K is for Steinbeck

K is for Steinbeck. Yes, it is. It has to be, because I need an excuse to blab about The Grapes of Wrath.

For this year's A to Z I'm featuring books I've read based on the Reading Challenge.

Today's book is based on a true story.

The Grapes of Wrath is set in the 1930s and relates in a very personal and individual way the migration of farmers from states such as Oklahoma to California, seeking work and basic sustenance for their families.

I learned afterwards that Steinbeck based a lot of his notes for the book on research conducted by Sanora Babb, so now her novel Whose Names Are Unknown is on my wishlist. I've read other Steinbeck before, but hadn't read his books on the migrations. In Dubious Battle is up next.

I couldn't find the time to enter into a detailed discussion of the book on the Compuserve Books and Writers Community, so I tweeted some of my initial reactions. Here are a few of the conversations:

Let me see if I can Storify the rest of my tweets (first time I've done this!).

It worked!

(Not sure what those related stories are. I didn't have time to tidy up this storification...)

What novels based on true stories have you enjoyed?


Hi Deniz - I don't think I've ever read .. and may well have struggled with it at some stage - now I have more history knowledge I can appreciate this more.

I see it really opened up the public's eye as to the social problems being encountered ... but was also boosted by the film made in 1940.

So interesting to read your Twitter feed comments and to see how much research and input you get from the CompuserveBooks and Writers Community ..

Fascinating .. and I see you're going south now! Cheers Hilary
Trisha F said…
I have not read it...

His name has a k in it I guess, so it counts in that regard! :)

For letter S are you going to do Søren Kierkegaard? :D
Carrie-Anne said…
I've never read The Grapes of Wrath, though I've wanted to read it for years. After so much anticipation, I hope it turns out to be as good as I've hoped for, instead of a disappointment. For novels based on true stories, I absolutely adored A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, though I hated the sequel in all but name, Joy in the Morning. It was hard to believe they were written by the same person.
Misha Gericke said…
The Three Musketeers. No, really. ;-)
Nicky said…
Awww... Grapes of Wrath is one of the few Steinbeck works I haven't read. :(

Deniz Bevan said…
I was worried too, because I'd waited so long to read it and a colleague just had a similar experience where he finally read East of Eden and didn't like it as much as he'd thought he would. I haven't read that one yet either! But I just finished In Dubious Battle and thought that was quite good, Very slice-of-life.

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