Steinbeck s reat storytelling style shines in this early collection of his short stories The Long Valley was published in 1938 The majority of its stories had previously appeared in various American magazines The stories themselves Saint Katy the Virgin being the exception a strangely whimsical tale set in mediaeval France are set in Steinbeck s birthplace the background for so much of his writing the Salinas Valley in California Apparently Steinbeck demanded that Saint Katy the Virgin be included in the collection and although I enjoyed it I have to admit that it does seem a bit of a puzzle alongside the rest In all the other stories Steinbeck does what Steinbeck can do like no other informs us about the human condition He uses symbolism to ood effect and his descriptive imagery is admirably lean sometimes a tale s starkness certainly left this reader with a haunted almost desperate feeling However I never feel that Steinbeck is ever being wantonly bleak Above all Steinbeck is telling us stories about human beings and of their relationships to others He lets us make our own inferences The scholars critics and academics have it seems from the very start often been divided on their appraisal of these stories I m perfectly happy to let them o on arguing This collection is eminently readable and worthwhile I m not a big fan of short stories but the stories in this collection are as well crafted as Steinbeck s longer fiction The characters settings and plots are authentic with the exception of a strange story about a pig which I just didn t How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly--and the Stark Choices Ahead get The stories deal with among other things the aftermath of a lynching suppressed dreams a husband in a literal and figurative harness a misguided and doomed view of manhood a brutal crime of passion and a young boy justetting to know some of the harsher sides of life I particularly liked The White uail The Chrysanthemums The Murder and The Red Pony I listened to the audio book with excellent narration by Holter Graham and also read the interesting annotations in the Penguin paperback version of the collection I ve read about half of this collection before in various places And I would agree that the best stories in The Long Valley are those which have been heavily anthologized But reading them again in the context of the whole collection was surprisingly enjoyable Here you et a wide range of Steinbeck s tone with a single theme throughout violenceAs with all collections some stories were weaker than others In particular I wasn t a fan of The Murder a story which seemingly justifies the abuse of a wife Having never seen Steinbeck as a raging misogynist I chalk this story up to an objective portrayal of the culture at the time Other stories in this collection may imply I m wrong however We ll leave it. First published in 1938 this volume of stories collected with the encouragement of his longtime editor Pascal Covici serves as a wonderful introduction to the work of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck Set in the beautiful Salinas Valley of California where simple.
Iolence instability and inner turmoil are in your face to the point of dominating the story Steinbeck s portrayal is subtle and almost nonchalant It reuires an active participation of the reader as do most intelligent works Recommended for fans of Steinbeck and for those who appreciate fine timeless writing 4 I m oing to be lazy and uote Wikipedia The short stories were written over several years and are set in Steinbeck s birthplace the Salinas Valley in California all but one They include the prize winning tale The Murder yikes The Chrysanthemums the representation of lynch mob violence in The Vigilante double yikes and the classic Red Pony tales which was later published on its own I would also hi light here the devious passive agressive husband ets back at his wife account in The White uail I originally set out to read just one of these for a challenge then read the entire book because it revealed a different side of Steinbeck to me I found them surprising fascinating shocking and enjoyable side reads in between my other books What can I ask for As a native Californian I have loved all his novels set in this beautiful part of our state centered around a vanished way of life and this collection was like a enerous serving of whipped topping on that body of workOn a side note I sing the praises of Moonrise group challenge reads Not all turn out to my liking but I just love when I end up wallowing in books that I would not have read otherwise What a treat I also believe this would make areat audio book collection Several excellent stories including the exceptional Johnny Bear Full Review to follow This book is among my top ten favorites Often overlooked these short stories are masterpieces of characterization dialogue and sense of place These are stories that may easily be read many times over I have four times The Red PonyThe Red Pony was originally published in this volume However readers will find haunting tales here that will linger far longer in their memory If you admire Steinbeck pick up this volume you ve likely not read You will treasure it I have to re examine my own writing every time I read a Steinbeck novel My trite phrasing and flat descriptions look like ugly stepchildren next to his princely prose Even this slim volume of four lesser known short stories is packed with some beautifully powerful writing The scenes are spare in their breadth but not in their ability to reach into your heart and imagination HOLD THE PRESSESI just discovered that my copy was truncated The Long Valley originally came with than twice the number of stories I ve been abridginated I loath abridged books Well it s not the books fault It s the publisher who s to blame Damn them to HadesOkay looks like I have some reading to do before I can do a proper review. “The Murder”; “The Chrysanthemums” perhaps Steinbeck’s most challenging story both personally and artistically; “Flight” “The Snake” “The White uail” and the classic tales of “The Red Pony” With an introduction and notes by John H Timmerm.
At thatCertainly Steinbeck Unlike Steinbeck s other short story collection The Pastures of Heaven this book lacks thematic unity First published in 1938 many of the stories in the collection had been published previously The stories differ widely in tone and subject matter from the rather creepy The Snake to the prize winning The Murder to the four stories which make up The Red Pony What the stories share is their Salinas Valley location wonderfully descriptive prose unsentimental depiction of the beauty and terror of the natural world and a compassion for human frailty A worthwhile read for Steinbeck completists I came to John Steinbeck s The Long Valley in the heels of his excellent novella The Moon is Down Not having read any of Steinbeck s writing for years there was just something soothing about his prose that made me reach for another work of his I must say that I was not disappointed The Long Valley is a collection of ten short stories published in 1938 The stories are The ChrysanthemumsThe White uailFlightThe SnakeBreakfastThe RaidThe HarnessThe VigilanteJohnny BearThe MurderAt 186 pages it provides a healthy dose of variety and a nice sampler of what Steinbeck as a writer was capable of Those familiar with Steinbeck s writing will discover some familiar subjects and locations especially the rolling California countryside where a lot of his work is set Yet while Steinbeck is undoubtedly famous for his work featuring the underdogs and the out of luck characters he has become well know for this collection of short stories explores a slightly darker side of his writing one I was unaware of until now The stories here are often dark in nature not that Of Mice and Men was a cheerful tale by any means and explore some darker thoughts inside the seemingly simple characters There are stories of abuse of murder of revenge Steinbeck is a master of fluid prose His narratives effortlessly flow from one character to the next from a city setting to the farming communities settled among the hills and valleys He visits hard working farmers devoted wives immigrants traveling hobos and passionate Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi gardeners A cast of characters one would encounter withoutiving them much thought Yet each one of them has an inner turmoil at times subtle and at time prominent that adds a different dimension to each and every one of them This dimension weaves in and out of the narrative and can be overlooked unless the reader pays attention Steinbeck s prose flows and flows like a smooth stream where the rocks beneath the surface are hardly perceptible yet you are fully aware of their existence if you keep your eyes open And these rocks the dirty secrets and dark thoughts of the characters are what makes this collection worth reading Unlike in our contemporary works where People farm the land and struggle to find a place for themselves in the world these stories reflect Steinbeck’s characteristic interests the tensions between town and country laborers and owners past and present Included here are the O Henry Prize winning story.
John Steinbeck III was an American writer He wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Grapes of Wrath published in 1939 and the novella Of Mice and Men published in 1937 In all he wrote twenty five books including sixteen novels six non fiction books and several collections of short stories In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for LiteratureSteinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley