“Mr. Steinbeck has written the precise equivalent of those nineteenth century melodramas in which the villains could always be recognized because they waxed their mustaches …” —Anthony West in a _New Yorker _review of East of Eden entitled “California Moonshine.”
From it’s publication in 1952, John Steinbeck’s _East of Eden _has always been more of a popular than a critical favorite. As another great twentieth century author (Raymond Chandler) wrote, “The average critic never recognizes an achievement when it happens. He explains it after it has become respectable.”
There are parts of _East of Eden _(the characters of Lee and Cathy, some of Steinbeck’s prose styling) that may never be respectable. It’s one of those books that’s too much of a potboiler for certain members of the (ahem) Critical Intelligentsia, and too much like Literature for certain blockheads who only read potboilers.
Not that any of this matters to the heroes of The Bookening.
They love it all_ _unabashedly. Read it and you will too.
In the final part of their series on John Steinbeck’s _East of Eden, _our heroes wax elegant on Adam Trask and his sons, crush on Abra, love on Lee, and try to understand the mystery that is Cathy. Do they succeed in saying everything they have to say about this awesome book? They mayest.