Authors We Love, Part XXVI: Of Grapes and Mice


Author We Love this week is a bit late, but I’ve been working around the various guest posts you’ve all (hopefully) read. I’ve been meaning to get this author on the series for a while now. I’m finally going to do it! Yay! Get excited…or bored. We’ll see.

I was first introduced to John Steinbeck back in high school. The book was Grapes of Wrath. I enjoyed it. At the time I was very into my history classes and history in general. This book was a great way for me to experience the era of the Great Depression in a way the text books couldn’t do. Saying I enjoyed it is a bit weird though. It’s not a happy book in any sense of the word really. It wasn’t depressing, exactly, it just really captured the mood of the people suffering through that dark time in US history very well.

I didn’t pick up another book of his to read for some time after. That’s mainly because I was still starting my collection. Once I started buying his books, though, I grabbed everything that I could find. Now I own seventeen of his books. Sadly I’ve only read a total of four.

Of these I have read one of the staple high school reads, Of Mice and Men. I didn’t care for it much, at least I wasn’t compelled to teach it to a bunch of high schoolers. But it wasn’t terrible. The books I really enjoyed were The Moon is Down and The Short Reign of Pippin IV.

The Moon is Down was the basis for the movie Red Dawn, a loose basis. It’s an OK movie of an army invading a rural small town in the US in an attempt to take over during the cold war (I’m pretty sure, it’s been awhile since I’ve watched it). The book takes place more in WWII. It’s an unnamed place and invader, but the reader (or just me) was lead to associate it with a Nazi invasion in Europe. I thought it was interesting to see the events unfold as the invading force tightened it’s influence more and more on the town. I was also drawn to the story because I was listening to Dashboard Confessional at the time. The singer Chris Carrabba was in a band Further Seems Forever (which he recently rejoined I just saw, need to check that out now) and their first album was called “The Moon is Down.” It also has a song on it of the same name. I don’t remember if the two have anything in common but it was a cool thing to discover.

The next book I read, The Short Reign of Pippin IV, is a satire set in France. It’s about a commoner, an astronomer, who is appointed king of France. It’s a political satire, and most of what’s being said is probably lost on me. I don’t know much about French political history, especially after the whole revolution thing centuries ago. But I enjoyed the book anyway. It was funny, the character of Pippin was great. It was just an enjoyable read.

Through reading these 4 books from Steinbeck, I was able to see many different sides of his writing. I didn’t just stick to one genre, and I can tell he can handle many different types of stories well. In the books I have left, I have some non-fiction writing as well. I wonder what I’ll think of those.

Well I guess I have some reading to do to solidify John Steinbeck as a definite author I love. I’ll go get on that now. Have you read any Steinbeck? What was your thoughts on his writing?

Also, as I always remind my readers. I’m always looking for you as guests here. Send your posts whenever you can. I’m low on guest posts right now. 🙂

5 responses to “Authors We Love, Part XXVI: Of Grapes and Mice

  1. Steinbeck is a great author, but I have to admit that I have only read The Grapes of Wrath. I liked his style though and I think I will give him a go once my TBR list gets a bit shorter 😀

    Running out of guest posts?? Oh no!! OK, OK, I will write another one… hahahaha 😛

  2. Pingback: The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck « Excursions Into Imagination

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