Wednesday, July 30, 2014

(B)East of Eden, Discussion 1

Today is the first installment of our East of Eden Readalong with the Estella Project! 
Watch out for spoilers from this first section.

1. What do you think of the style of Steinbeck's writing? Readable and awesome or slow and slogging?
Readable and awesome, for sure! When I have time to sit down, I'm whizzing through this book lickety-split! Somewhere along the way, in high school I think, I read a Steinbeck short story that I hated. I thought all of his writing was slow and full of dust. While I had the dust part right, I find his descriptions lush and his metaphors deep. Lurv!

2. We have a wicked case of sibling rivalry going on here. What are your thoughts on Adam's and Charles' relationship thus far? Their father's influence?
Their father was a bit of a dick. I just felt the way he related to his sons was wonky and backwards, making them both feel belittled and cut down, though their reactions to it are quite different. I found myself really surprised that Adam went the wandering hobo route and adopted such a laissez–faire attitude. Since we ended this section with his marriage to Cathy and their trek to California, I'm really curious to see where things are going for these two. And I'm with Charles. There's no way their father, whose hilarious career as a "military expert" was such a farce, came by his fortune honestly.

3. Just....Cathy. Expound.
I've never met a character more evil than Cathy. What a pill! I love her for it, though. I'm captivated. And if you haven't noticed, there's a #beastofeden or #(b)eastofeden hashtag that's sprouted on Twitter. Makes me laugh every time. 

4. It remains to be seen how Samuel Hamilton's brood will play into the story. Any guesses?
Not really. At first, when Adam and Cathy went to California and the Hamilton bunch was re-introduced, I had completely forgotten about them. They seem to embody those who live on and endure the land since their piece is so inhospitable. Looking forward to learning more about them. 

See you next Monday for another discussion!


  1. Thanks for your first review. I'll be following your comments and posts on the read along. Although I'm not in the read along, I have it on my shelf. I'm interested in what you think.

  2. I'm going to have to reread this book. It's been so long since I read it that I only have little bits of it left in my brain. This has gotten me all interested in it again!

  3. So glad you're enjoying EoE... I just love that book!

  4. Ooh, I never read East of Eden . . . this was not on my planned agenda for this summer, but this is making me feel like I should read it !

  5. I hate Cathy! But maybe Adam will calm her down and turn her around? More reading is required before I make my final decision.

  6. I hope we find out how Cyrus made his fortune. He was just a lying liar who lied so much.

    And that Cathy! What a piece of work. Such a tool. She should have married Charles.

  7. Cyrus really is a bit of a dick! Steinbeck captures him so perfectly--that liar who ends up believing his own lies!

  8. It's been a few months since I read EoE, but I enjoyed reading your comments. Yep, Cathy is the most evil female character I have ever "met." Wicked woman!

  9. I'm going to be late with my next discussion post, probably. I didn't like the father, either, but the way the author presents him, I feel as though we're meant to understand that he did the best he could to NOT show that he loved Adam more than Charles, but maybe that's wrong. Everyone seems kind of fated to live a certain way and there's not much they can do about it!

  10. I'm so glad I joined the read-along, I'm loving this book. I expected dry and it's not at all. I'm not sure what to make of Adam at this point. I liked him more earlier in the story. In the Cathy situation, Charles comes off as surprisingly sympathetic. I'm finding Cathy terrifying.


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