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East of Eden by John Steinbeck

  • Jun 18, 2013 · 7:00 PM
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  Considered by Steinbeck to be his magnum opus, East of Eden tells the intertwined stories of two families in the Salinas Valley of Central California.  The book explores themes of depravity, beneficence, love, and the struggle for acceptance, greatness, and the capacity for self-destruction and especially of guilt and freedom. It ties these themes together with references to and many parallels with the biblical Book of Genesis (especially Genesis Chapter 4, the story of Cain and Abel).

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  • Barbara

    Guys.....I'm really cranky I become a little bit obsessive and picky.....but, these kinds of discussions should take place in the DISCUSSION section of the Meetup site. When we place it on the page from last month's book club, only the people who attended that group get the info. or any notice that there are comments. A new member would have no idea that they should be looking here to get any info about an upcoming meeting.

    When you place something in the Discussion Section, I believe all members are alerted. Moreover, that is the area where all people can write and it creates an easy format for responding.

    Thank you for bearing with me during this little rant.

    June 20, 2013

  • Matthew

    CONCLUSION: 3 quick options:
    A) Stay with Country Girls, people choose on their own version and whether to read just the first novel or go on with the trilogy.
    B) Switch books while we figure out Country Girls-- Light in August (~500 pp) read for July, and Country Girls (or substitute) read for August. Light in August is long (and it's Faulkner) but it's easy to obtain on Kindle or in print to get a start ASAP.
    C) Jump to another book. There appeared to be earlier interest in Orlando by Woolf. It is ~200 pp and easily obtainable. But again, there wasn't a formal decision. If we switch to another book, there definitely should be posted consensus. I don't recommend any other substitutes, simply because our group gets carried away by endless discussion (generally good, but not when a decision needs to be made) when talking book choices. So let's limit our options to the above A, B, and C.



    June 20, 2013

    • Jessica

      I just ordered the trilogy from Amazon (after an extensive search!). I'm okay with any of the above options, but my preference would be A (first book only), then C, then B. Thanks for raising the issue, Matthew!

      June 20, 2013

    • Rosemary

      Angie, There is one version on Amazon that looks like it is the Country Girls Trilogy, but if you read the reviews, it is actually the play version. It's the only one available on Kindle as far as I can tell.

      June 20, 2013

  • Jessica

    Great to have everyone over last night! Despite the mixed opinions on the book, I think it was a great discussion. Also, did anyone leave a blue umbrella?

    June 19, 2013

    • Matthew

      discussion was great. mixed opinions are also great. but best was that carrot spread. delicious!

      1 · June 20, 2013

    • Jessica

      Thanks, Matthew! Yes, Cathy, I'll message you separately to coordinate details.

      June 20, 2013

  • Matthew


    This concerns our July choice- The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien. There are a few issues to flag that I discovered:
    1) What seems to be the only "in print" edition is the compilation "The Country Girls Trilogy", which contains The Country Girls and 2 sequels, The Lonely Girl, and Girls in Their Married Bliss. The whole volume comes to 500+ pages, while the first novel is 200+ pages. So do people want to read the first or whole trilogy? This wasn't raised at meeting, so it wasn't answered.
    2) DON'T BUY THE PLAY. There is a stand-alone version of the book itself that is really an adapted play version. So be careful.
    3) Generally speaking, it doesn't seem easy to acquire. No ebook that I saw. For what it's worth, Free Library only has 1 or 2 copies in its entire system, which shows how rare/uncommon the work is.

    (read next post- 1000 character limit per post)

    June 20, 2013

  • Barbara

    Once again, a terrific meeting filled with dynamic discussion.

    June 19, 2013

  • Lisa C

    Sorry. I found out I have to work late. Hopefully, I'll be there next time.

    June 15, 2013

  • Liz

    I recently decided I'd like to spend the summer reading only classics and I would love to have a group to do this with, as well as keep the theme going longer than just the summer. I look forward to meeting everyone!

    April 30, 2013

  • patricia r.

    sorry, but this opens a spot for someone else!

    April 21, 2013

  • Barbara

    Looking forward to it!

    April 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Fabulous choice but I'll be motorcycle riding in Bulgaria about then.

    April 10, 2013

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