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East of Eden cover art

East of Eden

By: John Steinbeck, David Wyatt - introduction
Narrated by: Simon Manyonda
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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

'There is only one book to a man,' Steinbeck wrote of East of Eden, his most ambitious novel. Set in the rich farmland of the Salinas Valley, California, this powerful, often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations hopelessly re-enact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity; the inexplicability of love and the murderous consequences of love's absence.

©1952 John Steinbeck (P)2022 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about East of Eden

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Powerful story heartily told

Vivid yet measured narration told this full-hearted story perfectly. I didn’t want it to end.

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Heartbreakingly beautiful

A tale of flawed humans, just incredible. The narrator is exceptionally good at switching voices too.

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epic

enjoyed it, long story but a great one
not The Grape's of Wrath style of story or style really, just great characters and scene setting.

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top story telling about farmer and families

loved it. Great storytelling, rich on interesting and deeply drawn characters, settings, plot, philosophy, family dynamics.

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Wish I’d read this book years ago!

Steinbeck shows a real understanding of the human condition. All of the characters feel authentic and real.

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Incredible story, disappointing narration

A wonderful & epic story, I started this book many many years ago & never finished it, listening to it has been so enjoyable - despite the narration which at times was terrible!
Sam Hamilton’s voice changed from American to “Oirish” sometimes within the same sentence, presumably when the narrator remembered that Sam was actually from Ireland. It could have done with a much older narrator & someone who could do much better female accents, at times it was ridiculous!
That being said, this is a really great story, I am so glad to have finally finished it.

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amazing

great story and character building was hooked from the start with the exclent narration

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Story fantastic, narration not so good.

I loved the story, narrator's attempt at Irish accent cringlingly awful. Put me off.

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Powerful Story

There is no question this is a great American novel, in fact, a great novel altogether. The span of the book is braid & panoramic, yet the focus is held steadily on the story of the Trasks. I first read this book over thirty years ago & being able to listen to it again in narration on long walks & other travels was a bonus. Certain scenes & events came even more vividly to life read into the ears!
That, however, is my reservation. I found the narrator lacked the accent & character of the story teller in the text. The attempt to falsetto female voices did not work, & was at times risible. The pacing of the reading was perfect, but spoilt by those issues.

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Glad I Stayed!

I wasn't sure about this at first, the narrator didn't grab me as right for the role. I admit, his Irish accent made me laugh yes but as the book continued he managed to imbue characters I already love with a life I hadn't given them before with a depth I had somewhere missed.
The variety of voices he portrayed were great, and, of course, the book; like all Steinbeck's works is a stunning philosophical narrative which coasts along in absorbing description of the natural world and of the nature of humans ourselves. I loved this.

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