Read The Long Valley by John Steinbeck John H. Timmerman Online


First published in 1938, this volume of stories collected with the encouragement of his longtime editor Pascal Covici serves as a wonderful introduction to the work of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck. Set in the beautiful Salinas Valley of California, where simple people farm the land and struggle to find a place for themselves in the world, these stories reflect SteinbeFirst published in 1938, this volume of stories collected with the encouragement of his longtime editor Pascal Covici serves as a wonderful introduction to the work of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck. Set in the beautiful Salinas Valley of California, where simple people farm the land and struggle to find a place for themselves in the world, these stories reflect Steinbeck’s characteristic interests: the tensions between town and country, laborers and owners, past and present. Included here are the O. Henry Prize-winning story “The Murder”; “The Chrysanthemums,” perhaps Steinbeck’s most challenging story, both personally and artistically; “Flight,” “The Snake,” “The White Quail,” and the classic tales of “The Red Pony.” With an introduction and notes by John H. Timmerman....

Title : The Long Valley
Author :
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ISBN : 9780140187458
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Long Valley Reviews

  • Cathrine ☯️
    2019-06-10 02:05

    4★I’m going to be lazy and quote Wikipedia. “The short stories were written over several years and are set in Steinbeck’s birthplace, the Salinas Valley in California [all but one]. They include the prize-winning tale The Murder [yikes!], The Chrysanthemums, the representation of lynch mob violence in The Vigilante [double yikes!!] and the classic Red Pony tales" [which was later published on its own]. I would also hi-light here the devious passive-agressive husband-gets-back-at-his-wife account in The White Quail.I originally set out to read just one of these for a challenge, then read the entire book because it revealed a different side of Steinbeck to me. I found them surprising, fascinating, shocking, and enjoyable side reads in between my other books. What more can I ask for? As a native Californian I have loved all his novels set in this beautiful part of our state centered around a vanished way of life and this collection was like a generous serving of whipped topping on that body of work.On a side note, I sing the praises of group challenge reads. Not all turn out to my liking but I just love when I end up wallowing in books that I would not have read otherwise. What a treat! I also believe this would make a great audio book collection.

  • Jason Koivu
    2019-06-18 02:39

    I have to re-examine my own writing every time I read a Steinbeck novel. My trite phrasing and flat descriptions look like ugly stepchildren next to his princely prose. Even this slim volume of four, lesser-known short stories is packed with some beautifully powerful writing. The scenes are spare in their breadth, but not in their ability to reach into your heart and imagination...HOLD THE PRESSES!!!I just discovered that my copy was truncated! The Long Valley originally came with more than twice the number of stories. I've been abridginated! I loath abridged books. Well, it's not the books' fault. It's the publisher who's to blame! Damn them to Hades!Okay, looks like I have some more reading to do before I can do a proper review.

  • Lawyer
    2019-05-27 06:48

    Full Review to follow. This book is among my top ten favorites. Often overlooked, these short stories are masterpieces of characterization, dialogue, and sense of place. These are stories that may easily be read many times over. I have, four times. The Red PonyThe Red Pony was originally published in this volume. However, readers will find haunting tales here that will linger far longer in their memory. If you admire Steinbeck, pick up this volume you've likely not read. You will treasure it.

  • M.J. Johnson
    2019-06-08 06:03

    The Long Valley was published in 1938. The majority of its stories had previously appeared in various American magazines. The stories themselves, Saint Katy the Virgin being the exception - a strangely whimsical tale set in mediaeval France - are set in Steinbeck’s birthplace, the background for so much of his writing, the Salinas Valley in California. Apparently, Steinbeck demanded that Saint Katy the Virgin be included in the collection, and although I enjoyed it, I have to admit that it does seem a bit of a puzzle alongside the rest. In all the other stories, Steinbeck does what Steinbeck can do like no other: informs us about the human condition. He uses symbolism to good effect, and his descriptive imagery is admirably lean; sometimes a tale’s starkness certainly left this reader with a haunted, almost desperate feeling. However, I never feel that Steinbeck is ever being wantonly bleak. Above all, Steinbeck is telling us stories about human beings and of their relationships to others. He lets us make our own inferences. The scholars, critics and academics have it seems from the very start often been divided on their appraisal of these stories. I’m perfectly happy to let them go on arguing! This collection is eminently readable and worthwhile.

