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Download East of Eden Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample East of Eden Audiobook, by John Steinbeck Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (164,027 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Steinbeck Narrator: Richard Poe Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9781101530955
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John Steinbeck drew inspiration from the Biblical story of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt as he crafted his Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning novel, "The Grapes of Wrath." In another of his epic novels, "East of Eden," he once again turned to the Bible, this time transforming its ages-old story of Cain and Abel and the struggle between good and evil into a modern-day story with centuries-old themes.

"East of Eden" follows two families, the Hamiltons and the Trasks, as they move into California's Salinas Valley during the late 19th century. Samuel Hamilton and his wife, Eliza, move to California from Ireland, establish their large family and establish their a well respected family, although they never acquire much in the way of monetary wealth.

Adam Trask and his wife, Cathy, come from a farm in Connecticut, but they bring with them secrets in the form of marital infidelity, questionably-earned wealth from Adam's family and seeds of envy and mistrust resulting from sibling rivalry and deeply rooted jealousies.

Evil begets evil, or so the saying goes, and out of sin comes greater sin, greater evil - even to the point of murder and betrayal.

The sins of the fathers continue through several generations, from the father of Adam and his half-brother, Charles, to some of the wives and down through the children and grandchildren of the families, just as in the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. Listeners will be caught up, as have millions of fans of the novel before them, in the lives of each succeeding generation of characters.

The eternal questions brought forth concerning original sin are posed as new characters emerge, in a setting -- the Salinas Valley -- that mirrors the Garden of Eden.

Steinbeck was born in 1902 in Salinas, California. He died in 1968 in New York City. Prior to his writing career, he attended Stanford University. He dropped out of college and worked as a manual laborer, having gone to school to please his parents rather than to follow his dreams of becoming a writer.

He concerned himself with the plights of the workers, which included immigrants and migrant workers, subject matter which attracted harsh criticism from those who depended upon cheap labor. Steinbeck's works often called attention to poor working conditions as well as to outright exploitation of the helpless.

The masterpiece of Steinbeck’s later years, East of Eden is a sprawling epic 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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A fantasia of history and myth…A strange and original work of art.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “One of [Steinbeck’s] greatest novels, a saga about the meaning of life that encompasses the best and worst of what it means to be human.”

    BookReporter.com

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robbie Woods | 1/22/2014

    " One of my all time favorite books, by probably my all time favorite author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsey Kirk | 1/21/2014

    " This book is, hands down, my favorite. It may look intimidating, but it is incredible. I am a very particular reader, and I was so captivated by this book that I think I will read it for a third time. The movie does NOT hold a candle to this book. Don't even bother with the movie; it leaves out all of the twists of evil. This book is beautiful and a masterpiece. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Priscilla | 1/9/2014

    " I love Steinbeck's writing and his hope-in-the-midst-of-utter-darkness that speaks to the soul, and the end of this book felt like I was hurtling on a train going a million miles to the inevitable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tori Robey | 1/9/2014

    " This book had one of the most EVIL characters I've ever read. Loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seth Beiler | 1/7/2014

    " East of Eden is a mixed bag for me. Some moments had me reaching for the nearest pen so I could underline sentences fervently, while other times I'd be cringing at the occasionally silly metaphor. Maybe Steinbeck tried to do too much? Maybe I appreciate efficient writing more than the aesthetic? Maybe it isn't possible to pen a less heavy-handed reinterpretation of the story of Cain and Abel? I don't know. It feels somehow immune to criticism in all of its sentiment and mysticism (more so than most novels I read), but I can't say I loved every bit of it. I suppose that's just art. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy | 1/3/2014

    " All I can say about this book, is that you should read. Honestly I think everyone connects with this book in different ways, and so you must decide for yourself what connection you have with it. So all I can say is one day you need to read this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly Cozy | 12/14/2013

    " Very involving, though at times Steinbeck belabors the Cain/Abel parallels too heavily. The most intriguing characters were the minor ones: Lee, Cathy/Kate, and Samuel Hamilton. Loved the scene-setting of the Salinas area. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cara | 11/15/2013

    " Steinbeck is wonderful writer. I was fully immersed in the tensions of the story. Also loved the movie with James Dean. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jillian | 10/29/2013

    " I am just not a Steinbeck fan. I tried really hard to like this book, and he does have a wonderful way with words but it was way too long and just kept roiling on and on. He could have done the same thing with at least 200 fewer pages. I like Faulkner better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reem AlRabiah | 10/21/2013

    " It's a book that stays with you. Creeps into your thoughts without you knowing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dane | 6/21/2013

    " Always wanted to read this Steinbeck novel after having read several others plus I love Monterrey Peninsula. Very progressive ideas woven into the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Tsosie | 5/8/2013

    " Great book! Great, Great, Great Book :D "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chales | 1/31/2013

    " LOVE the "Cain and Abel" parallels "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara Offenberger | 1/26/2013

    " Great - EPIC - story. Good versus evil and then some of course. Worthwhile! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allen Tsai | 8/31/2012

    " Great story, and some deeper reflects on human nature. Must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Williams | 5/21/2012

    " Enjoyed this epic novel which really captured the period and place. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Gall | 3/10/2012

    " A five star + read. There is so much in this book to contemplate, from familial relations to the eternal conflict between good and evil. I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jay | 1/2/2012

    " A epic tale of tragedy, love, betrayal, jealousy, and forgiveness. It's easy to understand why this book stands the test of time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ezzy | 8/29/2011

    " I have a love-hate relationship with Steinbeck, and this book fits right in. I'm torn between believing that his stories reveal real truths about the interactions between people, stripped bare... and the feeling that nobody feels or acts in these ways, and it's just overly constructed bullshit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank | 6/23/2011

    " I found the book uplifting in the end. It took a long way to get a simple point across, but this book was about the journey and not about the destination.
    Great characters throughout the book, from Adam and Charles' father at the beginning to the sheriff at the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 6/22/2011

    " Cain and Abel! I must admit I was drawn to this novel because of James Dean; however, Steinbeck is so much more than James Dean! One of my favorite Steinbeck novels; it's quite a saga. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 6/22/2011

    " One of the best classics depicting disfunctional relationships between father and son and 2 brothers. One of Steinbeck's finest. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Wendy | 6/22/2011

    " This was one of those books that I read because I heard so much about it, but then when I was reading it just couldn't get into. I kept thinking it was going to get better, but it seemed to get worse. It was kind of disturbing... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Megan | 6/21/2011

    " This is one I really need to re-read. It was summer reading for freshman year of high school and I was somewhat bitter about reading such a fat book during the summer... I bet I would like it now. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abbie | 6/20/2011

    " I loved this book. It has something for everyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlin | 6/20/2011

    " This is one of my all-time favorite books. I love Steinbeck as a writer and all of the characters in this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole | 6/16/2011

    " One of my favorites. Its long, but so good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carlie | 6/15/2011

    " Psycho woman!!!! Read this when I was completely into Oprah's book club. So glad I did. It was awesome. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cas | 6/15/2011

    " I love this book. I went into it with low expectations. I was hooked from the very first chapter describing a California valley and golden poppies. It was so beatiful it made me homesick. The I fell in love with Sam and Lee. Beautiful and terrible. A must read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alex | 6/13/2011

    " so pretentious . . . seriously, I can't even believe I finished it "

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About the Author
Author John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck (1902–1968) remains one of the quintessential writers of American literature. Born in Salinas, California, Steinbeck attended Stanford University before working at a series of mostly blue-collar jobs and embarking on his literary career. Profoundly committed to social progress, he used his writing to raise issues of labor exploitation and the plight of the common man, penning some of the greatest American novels of the twentieth century and winning such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He received the Nobel Prize in 1962, “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humor and keen social perception.” He wrote more than twenty-five novels during his lifetime.

About the Narrator

Richard Poe has worked extensively in movies, television, and on Broadway. He is best known for his portrayal of Gul Evek in three different Star Trek series: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. He is a well-known and prolific audiobook narration who has won twelve AudioFile Earphones Awards.