The Long Valley

The Long Valley


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The Long Valley by John Steinbeck

First published in 1938, this volume of stories collected with the encouragement of his longtime editor Pascal Covici serves as a wonderful introduction to the work of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck. Set in the beautiful Salinas Valley of California, where simple people farm the land and struggle to find a place for themselves in the world, these stories reflect Steinbeck’s characteristic interests: the tensions between town and country, laborers and owners, past and present. Included here are the O. Henry Prize-winning story “The Murder”; “The Chrysanthemums,” perhaps Steinbeck’s most challenging story, both personally and artistically; “Flight,” “The Snake,” “The White Quail,” and the classic tales of “The Red Pony.” With an introduction and notes by John H. Timmerman.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140187458
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/28/1995
Series: Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics Series
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 247,098
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in 1902, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast. Both the valley and the coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. During the next five years he supported himself as a laborer and journalist in New York City, all the time working on his first novel, Cup of Gold (1929).
After marriage and a move to Pacific Grove, he published two California books, The Pastures of Heaven (1932) and To a God Unknown (1933), and worked on short stories later collected in The Long Valley (1938). Popular success and financial security came only with Tortilla Flat (1935), stories about Monterey’s paisanos. A ceaseless experimenter throughout his career, Steinbeck changed courses regularly. Three powerful novels of the late 1930s focused on the California laboring class: In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and the book considered by many his finest, The Grapes of Wrath (1939). The Grapes of Wrath won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1939.
Early in the 1940s, Steinbeck became a filmmaker with The Forgotten Village (1941) and a serious student of marine biology with Sea of Cortez (1941). He devoted his services to the war, writing Bombs Away (1942) and the controversial play-novelette The Moon is Down (1942).Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1948), another experimental drama, Burning Bright(1950), and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951) preceded publication of the monumental East of Eden (1952), an ambitious saga of the Salinas Valley and his own family’s history.
The last decades of his life were spent in New York City and Sag Harbor with his third wife, with whom he traveled widely. Later books include Sweet Thursday (1954), The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication (1957), Once There Was a War (1958), The Winter of Our Discontent (1961),Travels with Charley in Search of America (1962), America and Americans (1966), and the posthumously published Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters (1969), Viva Zapata!(1975), The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976), and Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath (1989).
Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962, and, in 1964, he was presented with the United States Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Steinbeck died in New York in 1968. Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures. 

Date of Birth:

February 27, 1902

Date of Death:

December 20, 1968

Place of Birth:

Salinas, California

Place of Death:

New York, New York


Attended Stanford University intermittently between 1919 and 1925

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The Long Valley 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Noah_Sanders More than 1 year ago
The Long Valley, by Jon Steinbeck, has throttled to the top of my favorite books list. It is a collection of stories, mostly setting in the area of Monterey County and the Salinas valley in California, that all have a grim and even violent view of human nature. It is beautifully written, often soaking the reader into the rich scenery of the West through a single sentence. This has confounded me: Steinbeck's ability to pack into one simplified sentence exactly what he wants to say, and to make it all flow together in suspenseful ease. It is insane! All of them are fantastic, but especially the stories of Flight, Breakfast, The Raid, The Vigilante, Johnny Bear, The Murder, and the short novella The Red Pony. The wide range of characters, mostly white working men, but also a Hispanic immigrant, a lonely woman, a scientist, and a young boy depict the brutal American virtues of hard work and rugged individualism to the last dot. This is a book I will go back to read over and over and over again in the future; Steinbeck possesses something I want nothing more to emulate. For example, the main story, The Red Pony explains in length the story of a young farm boy getting his first pony. Steinbeck caresses and develops him as a character, perfecting on the boy's child like emotions of pure joy and crushing fears. It has made me yearn back to my childhood to what use to give me unsurpassed joy... It makes me sad to realize I will not stumble upon a great book like this for years... This book is for people who love short stories, but also for those who look for deep meaning in writing. Steinbeck, in the embodiment of the rugged American West, has captured this.
RogerGPerkins More than 1 year ago
Original copyright of 1938 with renewal in 1966, this 1995 publication of John Steinbeck's short stories is very relevant to current times particularly as relates to the unemployment and economic situation and the way it shapes life. The characters in his stories are people we know, but by another name and in a different place. If one has not read Steinbeck since high school or college, it is worth while to read and enjoy his work from a more seasoned perspective.
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ExiledNewYorker More than 1 year ago
This collection is a remarkable reminder of how good a well crafted thoughtful short story can be. Several of these are very fine indeed, belonging among the best American short stories. Others are interesting but not great. A couple are dated. Regardless. It's a wonderful collection that keeps you interested and ready for the next tale. Highly recommended.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I have yet to read anything by Steinbeck that I would not recommend. I picked this up this weekend and it is perfect for quick reading. All great short stories like 'Pastures of Heaven'. I love the rattlesnake woman. Wow she was a trip. Strange....