Twenty-Fifteen: I’m doing something I’d been putting off for far too long. I’ve gotten serious about reading, again. I’ve dusted off my paperbacks and charged up my Kindle. It has been a year to take the time to feed my poor television-adled brain with a selection of healthy, nourishing fiction. So, read on, little brain. Read on. We’ve been going Book to the Future!
Vacation reading should probably be a lot lighter than a book like The Grapes of Wrath. Nothing like a little crushing poverty on the road to family ruin to lighten the mood on a family road trip.
I’ve been keeping up with my reading (and I’ll append some more thoughts to this post when I’m back at a full computer and not typing out a review of this epic novel on my iPhone) but I did want to note that I finished it and and probably a little richer for it.
There is something is both old and haunting yet simultaneously all too modern about a depression era story that outlines the disparity between the haves and havenots. Steinbeck’s story was about migrants driven from their homes in Oklahoma by crushing debt and lack of work, but I’m sure there is something all too familiar in their story to be found in any other twenty-first century migrant population optimisitically moving from their homelands to where the work is: the promise and allure of streets paved with gold mashed with the reality of too many workers for too few jobs and the quiet exploitation of the same blended with the much more vocal aggressions seeking to send them packing.
Steinbeck doesn’t solve the problem. Far from it. But he shines an interesting light on the plight in a book everyone and anyone should read who has ever pondered class issues or questioned the roles of immigration in the modern labour market.