East of Eden

East of Eden Summary

A masterpiece of Biblical scope, and the magnum opus of one of America’s most enduring authors, in a commemorative hardcover edition
In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden "the first book," and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California's Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

The masterpiece of Steinbeck’s later years, East of Eden is a work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love's absence. Adapted for the 1955 film directed by Elia Kazan introducing James Dean, and read by thousands as the book that brought Oprah’s Book Club back, East of Eden has remained vitally present in American culture for over half a century.

Book Reviews


Amazing5 star



So powerful5 star

Excellent book.55


Meh3 star

A lot of character development just to fizzle out in the end.35


Incredible5 star

East of Eden is my favorite book. The themes of good and evil and free will were so beautifully explored. I fell in love with the characters, the plot, the descriptions of the landscape, and the masterful storytelling.55


Epic novel5 star

This is a masterpiece of a book, epic in its scope of characters, times and story. It mirrors the story of Cain and Abel lightly, but enough to help us see this is the story of all of us.55


Loved it!5 star

It’s not often for me when classic literature crosses with easy read, but this was it for me. Beautiful story.55


My favorite.5 star

It may become one of your favorites.55


An inspirational journey traveled through time5 star

East of Eden has been on my ‘must read’ list for quite some time. This book transforms family characters into common people flawed with genetic personality faults that make each character unique and common to relate to. The town described takes you to that time and inspires readers to follow along the journey of life, family, and sorrows that come from living life to the fullest. No great story is told without love through the pain felt of experiencing and the greater pain felt of losing it.55

Dead woman

East of Eden5 star

One of my all time favorites. A book that truly makes you think.55


Great read with a great ending4 star

Cons: an overly developed and overly Satanized character which could have been developed and done with in 1/12th of the time... I basically stopped reading this book 3 times because I was disturbed, and give one star off because the character was perhaps overdone. Overall great read and an interesting take on original sin, and overcoming fate/hardships45

Other Books by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men


Of Mice and Men
4.5     3923
The Grapes of Wrath


The Grapes of Wrath
4     626
The Pearl


The Pearl
3.5     1479

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