  • Henry Martin
    2019-06-09 00:50

    I came to John Steinbeck's The Long Valley in the heels of his excellent novella, The Moon is Down. Not having read any of Steinbeck's writing for years, there was just something soothing about his prose that made me reach for another work of his. I must say that I was not disappointed. The Long Valley is a collection of ten short stories, published in 1938. The stories are: The ChrysanthemumsThe White QuailFlightThe SnakeBreakfastThe RaidThe HarnessThe VigilanteJohnny BearThe MurderAt 186 pages, it provides a healthy dose of variety, and a nice sampler of what Steinbeck, as a writer, was capable of. Those familiar with Steinbeck's writing will discover some familiar subjects and locations, especially the rolling California countryside where a lot of his work is set. Yet, while Steinbeck is undoubtedly famous for his work featuring the underdogs, and the out of luck characters he has become well know for, this collection of short stories explores a slightly darker side of his writing, one I was unaware of until now. The stories here are often dark in nature (not that Of Mice and Men was a cheerful tale by any means), and explore some darker thoughts inside the seemingly simple characters. There are stories of abuse, of murder, of revenge . . .Steinbeck is a master of fluid prose. His narratives effortlessly flow from one character to the next, from a city setting to the farming communities settled among the hills and valleys. He visits hard-working farmers, devoted wives, immigrants, traveling hobos, and passionate gardeners. A cast of characters one would encounter without giving them much thought. Yet, each one of them has an inner turmoil—at times subtle, and at time prominent—that adds a different dimension to each and every one of them. This dimension weaves in and out of the narrative, and can be overlooked unless the reader pays attention. Steinbeck's prose flows and flows, like a smooth stream where the rocks beneath the surface are hardly perceptible yet you are fully aware of their existence if you keep your eyes open. And these rocks, the dirty secrets and dark thoughts of the characters are what makes this collection worth reading. Unlike in our contemporary works where violence, instability, and inner turmoil are 'in your face' to the point of dominating the story, Steinbeck's portrayal is subtle and almost nonchalant. It requires an active participation of the reader, as do most intelligent works. Recommended for fans of Steinbeck, and for those who appreciate fine, timeless writing.

  • Kim
    2019-06-23 23:57

    Unlike Steinbeck's other short story collection, The Pastures of Heaven, this book lacks thematic unity. First published in 1938, many of the stories in the collection had been published previously. The stories differ widely in tone and subject matter, from the rather creepy "The Snake", to the prize-winning "The Murder", to the four stories which make up "The Red Pony". What the stories share is their Salinas Valley location, wonderfully descriptive prose, unsentimental depiction of the beauty and terror of the natural world and a compassion for human frailty. A worthwhile read for Steinbeck completists.

  • Anthony Panegyres
    2019-06-08 00:07

    Several excellent stories, including the exceptional 'Johnny Bear'.

  • Chris Blocker
    2019-06-19 05:59

    I've read about half of this collection before in various places. And I would agree that the best stories in The Long Valley are those which have been heavily anthologized. But reading them again in the context of the whole collection was surprisingly enjoyable. Here you get a wide range of Steinbeck's tone with a single theme throughout: violence.As with all collections, some stories were weaker than others. In particular, I wasn't a fan of “The Murder,” a story which seemingly justifies the abuse of a wife. Having never seen Steinbeck as a raging misogynist, I chalk this story up to an objective portrayal of the culture at the time. Other stories in this collection may imply I'm wrong, however. We'll leave it at that.Certainly, Steinbeck was primarily a novelist. He wasn't a masterful short story writer, but that doesn't mean he couldn't write a short story. Obviously, he could. I enjoyed this collection despite its limitations. Steinbeck fans should definitely get around to reading this one. Others may just wish to stick with the more heavily anthologized stories (e.g. “The Chrysanthemums,” “Flight”).

