Scathing Book Reviews of The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck has shaped the way that generations have thought about the Great Depression. The book itself is a classic, but the 1939 film adaptation by John Ford, starring Henry Fonda, solidified its position in American culture. Some have questioned the book’s veracity in portraying the actual conditions of the “Okies” in California. Nevertheless, these critical reviews of “The Grapes of Wrath” show a good deal of wrath themselves:

I should have known that a book you can buy togehter with Cliff’s Notes is going to be boring.


I would recommend gum surgery over this book.


People have called this book propaganda, but that doesn’t even begin to cover it. Nowhere else will you find such schmaltzy dialogue, or such a laborious, falsely deep message. But I recommend everyone read this book, just to get a taste of what absolute tripe millions of people are capable of swallowing.


I’ve read books on genetics, i.e. no plot, no characters, that held my attention far better and used words more economically than The Grapes of Wrath. Perhaps if the novel had ended 400 pages or so before it actually did, I could have stomached it better.


I take comfort in knowing I will never be forced to read it agian. A school can only torture you once.


The Grapes of Hooey: Unless you’re a high school teacher who is hell-bent on warping young minds into America-haters, this book is not worth the time, money, or energy to read.


Steinbeck managed to kill off the two best characters in the entire book: Grandma and Grandpa, while Rose of Sharon, possibly the most annoying character I have ever read about, remains alive and whining till the dreadful end.


When you reach page 300 of a book and it’s still boring, STOP. NOT ONE WORD MORE. Any optimism won’t change the unread content. Unless money has been tucked as a bookmark later on, you won’t miss a thing.

…and this review, which is appropriately “thirtiesesque”:

I normally don’t support book burning, but for this book I’ll make an exception!

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