I'm with Chewey. Steinbeck is a great, accessable read. I would start with his novellas -- The Red Pony
, Tortilla Flat
, Cannery Row
, or Of Mice and Men
-- and work your way up to East of Eden
. The novellas are quick reads of about 100 pages or so, relatively cheap ($8-14 depending on the printing) and give you instant gratification of reading a classic without dedicating your life to a monster (i.e. War & Peace
).East of Eden
is my favorite book, but it gets a little complicated in places...and that's why I love it. Save Grapes of Wrath
for some other time; it's extremely dense because of the jargon and dialect (just my opinion). It's one of the few times I would recommend renting the movie instead of reading the book. Grapes
and I don't have a good relationship, but the movie is good (it's a John Huston film, for chrissakes).
One of his least known books, The Moon is Down
, earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature because it helped defeat the Nazis in Norway during WWII. As a bonus, it's also a great read.
Can you tell he's my favorite author?