Teaser Tuesdays: Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.


I am pleased to return to old standbys from time to time. It has been too long since I’ve read any Hemingway. And Steinbeck is another love, one I’ve not explored enough. This audio production of Tortilla Flat, an early novel of his, is going well for me so far. I wanted to share a few lines that I think show what he can do with simple language. Tell me this doesn’t paint a scene – one you’d be happy to inhabit, in fact.

The grace was not quite so sharp to Pilon when he could not tell Big Joe about it, but he sat and watched the treasure place while the sky grayed and the dawn came behind the fog. He saw the pine trees take shape and emerge out of obscurity. The wind died down and the little blue rabbits came out of the brush and hopped about on the pine needles. Pilon was heavy-eyed but happy.

This makes me feel peaceful.

4 Responses

  1. I adore Steinbeck’s writing immensely but have not read this one yet. Looking forward to your thoughts on it. Of Mice and Men is still my favorite though. I’d also be curious as to what you think of “East of Eden” or “Grapes of Wrath.”

    • Of Mice and Men and Cannery Row are exquisite books. Travels with Charley was enjoyable; this one is great as well. I am ashamed to say that I have read neither East of Eden nor The Grapes of Wrath. I’ll go check and see if they’re available as audiobooks… my print-reading time is pretty well taken up by reviews these days. But I *am* interested!!

  2. Don’t worry Julia, I haven’t read those two novels either. I was maybe hoping you could offer a bit more incentive for me to read them since they have been sitting on my shelf for years. I’ll get to them one day.

    Oh yes, Cannery Row is wonderful. There is something special about his writing that cuts to the core and speaks to me in profound ways.

    • Oh good. 🙂 Well, my local library has East of Eden on audio, and I’ve requested it. (No Grapes.) I’ll let you know!

      Indeed. He creates feelings. Poignant, simple, both crude and profound at the same time; and often sad in the middle of a party. (I thought of Cannery Row when there was another sort of tragic-party scene in this book.)

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