Review: Tortilla Flat

John Steinbeck (1935)

I loved this collection of stories about a group of paisanos living in the hills above Monterey California. Danny, Pilon and their pals drink the nights away, sleep off the days and in the remaining hours, concoct schemes to procure the next jug. Steinbeck has created a merry band of characters, modeled loosely after the Knights of the Round Table, complete with a stylized language full of “thees” and “thous” that somehow meshes with the setting. At times very funny and profoundly touching, I found myself savoring the language and stories in this book.

2 thoughts on “Review: Tortilla Flat

  1. So, will John Steinbeck still be talked about and written about and be the centerpiece of graduate theses 50 years from now?
    I don’t recall a single English or comparative lit class that included Steinbeck on the syllabus. Is he too populist to be considered among the greats of American literature? Has he fallen out of favor somehow? I don’t think the average reader today know anything about him beyond “The Grapes of Wrath?”–if that.

  2. That is truly sad. I shall make it my personal mission, via blog and verbal recommendation, to spread the word, and encourage all to read the “old” master. Who’s with me?

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