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review 2018-10-28 12:27
Infection in Literature: "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

(Original Review, 2002)

There's no reason why we should judge a film on the basis of how faithful or otherwise it is to the book: it should be judged by how good it is as a film. The ending of the book could not be depicted on film in those days because censorship would not have allowed it, but there's no reason to assume that Ford would have filmed Steinbeck's ending had he been able to. The artistic vision Ford was expressing was not Steinbeck's, but his own. My own view is that Steinbeck was a fine novelist, but that Ford was a great film-maker. Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" is a fine novel, but Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath" is a great film.



If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-03-26 00:12
Eight Hundred Grapes: A Novel - Laura Dave

Georgia is at her final wedding gown fitting when she spots her fiancé walking down the street with a woman and child.  Learning that her fiancé has been less than open with her, she runs back to her childhood home only to learn that her parents are splitting and selling their family vineyard to a competitor.  Georgia has a lot to sort out.


I enjoyed this book.  There are a lot of family secrets that come out when Georgia returns home.  Accusations are made and Georgia has to face up to some of them as others in the family have to face up to theirs.  It makes for interesting reading as Georgia keeps putting her problems on the back burner to deal with others' problems only to have them force her to face her own problems.  She needed their insights.


I liked most of the characters but not all.  I wasn't crazy about her fiancé, her brother Bobby, or her mother.  They were not warm, fussy people.  The ending is what was right for Georgia.

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review 2017-10-27 01:22
Eight Hundred Grapes: A Novel - Laura Dave

I won this book in a giveaway. Overall, not really my kind of book. I really enjoy wine and have liked other vineyard-based novels, but this one was not my glass of wine, so to speak. I was really intrigued by the opening quote, "You have to grow about eight hundred grapes to get just one bottle of wine. If that isn't an argument to finish the bottle, I don't know what is." Unfortunately, once I turned the page, the novel took a sharp nose dive. I feel like it is supposed to be a book that you can relax to, enjoy a glass of wine or whatever. But it had the opposite effect on me. I felt stressed and annoyed by everything. The premise was silly. The main character was annoying. The ending was predictable. The writing was confusing, repetitive, and overly simplistic. The dialogue was awkward. I feel like most of the events in the book could have been avoided if all of the characters simply stopped blowing every little thing out of proportion. I couldn't help thinking that I was reading about a bunch of children. Most of the stuff wasn't even that big of a deal, but they (especially Georgia) acted like it was the end of the world. Which leads us to the ending. Seriously? What kind of ending was that? Without giving anything away, it is the most fake fairy tale ending where everything kind of works out without anyone really doing anything. Really? How unsatisfying. I can see this book being popular in book clubs, but it was not a good fit for me. The snobby wine-maker/drinker attitude of the narrator certainly didn't help much. I apologize for the overly-negative review. I really hate when the things I dislike outweigh what I do like in a book. At least now that I am done with reading and reviewing the book , I am allowing myself to enjoy a nice glass of wine. Cheers.

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review 2017-06-09 00:00
The Grapes of Wrath 75th Anniversary Edition
The Grapes of Wrath 75th Anniversary Edition - John Steinbeck I read this book some while on my lunch breaks. It's the perfect diet companion for sure. The people have horrible times and barely make it day to day. It's during the depression while people are just trying to find a place to settle for a couple of days and work. The system is set up so that they can't get an honest pay for a days work. Times were horrific, but also the good in many people came to surface. People had to band together to help each other. No matter what, it seems no reprieve is in site for them, but it doesn't kill all of the humanity. Very touching, sad and though-provoking.
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review 2017-05-06 00:00
Legacy (Grapes of Rome, #1)
Legacy (Grapes of Rome, #1) - Remmy Megg... Legacy (Grapes of Rome, #1) - Remmy Meggs War is always brutal, but particularly so in Ancient Roman times. The story opens with the playfulness and carefree life of typical twelve-year-old Roman boys. Born of noble blood with few cares in the world, discovering the delights of Roman society—trips to the city for sumptuous meals in fine restaurants, the hustle and bustle of the city market and the slave auctions, shopping trips for fine clothes. But this trip also has more serious endeavors as Dante is tasked with procuring supplies and staff for his first adult venture of sheep herding and helping his mentor, Don Fedele, with the purchase of arms for his father’s newly commissioned army. On this trip, Dante takes his first step into manhood as he is called to defend his father’s honor. And this experience lays the foundation of Dante’s future persona as a military commander—the keeper of swift, hard, cold justice.

A subsequent trip to the city (to accompany his father to a meeting of the Senate) is interrupted as the Republic is attacked and Rome is at war. The young boys are summoned to their fathers’ sides on the battlefield to observe the waging of war, lessons all Roman boys must learn. The Romans are victorious in their first battle against the Etruscan and Latin forces, but the victory is short-lived as a surprise attack throws the outing into chaos. The boys are sent away with their bodyguards, but unwittingly are drawn into the battle as they have to fight for their very survival and are plunged into the atrocities of war; friends and fathers are lost in the most brutal ways. Brokenhearted warriors are the most fierce and vicious. The brutality of this attack pushes Dante over the edge and he emerges as a man… a warrior. “Vengeance has made the boy a man.”

But this is merely the beginning of the story. Follow Dante’s expeditions into the grim underbelly of war as he discovers that the enemy does not always wear a different uniform or fly a different standard. Treachery runs deep as son betrays father, countrymen betray countrymen, and friends betrays friends.

Grab a front row seat to this action-packed story. Witness boys becoming men in the harshest of ways. This book is jam-packed with amazing characters and the brutal atrocities of war, but it is also a story of friendship, loyalty, and love. Very well researched and realistically portrayed. A must read.
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