Download The Grapes of Wrath Audiobook

The Grapes of Wrath Audiobook, by John Steinbeck Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: John Steinbeck Narrator: Dylan Baker Publisher: Penguin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN: 9781101530887
3.92571428571429 out of 53.92571428571429 out of 53.92571428571429 out of 53.92571428571429 out of 53.92571428571429 out of 5 3.93 (14 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Despite the fact that it was published in the late 1930s, the themes in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" remain as relevant today as they were in the days when it was first written.

The struggles man encounters as he attempts to wrest a living out of a land subject to the whims of nature are timeless ones. The novel begins with Tom Joad and the Joad family, but soon spreads out to the larger family – his neighbors, his fellow farmers and to the people of the 1930s Dustbowl Oklahoma, eventually spreading out across the drought-stricken 1930s American heartland.

The most vulnerable small tenant farmers become victims of larger landowners. In turn the landowners become victims of larger conglomerates, then of capitalist bankers and other of what Steinbeck’s illiterate call "the owner men." Farmers working their one-horse plots of land give way to men with tractors. The tractors become bigger and more powerful. Newer, more powerful technology drives out the most recent newer, once powerful and newer machinery. Left unchecked, capitalistic greed pits man against man, with no end in stop.

So it goes with mankind.

So it went during the 1930s Great Depression era. So went the plight of migrant fruit pickers of 1930s and 1940s California. So it goes with migrant and immigrant workers of today. Not only does capitalistic greed encroach onto the American farming landscape, but more recently, it has proliferated in American industry, in financial markets and throughout Wall Street.

Steinbeck, in this Pulitzer Prize winning novel, is able to convey universal truths about mankind by telling the story of one man – Tom Joad. Steinbeck’s ability to see things in the larger sense and communicate them in what seems a simple tale is just one of the reasons his work went on to win the Nobel Prize for literature.

John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California in 1902. His early life was as the son of an ordinary farm supply plant manager who later owned a feed and grain store. His mother was a former teacher. Steinbeck grew up around farmers, out of which grew a deeply ingrained respect for the land, for America, a respect which becomes almost palpable in all his novels.

He went to Stanford University, but he only signed up for classes he wanted to take, primarily literature classes and writing classes. He was a writer and knew so from the start. Steinbeck devoted his life to his craft and the world is the richer for his having done so.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized—and sometimes outraged—millions of readers.

First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “As a high school kid struggling to write fiction, some books meant more than others, and some burst upon me with the power of a thunderbolt. John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath was one of those.”

    Stephen King, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “It is a very long novel, the longest that Steinbeck has written, and yet it reads as though it had been composed in a flash, ripped off a typewriter and delivered to the public as an ultimatum. It is a long and thoughtful novel as one thinks about it. It is a short and vivid scene as one feels it.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “There are moments when The Grapes of Wrath reads like an early glimpse of what would become the phenomenon of economic globalization.”

    Times Literary Supplement (London)

  • “Steinbeck is a poet…Everything is real, everything perfect.”

    Upton Sinclair

  • “I think, and with earnest and honest consideration…that The Grapes of Wrath is the greatest American novel I have ever read.”

    Dorothy Parker

  • “When I read The Grapes of Wrath…I knew that was a very powerful book…It had a lot to do with the way I viewed humanity and the struggles of little people against big people. It was a very important book for me.”

    John Grisham

  • “It seems to me as great a book as has yet come out of America.”

    Alexander Woollcott

  • Winner of the 1940 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • One of Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923–2005
  • A London Guardian Pick of the Top 10 Books of Eco-Fiction
  • The 1999 Audie Award Winner for Best Narration in Classics
  • #1 New York Times bestseller
  • A New York Public Library Staff Pick of Favorite Books of the Last 125 Years

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patrick | 6/23/2011

    " this is an awesome book and i cant put it down execpt for now

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

    " One of my favorite books of all time "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 6/19/2011

    " Loved it. The world does not have happy endings "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Malorie | 6/17/2011

    " I'm really hating this book so far. I'm some of the way into it and I cannot find the motivation to go on. Although I will, it just has not caught my attention yet. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt for now, but I'm not sure I can do that for long. "

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

    " A moving story that completely sucks you in. I was part-disturbed by the end, but it really doesn't feel like it could end any other way and be as powerful. "

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

    " I read this book in high school and was blown away by Steinbeck's writing. It was one of those rare times where I realized that it was a classic because it was such a stunning read. Definitely a recommendation and a book I've gone back to over time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Genevieve | 6/15/2011

    " Least favorite book of all time, second only to The Great Gatsby. So awful, I won't waste any more time on a review. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison | 6/13/2011

    " This book gets a bad rep because you think it is one of those boring books you are made to read in school. The "dialect" writing is sometimes hard to understand but you get used to it and it helps if you try to say it aloud. I really enjoyed this book but it was sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cirque | 6/12/2011

    " Changed the way I think about the world "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Grace | 6/12/2011

    " way too long for what needed to be said. good story, great characters, but i'm not a fan of the writing style because it is over descriptive and wordy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob | 6/12/2011

    " Very good but hard to read. Deserves all the fuss. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 pjr8888 | 6/11/2011

    " New Bantan edition, published February 1964 "

About the Author

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

Dylan Baker is an American stage, screen, and television actor. He attended Georgetown Prep and William and Mary College before earning his BFA at Southern Methodist University, where his passion for acting was ignited with numerous stage roles. Later refining his talents at Yale’s School of Drama, Baker turned professional with big screen roles in movies like Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Delirious, and Love Potion No. 9. His audiobook narration has won him eleven AudioFile Earphones Awards.