survive. This book not only contains humor and surprise but also an overall 'sadness' to a family who's dreams will never come true. A truly different kind of story you won't forget.

posted by Anonymous on March 3, 2000

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Do not buy, chore to try and read

Could not eve finish

posted by cwcduke on July 16, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2000

    Story Written To Be A 'Page Turner'

    Erskine Caldwell is, in my opinion, one of the greatest writers of all time. 'Tobacco Road' depicts the Lester family as a poor, illiterate and ignorant family who will do whatever it takes to survive. This book not only contains humor and surprise but also an overall 'sadness' to a family who's dreams will never come true. A truly different kind of story you won't forget.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2003

    Required Reading

    I read Erskine Caldwell's classic novel recently and was greatly moved by it. Caldwell wastes no time in laying the foundation for his story: the reader knows by the fourth paragraph that one man is so hungry he will walk 7 miles to buy a bag of turnips, and that another man is hungry enough to steal them. 'Tobacco Road' has lately become sort of a catch-all shorthand to describe people who aren't quite as upscale as we think they should be. But anyone who reads this book gets an entirely new view of poverty in America. True, the setting is between the two World Wars, long before Social Security and the New Deal. The grinding poverty that reduces a family to a sub-human level would probably not be seen today. But it's sobering, nonetheless, and still has an impact in the year 2003. The Lesters have none of the quiet nobility of The Joads in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. The Lesters are victims of themselves as much as they are victims of 'the system.' Though their circumstances are extreme, relative to what we know today, the root causes (ignorance and self-sabotage) still exist in abundance in America today. Should be required reading.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2013

    Intense Depiction of a Lazy 1932 Georgia Sharecropper's Uneducated Life

    The review headline says it all. I felt for the characters. I railed at the characters. Sometimes amusing, but guiltily so, like laughing if someone falls down. Poignant ending. I enjoy comparing the film version of a book to the book. The 1941 film version directed by John Ford was very different, sort of akin to a long Beverly Hillbillies episode and intended to be a comedy. The comedic 1941 depiction of this tragic socio-economic story set in 1932, in the context of American history during those years, is something to ponder if one is so inclined. Tobacco Road is worth reading.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2011

    Stands the test of time.

    Written in 1932, Tobacco Road is as valid today as it was then. Humorous, tragic, a story of poverty told from the inside. Erskine Caldwell is wonderfully readable. We seem to have forgotten just how good a writer he is. Should be on everyone's required reading list.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    AWFUL

    AWFUL

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Great writing style

    Although I found this to be a good book, the story was oppressive as I'm sure the life was during this time period.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2011

    Very good.

    The story offers a look into the life on the Lester family during the Depression. The despair they feel is so evident, and the reader feels for them. However, Jeeter Lester's refusal to move on and try to do something other than farm made me frustrated with him. The book illustrates how bad times were as well as how some people were simply unable to rise up and keep moving. I found myself picture Pa Kettle throughout the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011

    The only thing worse than reading this book must have been writing it.

    Awful!!! I love Southern lit but this book is full of stupidity and repetition. I found myself wondering why I was reading the same page over again... I wasn't the author must have been trying to meet a page quota and like a derelict college student just repeated himself until they got to a 100 pages!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    Do not buy, chore to try and read

    Could not eve finish

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Unforgettable

    I read this book for a college class I took. I opened the book up one morning, with all intentions of just skimming it for class, but once I started I COULD NOT put this book down! I sat down and read it in a few hours because I couldn't believe the story I was reading and wanted to find out what happened. From page one I was captivated by the harrowing story of the Lesters and developed a new understanding of some circumstances involving the depression. Thos book has a certain dark humor to it. This is a must read book and you will not soon forget it!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2000

    I Feel It Was a book

    I thought this was a wonderful book. I smoked it away. I t mad me laugh it made me cry I couldn't stand it anymore.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2014

    Tobacco Road

    Read this as a young adult. By erskine williams. Great southern history, set in a fictional poor southern family. Literary historical fiction at its best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2002

    great great book

    one of the funniest books ive ever read, i just adored the characters a real must read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2002

    A classic?

    I love classics and that is what made me read this book. It was on a library's top 100 books of all time lists. I was so disappointed. The author kept repeating himself. Half this book would be gone if it weren't for the repeating. This book is very strange and that made it somewhat interesting, but the author went too far and I was unable to get into the characters. They were either too repulsive or they just didn't make sense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2002

    The Limiting Cycle of Ignorance, False Hope, and Procrastination!

    Tobacco Road is full of some of the saddest stories and the funniest ones that it has ever been my experience to read in the same novel. Erskine Caldwell¿s powerful portrayal of Georgia sharecropper life during the Depression is one of those magical stories that brings the characters to life in so many and in such moving ways so that they will always be with you. Jeeter Lester¿s personality and weaknesses are at the center of what becomes a uniquely American tragedy. While his father had been a small landowner who grew cotton, all Jeeter inherited was a desire to farm. As a sharecropper, he could eke out a living for his large family during times when cotton prices were high. When they were low, he was lucky to survive. One by one, they have left the farm . . . never to be heard from again. Jeeter has hopes for turning it all around, and the arrival of a new car makes it possible for those hopes to be explored and understood. As the story opens, Jeeter¿s mother still lives with him, as do his wife, Ada, their 18 year-old daughter, Ellie May, and their 16 year-old son, Dude. A son-in-law comes to complain that his 12 year-old wife, nee Pearl Lester, won¿t talk to him or join his bed. But Jeeter¿s empty stomach can only focus on the turnips that his son-in-law, Luv, is carrying. Jeeter¿s tragedy is not limited to the effect of his failings on himself. In his need for money, he has ¿allowed¿ Luv to marry Pearl in exchange for $7. Obviously, Pearl was too young to marry, but Jeeter isn¿t a man to let a little thing like that stop him. His daughter, Ellie May, has a congenital hare lip which could have been repaired . . . except Jeeter just never got organized to do it. But one of these days. To me, the greatness of the novel was that it caused me to think about my own life, and to wonder where I have false hopes, where I have been lulled into inaction or the wrong action out of ignorance, and where my procrastination may have harmed others. Before reading this book, please do consider that there¿s a lot of earthy humor and coarse language here. Some of the callousness towards others as Dude drives Sister Bessie¿s car will leave you speechless. I was left breathless in two instances. Get on with it! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth Enterprise

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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