  • Lucinda Elliot
    2019-06-05 02:44

    Great writing - shame about the women..I almost never give less than three star ratings, and least of all for somethihg well written, but am giving this a two-and-a-half star rating as a matter of principle, because despite my admiration for the quality of Steinbeck's writing, my impression was of a dismal current of underlying misogyny in several of the stories and a disturbing amount in 'The Murder', which seems to advocate wife beating as a method of solving marital problems. I'd like to think the situation is portrayed ironically; but it doesn't come across that way to me, partly because of the questionable portrayal of women in this collection of stories generally.I believe some argue that this shouldn't be taken to reflect any endorsement by the author, and that in 'The Murder' he is merely commenting objectively on the masochistic urges of one woman from a particular background, but even so, his manner of writing of it doesn't really portray it as a sick aberration. The 'objective' tone here does seem almost like an tacit approval to me, though I'd like to think it isn't. I don't think the same special pleading would be extended by critics if an author had written about a relationship exhibiting racism, say, which was also widespread in this era and which Steinbeck notoriously opposed (if there is an element of racism - against Eastern Europeans in this story, then it's convoluted). I'm disappointed that so few other readers express any unease over this story having won critical such acclaim or over Steinbeck's general unsympathetic portrayal of women. I've always admired Steinbeck's writing style, while accepting that his view on women was questionable even for his time, and am dismayed to have come across this story again after so many years. I'd happily forgotten it's existence!

  • Aaron
    2019-05-27 00:49

    Short stories that give you a vignette glimpse into life in the West and always leave you wanting more. They fade out just as you want to see what happens next. Steinbeck was an incredibly gifted writer who knew how to craft a character and a scene. Lovely!

  • Virtuella
    2019-06-09 05:04

    Lovely stories! I can't pick a favourite, they are all touching in their profound humanity.

  • Peri Kitapları
    2019-05-27 05:41

    " Molly, annesi öldüğü zaman ancak utanmıştı. Annesi halbuki hep yaşarken sevilmek isterdi, ama kendisini sevdirmesini bir türlü bilmezdi. Yapışkanlığı çocukları bezdirmiş, kendinden soğutmuştu..." Kitabın İçinde yedi hikaye vardı. Çok canlı konular , gerçekçi , ilginç karakterler içeriyordu. En sevdiğim hikaye, Bir Köy Öğretmeni isimli hikaye oldu. Moly 'nin hikayesinden çok etkilendim. Moly yoksul bir çocukluk geçiriyor. Çok yaramaz iki erkek kardeş, eve çok az uğrayan bir baba ve çocukların ihtiyaçlarını karşılamak için çok çalışmak zorunda kalan ,hep yorgun gezen, sevgi ve ilgi görmeye muhtaç bir zavallı anne. Ve bir gün Molly 10 yaşlarındayken babası eve dönmüyor... Molly hep baba özlemi çekiyor , ta ki o köye öğretmen olarak gelene kadar, sonra garip bir şeyler oluyor, sanki babası hala yaşıyor ve onun çok yakınında... O da bir gün kaçıyor evet, o sevdiği köyü, öğrencilerini ve sahip olduğu her şeyi bırakıp bir yolcu at arabasıyla kaçıyor köyden, ölmüş olduğunu sandığı babasını bulmak için... İşte hep böyledir zaten kızlar, babalarını hep daha çok severler...

  • Alison
    2019-05-29 06:57

    These stories gripped me like no other short stories could. Every character matters. There are no purely auxiliary voices. Every voice adds to its respective short story. Best things: descriptions of the Salinas Valley (especially the opening of "the Chrysanthemums"), the characters' psychology, the small, seemingly irrelevant details. You are never seriously angry with any of the characters; Steinbeck doesn't allow you to be. They are all so human. Steinbeck wants you to understand what motivates each of his characters, and maybe see a little bit of yourself in their intent. I can't say what I didn't like, because it's not so much that his stories are in any way egregiously flawed, but perhaps I don't understand him? Further criticisms will be saved for a second read. Favorites: Johnny Bear or the Harness. Honorable mention: the Breakfast. A pleasant window into ranch life. Nothing bad ever happens in the world of "the Breakfast." I was kinda out of it during "the Leader of the People." Wasn't super enamored or invested.

