First published in 1939, The Grapes of Wrath creates an unforgettable portrait of the migrants who left the dust bowl for the promised land of California. Although he wrote it quickly, Steinbeck spent much time gathering detailed reports of the desperate conditions in migrant camps. He also worked in one camp helping to care for its starving residents. Although they have planted the land for generations, the Joads are tenant farmers. Now drought and mechanization have forced them off the Oklahoma farm they call home. As they travel toward new jobs in California, the penniless, hungry Joads learn that America has no mercy for the poor. Their fate is one that was repeated in hundreds of lives. Brilliant in its fusion of drama and rhetoric, The Grapes of Wrath changed the way the world saw migrant workers. They would never again be faceless masses who could be ignored and abandoned. This landmark work's impact earned John Steinbeck the Pulitzer Prize and contributed to his being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.
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by John Steinbeck
"Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in l940, this famous protest novel is a natural for audio. The story is told almost entirely in the country vernacular of the destitute workers of the 1930's--some 300,000 strong--who had been driven from their farms and were pouring into California to face hunger, squalor and humiliation. (An inept narrator, reading their dialogue, could easily have made them sound like the Beverly Hillbillies.) Instead, Dylan Baker's sensitive interpretation has given them the dignity--even the nobility--that Steinbeck intended. He has also avoided another serious pitfall: overdramatizing some of Steinbeck's speeches in the last half of the book, avoiding what the Joads called "a preacher voice." The listener is hardly aware of occasional lapses into sentimental prose as Steinbeck delivers his many impassioned sermons against the selfishness and greed of the rich. Altogether, this is an outstanding performance; John Steinbeck would have relished it. J.C. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine"
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