Why do YOU love East of Eden?

As most of you know (because I may have screamed it from the rooftops), I finally finished East of Eden in June after starting it waaaaaaaaay back in January. It isn’t that I didn’t like the book. In fact, I thought it was beautifully written and contained thoughtful insights. But I just couldn’t get through it. Eventually, Jen from Devourer of Books had to badger me into reading a chapter each day via twitter. That’s what it came to.

I don’t want to write a review because, honestly, I’m not really sure how to do that. And while I thought East of Eden was a very good book, I did not fall in love with it like many peopledo. So I want to know why you, the East of Eden lovers, adore this novel as much as you do.

*Passes mic to you and waits patiently for comments.*

15 thoughts on “Why do YOU love East of Eden?

  1. Parrish Lantern July 14, 2010 / 9:29 am

    I am in total agreement with you no matter how great a book is, if I don’t like it for whatever reason, I won’t review it.


  2. Melissa July 14, 2010 / 11:42 am

    I’m with you on this one. I liked the book, but didn’t love it. I do love some of Steinbeck’s other books (Travels With Charley and Cannery Row) but I just hated the majority of the characters in East of Eden, so it was hard to care about them.


  3. Lindsay July 14, 2010 / 12:04 pm

    It’s been ages since I read East of Eden but it is one of my favorites. My sister read it and felt more like you guys did. In fact, I am not sure she even got through it. I think I have a thing for emotionally damaged young men who have parental issues. LOL. But I think now I am inspired to re-read it so I have a better reason.


  4. bermudaonion July 14, 2010 / 2:26 pm

    I saw on She Is Too Fond Of Books that you were in GSP – if you ever come back, let me know, so we can get together!


    • Michelle July 14, 2010 / 2:44 pm

      I thought of you when I was there but I was actually headed to Asheville. Is GSP near you?


  5. Jessica July 14, 2010 / 3:08 pm

    Im reading this next month so it was interesting to see other opinions, this will be my first Steinbeck book.


  6. Amanda July 14, 2010 / 4:57 pm

    I loved East of Eden for the prose and Cathy’s awesome villainy. However, I didn’t fall in love with it completely and I do think The Grapes of Wrath is a far superior book. Plus, it’s much faster to read (ie I read it in 3 day as opposed to 3 months like with EoE).


  7. Antonella July 15, 2010 / 9:35 am

    Totally loved the book. But it is one of the very few books of which I prefer the cinema adaptation. Unforgettable. Ciao. A.


  8. Linda July 15, 2010 / 5:20 pm

    Loved East of Eden. It’s been a long time but the characters really stayed with me for a long time. I agree that the movie was an excellent adaptation.


  9. Vishy July 17, 2010 / 2:22 am

    I haven’t read ‘East of Eden’ before. Actually I haven’t read much of John Steinbeck before. I remember reading bits and pieces of ‘Of Mice and Men’ when I was younger, but it was too serious a book for me at that time. I will try reading ‘East of Eden’ sometime and come back and comment on your post πŸ™‚


  10. Iris July 18, 2010 / 6:58 am

    I haven’t read this but I just wanted to say that I am so happy for you that you finally finished it. And also, that I like the idea of twitter being such a help in supporting people while reading a difficult book.


  11. Vasilly July 18, 2010 / 11:05 pm

    I’ve first read East of Eden years ago and it became one of my favorite books of all time. I love it for the author’s meditation on free will and also forgiveness. I love Steinbeck’s descriptions of California, how he takes biblical stories and makes them into something modern but still relevant. I love how he has questions about life and uses those questions to explore human nature. I love how I can feel his book’s purpose, something I feel that many books publish today lack. πŸ™‚


  12. S. September 14, 2012 / 5:42 pm

    I love East of Eden because I am astounded at the magnificent writing in it. The book takes the reader through a journey of generations. Although others may disagree, I feel as though the whole book revolves around Cathy, the wicked mother who is a monster. I simply do not understand how someone could not get through this book, even though I understand you not loving it. I do not love the story but still count it as one of my favorite books because of the great descriptions, character development, journey through the ages, and depth that presents evil and innocence in a new way.


  13. Livan Davidson June 5, 2015 / 3:18 am

    Loving or not loving a novel is certainly a matter of opinion. I open up my comment with that disclaimer because I’m one of those who loves “East of Eden” and Steinbeck himself claimed it to be his magnum opus — his best work. The novel, although written by an American, is beyond geography in its universal appeal — we can find the roots of good and evil in every corner of the Earth. The main reason this novel holds a dear space in my consciousness is because of its deep exploration of the roots that sprout in the core of our being — the novel is not just a biblical parable or a family’s history, but a story of the engines of our existences and the fabrics that make us they we are. “East of Eden” gives the space we need and the choices we are offered, thus “tishel” or “thou mayest.”


  14. Rehya June 14, 2015 / 11:21 pm

    I have been wanting to read east of eden for a while. Ever since I listened to the song East of Eden, by Zella Day, I have wondered what ‘East of Eden’ was about. I looked up the biblical story behind it, and then stumbled on the book. I read the summary, and became obsessed with it. It sounded like an extremely fascinating story that captures jealousy and love and hatred and evil and well everything. Every emotion.
    I can’t wait to get it from the library.
    P.S. Sorry if my comment is too deep. I am not sure why I got extremely obsessed with the plot.


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