Friday, June 5, 2009

Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

About the book: Adopting the structure and themes of the Arthurian legend, Steinbeck created a "Camelot" on a shabby hillside above Monterrey on the California coast and peopled it with a colorful band of knights. As Steinbeck chronicles their thoughts and emotions, temptations and lusts, he spins a tale as compelling, and ultimately as touched by sorrow, as the famous legends of the Round Table.
My thoughts: This story is told in a series of short, funny stories each one adding to the whole. It is about a group of poor young men living in Tortilla Flat near Monetary. Danny has returned home from WWI to learn that he has inherited property from his grandfather. One by one, friends come to live with him where their lives revolve around wine, fighting and women. The rationalizations they went through to make stealing OK was so convoluted it defied logic, but it worked for them and it was very entertaining to read. This kind of reasoning was at it's best in the chapter called "How Danny's Friends Threw Themselves To The Aid of a Distressed Lady." My favorite character is The Pirate, a man who is a bit slow but who has a heart of gold. He also has five very special dogs, who are his life. I found this to be funny, touching and outrageous. I love it!

SparkNotes on Tortilla Flat

100+ Reading Challenge
John Steinbeck Mini Challenge
5x4 Reading Challenge
Audiobook Challenge
Support Your Local Library Challenge

classic, Steinbeck, California, wine


Becky said...

I'm glad you liked it! This was an unexpected gem for me. I was surprised by how much I loved it.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

I can't remember if I read this one or not. I definitely read "Cannery Row" and "Sweet Thursday".

Yvette Kelly said...

I like the sound of this book.How you manage to say all the important stuff so quickly amazes me.You need to give me lessons.I can't stop the blabbing.Are you also straight to the point in real life?

Teddyree said...

I enjoyed your review Sharon ~ sounds like a fun read!