Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Title: The Pearl
Author: John Steinbeck
Pages: 96
Genre: Classics
Published: 1947
Rating: Three out of Five

In this short book illuminated by a deep understanding and love of humanity, John Steinbeck retells an old Mexican folk tale: the story of the great pearl, how it was found, and how it was lost. For the diver Kino, finding a magnificent pearl means the promise of a better life for his impoverished family. His dream blinds him to the greed and suspicions the pearl arouses in him and his neighbors, and even his loving wife cannot temper his obsession or stem the events leading to the tragedy.

For Steinbeck, Kino and his wife illustrate the fall from innocence of people who believe that wealth erases all problems. Originally published in 1947, The Pearl shows why Steinbeck’s style has made him one of the most beloved American writers: it is a simple story of simple people, recounted with the warmth and sincerity and unrivaled craftsmanship Steinbeck brings to his writing. It is tragedy in the great tradition, beautifully conveying not despair but hope for mankind.

First off, I would have given this novella four stars if the introduction written by Linda Wagner-Martin hadn't completely spoiled the story for me. The whole plot of the book is given away in the introduction. So my advice to anyone that also as this edition of this book: Skip the intro and read the novella first!

I thought the Pearl was a wonderful little story and John Steinbeck is an absolutely amazing writer. He is one of my favourite authors. Steinbeck's stories are poignant and full of reality. He describes everything so wonderfully that I could picture it all so clearly in my head.

The Pearl is a very basic story, but everything is the novella also has a double meaning, which is extremely thought-provoking. The novella is a parable for modern times, even though it was written in 1947. The moral for the story is money doesn't always bring you happiness and good things. And some people will do whatever they can to take advantage of you.

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