52 in 52 Week 13: The Pearl by John Steinbeck
He also said, "I had to read The Pearl in high school, and that story is just stupid." I told him I had it on hold at the digital library. It made me wonder if he would like this one too if he gave it a try at an older age.
I did not think it was stupid. Yes, it is another depressing, American novel of the 20th century, but it is profound. I love Steinbeck's writing. He is a wonderful craftsman of a story. This is a simple, symbolic short novel set in the early 1940's. It tells of what happens to a poor family that finds a great pearl. The main themes are anti-materialism, knowing one's place in society, greed, illusion versus reality, and the wisdom that comes out of difficulty.
The major question is: "Can money buy you peace, love, and harmony in life?" It is interesting to look at this question in light of the lottery being 500 million today. There is a hot discussion on my girlfriend's Facebook page about what people would do with the money. Yesterday, I watched the new commentators banter about it. I didn't know that one of the mega winners was kidnapped and murdered by his sister-in-law. WOW!
The timing of this novel is perfect for this discussion!
Hector Elizondo's narration is perfect. It is a 2-3 hour listening feast.