  • Deborah Sheldon
    2019-06-09 06:50

    Gorgeously written. One of the (many!) things I admire about Steinbeck is his confidence. Each story's pace is leisurely, measured and deliberate. Steinbeck trusts that the quality of his prose will keep the reader engaged, and yep, he's absolutely right.

  • Joyce Lagow
    2019-06-22 06:44

    Steinbeck's works include several collections of short stories, some connected by a discernible narrative thread, others more traditional in organization. The Pastures of Heaven depends on a particular locale with some stories using recurring characters, others not. Tortilla Flat is really a collection of more coherent short stories using a recurring cast of characters in a particular locale rather than the usual "plot." [return][return]The Long Valley is even more loosely organized than The Pastures of Heaven. The commonality is the location--the Salinas Valley of California. In the thirteen stories that make up this work, only the final two have the same characters, The Red Pony and Leader of the People. [return][return]The Long Valley is a disturbing work, because in it, Steinbeck, who clearly loved the land, just as clearly reveals that while he does not sit in judgement, he is at best neutral towards his characters; there is nothing like the affection he has for Danny and his friends and the ne'er-do-wells like Mac and the boys of Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row, respectively. Almost without exception the people who live in the Long Valley are driven by loneliness, despair, fear, shame, or a grim sense of duty that seems to render any kind of happiness impossible. In his most famous story, The Red Pony, he extends that viewpoint towards children. Jody has the spirit of any small boy, but his parents, particularly his father, place severe restraints on the natural exuberance of childhood. We all know that children can be cruel, but Steinbeck turns that remorseless eye of his on the way that cruelty can be expressed in actions towards animals that are either tolerated or actually encouraged as a way of dealing with farm problems. In today's world, it's not pretty.[return][return]Concerned all his life with social justice issues, especially that of agricultural labor, The Raid is a continuation of the sort of story about Communist labor organizers that he pursued at much greater length in the novel In Dubious Battle and later in The Grapes of Wrath. However, as In Dubious Battle, the characters in The Raid are wooden--stereotypes that never really come to life, living a life of hard-to-believe idealism when faced with acknowledged insurmountable obstacles. They simply are not real.[return][return]I have a real quibble with the organization of the book. Whoever determined the order of the stories made the final impact anticlimactic, ending with Leader of the People instead of The Red Pony. The innocent Jody of the first story is not the emotionally battered, distrusting Jody of the end of The Red Pony. The entire work would have been greatly improved by reversing the order of the two stories.[return][return]This was not an easy read. It is one of Steinbeck's darker works, revealing underneath gorgeous descriptive prose of his beloved Salinas Valley a view of the people in it that is not the easy affection of the Monterey stories, but a very somber look at the dark underside of Paradise.

  • Martin Hernandez
    2019-06-02 04:58

    Otra colección de cuentos cortos, parecida a "The Pastures of Heaven" en el sentido que coinciden geográficamente, aunque en esta ocasión las historias parecen ser completamente independientes, excepto las dos últimas, la famosa 'The Red Pony' y 'The Leader of the People', donde los personajes coinciden. Me parece uno de los trabajos más oscuros deJohn STEINBECK, donde se incluyen algunos aspectos misóginos desconcertantes entre las historias de abuso, asesinatos y venganza (por ejemplo, en 'The Murder', historia que me dejó paralizado).Ciertamente, el autor es un gran narrador, a pesar que algunos de sus concepciones ya quedan francamente rebasadas en la sociedad más liberal de hoy en día.

