Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Pearl - Final Review

The Pearl, Joh Steinbeck, 1945

Plot: Overall, predictable. But, as this is more like a fable, that is to be expected. This story (originally published in "Woman's Home Companion" in case that's interesting to anyone) reads very much like some Native American legend that I would have read in middle school. It has a good, though familiar, message; happiness can't be bought, as well as perhaps that one should accept one's station in life - aspirations are dangerous! Throw in something about not counting chickens and you've got the idea. It would follow then, that the ending wouldn't be a pleasant one and now I'm stuck. I have set a precedent of grading these books purely on story and not on the point behind them, however clear or vague that might be. But in this case I can't separate them. On the one hand, depressing. On the other I know it wouldn't make sense not to be. So...uh...6/10? Sometimes I hate the numbers.

Style: Super easy to read and beautiful. Seriously beautiful. I know I rave about Jane Austen because she is my favorite, but I would never describe her writing as beautiful. This guy knows how to get you in your soul. His descriptions are unique enough to really make me try to imagine the scene. Woven throughout the book is the theme of song. I can't do it justice so I won't try, all I'll say is that it has made me listen for music that I've never heard. I know that sounds really lame, just trust me. The book is super short. Read it and you'll know what I mean.

Hotness of the main character: Well Kino is a tanned, hard-working island man, so lots of points for that. But he also goes kind of crazy and develops a bit of a temper, so...5/10.

The character who I would most like to be: no thanks.

Re-readability: Rarely. It is short and easy to read, so that is in it's favor here, but it's also depressing. But it's beautiful.

Final decision: I can't decide. I think that I'll Shelf It, just because of the music.

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