March 24, 2016
Looking Back - The Winter of Our Discontent
Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.
The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
1996 Penguin Classics (Originally published in 1961)
Finished in February 1996
Rating: 3/5 (Good)
Ethan Allen Hawley, a descendant of proud New England sea captains, works as a clerk in the grocery store owned by an Italian immigrant. His wife is restless; his teenaged children are troubled and discontented, hungry for the tantalizing material comforts he cannot provide. Then one day, in a moment of moral crisis, Ethan decides to take a holiday from his own scrupulous standards.
The Nobel Committee, in awarding John Steinbeck the 1962 Nobel Prize for literature, stated that with The Winter of Our Discontent he had "resumed his position as an independent expounder of the truth, with an unbiased instinct for what is genuinely American."
My Original Notes:
Pretty good. It certainly held my interest and I read it in five days. I'm sure I missed some of the underlying themes and wish I had CliffsNotes to help clarify some of the confusing spots. I haven't read Steinbeck since 9th grade! Recommended to me by a friend who said it was his favorite book.
My Current Thoughts:
Since 1996, I've read a few more novels by Steinbeck. I prefer his longer sagas, such as The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden (reviewed here). The Winter of Our Discontent didn't leave much of an impression on me.
The Winter of Our Discontent was Steinbeck's last completed novel before his death in 1968.
What is your favorite Steinbeck novel? Mine is The Grapes of Wrath, although I did love East of Eden, as well.