  • Carolyn Gerk
    2019-06-18 04:59

    A lovely book full of lovely stories by John Steinbeck, whose delicate grasp on words and language is nothing short of breathtaking. I'm not sure I have anything to add that hasn't yet been said before. The Long Valley is a collection of stories, some endearing, sweet and charming, others unnerving and disheartening, but all a wealth of humanity. 'A big spotted wildcat was creeping toward the spring, belly to the ground, moving like thought.''A gentle pain began to make itself felt in Mike's chest. He felt with his fingers; the muscles were sore. Then he remembered. He was in the front line of the mob when it rushed the jail door. A driving line forty men deep had crashed Mike against the door like the head of a ram. He had hardly felt it then, and even now the pain seemed to have the dull quality of loneliness.' " The old man smiled. 'There's no place to go. There's the ocean to stop you. There's a line of old men along the shore hating the ocean because it stopped them.'"Reading Steinbeck reminds me how much I love to read, not necessarily for the lines of a story, but for the magical way the words combine themselves around it.

  • Adarsh Chauhan
    2019-06-11 02:53

    I love reading John Steinbeck's stories and this is one such wonderful collection of short ones. And the way in which he writes gives strength to the context he chooses to write about. There's always a softness in his portraiture of the beauty of valley and the lives of the people in Salinas, California (his birthplace and the region around which most of his stories are set). Along with it is also the maturity that one can grasp while reading, a kind of truthfulness in whatever he sketches. This generally brings little darker, failing and disappointing, and eventually, utterly realistic aspects of life. So while his stories about lives of farmers and peaceful farm life feel escapist, being completely different from the kind of busy, noisy lives that we are leading, it is followed by the realisation of hunger and honour that served as the basis of lives distant from us. Even the setting of the cultivated lands and populations living in fertile yet once inhospitable regions of Western California serves as a symbol of the survival spirit of humans. This imparts a primitiveness to the truth that the author tells, like the relationship between men and women, like the ingrained dependence of life among the members of a family, or like the way nature reminds us of its everlasting, uncontrollable forces against the face of our dominance and conquering persistence.Especially reading the 'The Red Pony' among these was a delight!

  • Bruddy
    2019-06-20 07:02

    The stories in this collection are taken from the earlier part of Steinbeck's career and if the collection itself is uneven, it demonstrates Steinbeck's ability to convey the experience of physical reality. Perhaps it's simply a matter of personal taste, but I have always used this quality as a way to gauge the value of a writer. Experiment as much as you want with structure, plot and language, choose realism or fantasy, but in the end you must be able to depict things and to convey a sense of time and place. For me, this grounds the story and makes it meaningful. Orhan Pamuk, notwithstanding his postmodern experiments, is capable of doing this. So is Milan Kundera. But are writers such as Doris Lessing and Kurt Vonnegut? I would say no. I would say that a story in this collection, such as The Flight, contains descriptive passages that achieve a level of aestheticism through depiction that simply doesn't exist in the works of Vonnegut or Lessing, who make use of irony, humor or structural and narrative experiments to sustain reader interest.Such techniques are worthy in themselves but when used exclusively to carry a story they leave me unconvinced as a reader. Is the author employing such techniques simply as a means of disguising their lack of ability? When I look at a drip painting by Jackson Pollack I can appreciate it because I understand that the artist who created it possessed the ability to paint more traditional works of art as well. His experimentation is a deliberate choice made after thousands of hours spent developing his craft. He isn't doing it because he's lazy or wants to take shortcuts. He isn't a hack. Perhaps Steinbeck isn't as appreciated as much as his peers Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Hemingway because he isn't as indifferent or cynical. His characters are often outcasts or downtrodden, but they're often likable as well. In this regard, some may view the hardships or violence Steinbeck's characters endure as being almost sentimentalized. This may be true to an extent, but I feel that his work offers valuable insights into America and its history, particularly in the interactions between people and the land. His stories depict physical (rather than virtual) experience and in this day and age of electronic distraction I believe that holds extra meaning.

