Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April 2008: East of Eden

April's book will be East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I have not read the book, but the storyline intrigued me. Here is some info to give you an idea of what to expect:

John Steinbeck's last significant work of fiction (1952), a huge family saga based on the book of Genesis, is set in the Salinas Valley of the author's youth. Beginning with the purchase of a parcel of rich California farmland by Samuel Hamilton, who comes from Ireland with his wife, EAST OF EDEN traces the turbulent lives of the Hamilton and Trask families from the Civil War to the end of World War I. Adam Trask marries a prostitute who bears him twin sons--the Cain and Abel figures--and their rivalry shadows the second half of the novel, culminating in tragedy.

"Probably the best of John Steinbeck's novels, 'East of Eden' is long but not 'big', and anyone who, deceived by its spread in space and time (c.1860-1920), says that it is 'epical in its sweep,' is merely in the usual grip of cliche....Through the exercise of a really rather remarkable freedom of his rights as a novelist, Mr. Steinbeck weaves in, and more particularly around, this story of prostitution a fantasia of history and of myth that results in a strange and original work of art."
New York Times Book Review - Mark Schorer (09/21/1952)

I have found the book on ebay for as low as $0.99 or you can get it on on Amazon for $11.56

The Kite Runner discussion

Here are a few questions I found online to spur our discussion of The Kite Runner. If you found something else interesting in your reading, please share - don't limit your comments to these questions.

**WARNING** The questions below and the discussion will contain spoilers about the book.

1: What did The Kite Runner teach you about Afghanistan? About friendship? About forgiveness, redemption and love?

2: Who suffers the most in the book?

3: Were you surprised to learn about the racial tension between the Pashtuns and Hazaras in Afghanistan? How is this similar to and different from other racial tensions in nations around the world?

4: What were your impressions of Baba and did they change throughout the book? How was he different in America than Afghanistan?

5: Why did Amir act the way he did towards Hassan after he witnessed the rape? Why did Hassan act the way he did to Amir?

6: Did Amir ever redeem himself?

7: Who was the character that most inspired you?

8: Rate the book 1-10 and explain.