Friday, 10 June 2011

book review. . .

the only "book reviews" i have done were completed in
my high school years.
therefore, i might be a little rusty at this, but i'm going to give it a whirl.
i just finished reading ea
st of eden by john steinbeck.
i just put it down and came to the computer.
i had heard from multiple people that it was a great book
and it was really interesting, etc.
i made a recent goal to read a book a month, so i decided to start with this one.

if i had to give it a rating of 1-5 with 1 being awful and 5 being fantastic
i would give this book a 3.5.
it was entertaining and it made me think.
the overriding theme throughout the book was the idea of timshel, or man's
choice to live a life of good or evil.
this theme was laced throughout the book, but didn't truly
hit home till literally the last sentence of the book.
the book was interesting in the way that it paralleled the bible.
it's a story about 3 generations of family and how their lives unfold
based on choices they make.
the main reference to the bible was made through the story of
cain and abel, which reflects the story of a few of the main characters.
overall the book details the individual struggles of good vs. evil.
each character is fully developed and the reader gains a deep understanding
of who they are through their actions.
i enjoyed the fact that steinbeck developed each character, and took time to
paint a vivid picture of each individual.
this helped in the end of the book, when the idea of timshel is really hit home.
i liked the fact that steinbeck developed each character so fully by
giving great detail about their thoughts and actions, however
sometimes that was the very thing that was hard to read.
many of the characters do things that are evil in the book:
prostitution, drinking, blackmail, fornication, etc.
steinbeck goes into great detail about these evil-doings, so the vivid imagery
mixed with some foul and harsh language sometimes
made the book a little hard to read.
if i had known how much sex, lies and drugs would have been in the book,
i honestly probably wouldn't have read it.
it wasn't very uplifting reading about those things.
i understand these evil things were necessary in unfolding the theme
of good vs. evil and man's ability to choose his moral destiny,
but it just wasn't very uplifting.
at the end of the book you come away with the realization that man really
does have the choice between good & evil, and they are not destined for one or the other.
i thought this quote from the book was interesting, and it does
a nice job of encapsulating the theme of the story.

"And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected."

if you want to read a book that makes you think, read it.
however, you will be reading about prostitution, drugs and blackmail
in great detail.
overall i would say it was a good read, but honestly it was a little smutty.
i'm sure those of you who have read it have other thoughts.
so what did you think about the book?
any suggestions for what i should read next?


  1. I think I remember reading this book, it rings a bell, but my problem is I read a book so fast I forget what it's all about! And I'm trying to read a book a month too! We're twinners :) I just started The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I'm two pages in and so far so good!

  2. Well done Maren... I loved "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett... very entertaining!

  3. Love the review, and I learned something new with the word "timshel". Very interesting. I really liked this book because of the literary aspect and the fact that it made me think a lot. I agree with you on some of the material being not pleasant to read :( As for some ideas of books to read: MY ANTONIA is good, and THE PRINCESS BRIDE is hilarious. If you don't like either of these books, don't judge. haha