  • Poe Bird
    2019-05-30 22:54

    I'm not sure how to write this one up. Ever since I picked up Steinbeck I've been an ardetn admirer, which may not come as such as a surprise for those in the know since I started with The Red Pony. But something about this book worried me. I've had the feeling before that Steinbeck has issues, mainly women issues, particularly about his mother, and I'm certain of it now. This is definitely early work; it reads so differently from later works. I loved some of the stories, others I've dimissed. What caught me first was the nature of the women in The Chrysanthemums and The White Quail=, both women being represented by the story titles. There's something about the first one's urge to escape, and the second's isolation. The Murder was the most worrying. The husband spends his nights out at what I assume are whore houses (something Steinbeck knows a lot about, 3 marriage a coincidence?) but shoots the man he finds in bed with his wife. He cheats, but she can't? He's let off witht he murder without incident, and then whips her into submission and has her like a happy lap dog for it. Something's DEFINITELY wrong there. In The Harness, the wife is just that to her husband, and his way of enjoying freedom is self destuction through whoring, drinking, and even for the sake of a sweet smell and beautiful sight of sweet pea crops, he's gambling for everything he's got.Saint Katy the Pig I can't make out. So far as I can tell, Steinbeck isn't a joker by nature, so I'm guessing this actually quite a mean story meant to mock religion. Written by anyone of a sweeter nature, it could be taken lightly, but written by him it seems cruel. So far as I can tell, Steinbeck doesn't like women. They're controlling, mean, trapped, cold, withdrawn or nasty cheating wives. But the good ones (thinking of Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday, and even of The Murder)are the whores, who're the salt of the earth. That's very telling. What fascinates me about Steinbeck is that I've never seen an author so screwed up write himself like an open book; he's totally unaware that he's screwed up, or else he'd probably be trying to justify it or cover it up like most authors today. And such a Beatnik! It's confusing because he seems to think he's very modern but a lot of what he does is very backwards, very redneck.I'm quitting before I write a complete bio on him :P

  • Sarah Sammis
    2019-05-31 06:49

    The Long Valley completes my research for Nanowrimo and my participation in the Armchair Challenge. I am so glad I bothered to find a first edition; I loved the book and plan to hold onto it and reread it often.With the exception of the very silly "St Katy the Virgin" about a reformed pig who can perform miracles, all of the stories take place in the Salinas Valley and in the "present day" (1930s Depression). The book also includes the well known novella, "The Red Pony" which is often times now taught as a separate book; I had to read it in 5th or 6th grade.Some of the stories are merely snippets, sketches of a moment: a breakfast shared, a snake spared, and so forth. Others are more elaborate and have elements of magical realism: a woman thinks she's a quail, a man is haunted by his nagging wife, an village idiot recounts the events before a suicide and so forth.All together these stories paint a picture of the Salinas area: its people, its geography, its culture, its beliefs, its sins and its dreams. If you want to learn about this area of California, start with this book.

  • Brian Willis
    2019-06-03 23:45

    A collection of Steinbeck's best short stories in the 1930s that capitalized on the success of Tortilla Flat and Of Mice and Men, this collection reveals the psychological depth of the author. Critics of Steinbeck like to point out his traditional prose style, his supposedly realistic situations, and the melodrama of his symbols as limitations of his work. These stories belie those criticisms as profoundly mistaken myths. Stories such as "The Chrysanthemums", "The White Quail", "The Snake", "The Vigilante", and "The Murder" reveal deep and subtle psychological movements in their characters, so much so that the reader initially thinks, "That's all there is?" After reflection, catharsis sets in and the deeply moving, often disturbing plight of these characters sets in. The ideas under consideration are varied, and the author shows the skill of the modernist in his handling of mature themes and deeply humanistic concerns. This is indeed a good starting point for the novice Steinbeck reader, though I would easily recommend diving into Of Mice and Men anyways. This also includes the profoundly moving The Red Pony. An excellent read for both the casual and devoted reader.

  • Buck Ward
    2019-06-26 06:51

    The Long Valley is a collection of 15 stories, the last four of which are the stories that comprise The Red Pony. Aside from The Red Pony stories, they are unconnected to one another except for their setting. The long valley is Steinbeck's Salinas Valley, the setting of all but one - Saint Katy the Virgin which happened long long ago in a country far far away. All are quintessential Steinbeck. I'm sure different readers will have different favorites. The Snake is clearly a precursor to the writing of Cannery Row. The Breakfast is very much reminiscent of The Grapes of Wrath. The note at the back of the book says it is often compared to chapter 22 of The Grapes of Wrath. The Raid made me think of In Dubious Battle. The end notes compare it to Jim Casy in chapter 26 of The Grapes of Wrath. I also enjoyed Flight and Johnny Bear.

