PDA

View Full Version : Why is the 'Winter of Our Discontent'...discontenting?


anarchist
04-04-2008, 09:13 PM
At the beginning of my freshmen year in high school, I was forced to burn my eyes(to put mildly) by reading this entire book(which, by the way, I could not finish on my own, only by listening to someone read it...which might have caused that ear infection). It was an extremely dissatisfying story. My entire class including my teachers had nothing fantastic to say about John Steinbeck's tale. I understand that the book could be regarded as 'psychologically intriguing' or some English professor cramp such as that, but I simply cannot understand why 'The Winter of Our Discontent' is regarded as such a famous classic.

Tristan
04-04-2008, 10:02 PM
Because there were some great posts, and they are GONE now, gone forever!

Wait....

tomndebb
04-04-2008, 10:02 PM
Off to Cafe Society.

Gorgon Heap
04-04-2008, 10:15 PM
HURM. Tristan beat me to it. But I was simply going to say I misread the thread title.

Maybe someone will come in here to discuss the OP.

Will Repair
04-04-2008, 10:38 PM
Never having read it before I took a peek at Google Books Online. The first page seemed awful. That's all, plus your cafe' pitting, I needed to have the library reserve it.

Okay, I remember Caroline in the City's heroine putting up with her next door neighbor's crying about having a real crises while reading Grapes of Wrath which prompted a rereading of the book. So, your complaint only spurs me to a quick read before winter is forgotten.

OpalCat
04-05-2008, 12:06 AM
Well I think that just seeing who wrote it is enough to predict it's gonna be crap. Sorry, I think the guy's VASTLY overrated. Hate his stuff.

Captain Amazing
04-05-2008, 09:01 AM
Now them's fighing words! John Steinbeck is a god among men, and uber-god among gods. That being said, it's not his best book. There's a potentially good story there, about the anomie of modern life and the main character's moral bankruptcy, but it just doesn't click. It was made into a movie with Donald Sutherland, though, so there's that.

OpalCat
04-05-2008, 10:21 AM
To each his own. I find his style dreadfully dull.

teela brown
04-05-2008, 10:53 AM
Huh. I never thought of this book as a classic. IMO, it's one of his poorer efforts. I like Steinbeck, but I didn't think much of this novel. He was getting away from his frank, simple storytelling style and trying to get psychological or mystic or something.

He was always at his best telling more straightforward stories about plain folk, as in Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row or East of Eden.

mnemosyne
04-05-2008, 11:40 AM
I've only read the Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. I liked the latter, mostly because it was short, but the characters were interesting. As for the GoW, my interest in the story derailed quite quickly during that 453 page section describing the colour of the fucking sand near the beginning of the book. I seem to recall a turtle crossing the road, too. I mean, really? WTF?

Slightly off-topic, I also disliked Hemmingway's "The sun also rises", but my intense dislike for it allowed me to make a very important choice in my life. I could either a) read this stupid book or b) go talk to that really, really cute guy I'd been staring at for a couple of months. I actually chose b. We've been together for 8 years. So I guess crappy literature does have a place in our lives!

Frylock
04-05-2008, 11:47 AM
I've only read the Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men. I liked the latter, mostly because it was short, but the characters were interesting. As for the GoW, my interest in the story derailed quite quickly during that 453 page section describing the colour of the fucking sand near the beginning of the book. I seem to recall a turtle crossing the road, too. I mean, really? WTF?


That reminds me, I just re-read Of Mice and Men recently (in order to teach it to a nearly illiterate eighth grade remedial student--I'm happy to report he ended up liking it and we had interesting discussions about it. Sadly he wrote a terrible book report about it, but that's a separate issue) and in several places had the distinct impression that Steinbeck was writing with a screen adaptation in mind. (Did writers do that back then?) The clearest example was the part where (to my recollection) he literally describes a scene as though there were a camera panning through it and as though all the action had been slowed for dramatic effect. It was wierd.

I bet I'd have a similar impression of the scene described in the quoted post above.

Is there anything to this impression of mine?

-FrL-

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.