Why did I love this book?
Steinbeck can string words together like no one else. He is one of my favorite writers and this is my favorite Steinbeck book. I read it for the first time in high school and then again a few years ago. When I was studying Marketing and Economics at the University of Arkansas, I had to take electives outside of my major. I took all of mine in English Lit. In one course I was the only one in the class who was not an English major. My professor was so impressed that anyone would take his course “for fun” that I was graded on my own private curve. (Not to be confused with My Own Private Idaho). When we studied Steinbeck, of course, the assigned book was Grapes of Wrath. During the discussion the professor learned I was one of only three in the class who had read East of Eden. I think that was the day my grade became an “A” in his class. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I only read the book because I loved the movie starring James Dean.
Thank you, Mr. Steinbeck for one of the few “A”s on my college transcript.