  • Kirk
    2019-06-05 01:52

    This is our next selection for Thursday, and I'm excited. I love this book so much, both for the depiction of setting and for the characterization. I have a feeling it'll go over well; the students loved both IN OUR TIME and THE OLD ORDER, and Steinbeck has many of the same characteristics. I've already expressed my feelings for "The Red Pony" here, but there's also the classic "The Chrysanthemums" (which I adore even if I can't always spell the title correctly), the underappreciated "Flight," the Freudian "The Snake," and the proletariat "The Raid." The stories are taut and (for a modernist) heavily plotted, but there is a beauty in the style that Steinbeck doesn't always get credit for. I was fortunate enough to tour many of the sites in these stories last August when I was invited to speak at a Steinbeck conference, and I admired Steinbeck's fidelity to the landscape.

  • Tony
    2019-06-11 02:44

    Steinbeck, John. THE LONG VALLEY. (1938). ****. This is a collection of the author’s short stories grouped under this title. It contains thirteen stories which take place in and around the Salinas Valley. If you have ever picked up short story anthologies, you will recognize several of these pieces as being the usual suspects. The stories deal with incidents in the lives of the average farmer or rancher (with the exception of “The Snake”) and try to depict life as it was lived at the time. The most famous story in this collection is probably “The Red Pony.” I’ve rented the film which I haven’t seen for twenty years or so. All of the stories are memorable. They will stay with you for a long time. Recommended.

  • jeremy
    2019-06-05 03:04

    a collection of steinbeck's early stories, the long valley is considerably different than his later works, but still contains many of the elements that would make his writing so unique. these stories move at a slower pace than his novels, focusing more on the quiet rhythms of the landscape and the people that inhabit them, rather than the conflicted moralities that mark his epic tales. the stories differ quite a bit from one another, and read as if steinbeck was still exploring varying styles. some of the more outstanding ones in the long valley include "flight," "the snake," "the murder," and, of course, "the red pony."

  • Corinne
    2019-05-30 04:06

    Absolutely marvelous collection of short stories! Themes are not always easy to pinpoint, but the details and the story dynamics show the hand of a true master. He wrote this before he wrote the ‘Grapes of Wrath’, and you can even find one scene from that novel as a short story in this collection! In any case, I liked it a lot better than his ‘East of Eden’ and ‘The winter of our discontent’. Grapes of Wrath, of course, remains his masterpiece, due to the potent theme that shows what penury can do to human dignity. He showed this for the migrant workers, but we can see that everywhere today, among the bankers, the consultants, even the players of the publishing sector.

  • Angie
    2019-06-11 00:06

    What can I say about Steinbeck that hasn't already been said (and as eloquently stated, too)?"He wished he could have been living in the heroic time, but he knew he was not of heroic timber. No one living now, save possibly Billy Buck, was worthy to do the things that had been done. A race of giants had lived then, fearless men, men of a staunchness unknown in this day. Jody thought of the wide plains and of the wagons moving across like centipedes. He thought of Grandfather on a huge white horse, marshaling the people. Across his mind marched the great phantoms, and they marched off the earth and they were gone."

  • Kevin
    2019-06-25 23:06

    This is a choice collection of Steinbeck's short stories. I enjoyed them very much, both in the stories and in the telling. This collection also includes The Red Pony stories, which i had already read. Reading them a second time helped reveal to me their special nature, parts i missed the first time through. I definitely recommend this collection!

  • Erin
    2019-06-18 22:59

    In the end as long as there are no women in the stories I think that Steinbeck may be an astute observer of his time. However if there is a woman in the story then all of his misogyny comes pouring out. Even Hemingway loved women more than Steinbeck did.