Thursday, February 10, 2011

Books: Tortilla Flat

Run: 6mi/59:00

Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

When I read any Steinbeck, I feel at home. Whether I enjoy the characters, the plot, the setting, or not, it doesn't matter, because Steinbeck is my man. If I could write a love letter to any author, it'd be Steinbeck. If I could go back in time and watch any author write a book, it would be Steinbeck. If I could sit down and have dinner with an author of my choosing... it'd be Steinbeck. There is something about his writing that I find smart, yet accessible. I don't consider myself a reader of high brow literature (because I'm not), so Steinbeck is the perfect author for me. He novelizes (is that a word?) societal events, he creates witty and interesting characters, and he describes places in a way that makes me want to visit. And somehow he does all of that while writing on my level. Yes, this is my author.

I haven't read Steinbeck in a couple years, so it was still to my surprise when I opened Tortilla Flat and found myself so comfortable in his writing. When I read any Steinbeck, I feel home.
I have to preface my review by saying all of that. Now, I understand that Steinbeck had a sort of fascination with Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and I understand how Tortilla Flat fits into that purpose. It's an enjoyable, quick read about a group of male friends who consistently have to quick wit their way through life. I found myself shaking my head and sighing most of the time, so I didn't quite enjoy the plot of the whole book. However, of course, Steinbeck's writing makes up for it. I would probably place this book at the bottom of my Steinbeck list, but I still enjoyed reading it. Someday, when I finish reading all of Steinbeck's work, I'll rank them. It will be my life's greatest work.

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