“The Grapes of Wrath is an American realist novel written by John Steinbeck and published in 1939. The book won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and it was cited prominently when Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962.”

The lines above are taken from the mighty Wikipedia.

National Book Award, a Pulitzer and a Nobel prize for literature; that went OK then.

I want to write well, so it seems sensible to read a wide range of ‘good stuff’. Somehow or other, I had always managed to not read any Steinbeck so I approached this novel with a sense of anticipation.

Initially, it was the reading equivalent of running through treacle. This novel hardly springs out of the blocks with a flurry of high-octane action. For a while, I used it as a miracle sedative. Half a page and I was out like a light. I kept dropping the Kindle on the poor dog.

Gradually though, I adjusted to the pace and rhythm of Steinbeck’s prose and narrative. I won’t write a critique, or an overview of the plot – but as the novel progressed, I became more and more engaged. I became taut with indignation at the unfairness of the time and the situation.

It is no exaggeration to write that reading the final scene was like being slapped very hard in the face.

Read this novel. It should have won more awards.