Review: Cup of Gold

John Steinbeck (1929)

When I think of Steinbeck, I picture rolling green hills and the wide open spaces of California, Depression-era folks in shanty towns, Henry Fonda and James Dean. Just about the last thing that comes to mind are pirates on the Spanish Main.

In my quest to read Steinbeck in chronological order, I was surprised to find this little gem. You have to go all the way back to Steinbeck’s first novel, but there it is, his only work of historical fiction, a rousing account of Henry Morgan. In this quick, entertaining read, young Henry goes from indentured slave to the most feared and admired buccaneer to storm and pillage the Caribbean. A good adventure story and an interesting change of pace for Steinbeck. [***1/2 out of 5]

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