The Pearl by John Steinbeck: Review

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The time you have all been waiting for is here! My first rant/vent review! I had SO MANY problems with this book. Where to start?

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!

Rating: * 1/2 stars

Initial Reaction After Finishing This Book:


I think I might've been on the verge of tears when I finished this book. Not out of joy or anything like that, but just excitement that I wouldn't have to torture my eyes another second. However, this book wasn't horrible enough for one star, so... let's get to it.

The Good:


1. The Depth. I did like the depth of thought that Steinbeck put into this book, and how nothing is a coincidence, up from Coyotito's name down to when Steinbeck describes ants. It was cool to...yeah that's all I got for this.

2. The Figurative Language. I am a huge fan of books that use figurative language as descriptors, in particular similes and metaphors *cough cough* City of Bones *cough cough*. So I liked that part of The Pearl as well.

The Bad:

1. The emotion. At least for me, this book invoked no emotion except hatred. Even when Coyotito dies! My classmates were all like:

And I was just like, "Oh, yeah, it's sad." But it didn't do the job a book is supposed to do when it comes to sad parts. The job that makes you want to just die because OMG IT'S SO SAD AND WAHHH MY LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME. I'm looking at you The Fault in Our Stars. I think maybe it was because the book didn't really make you feel any emotional connection to the characters. I know I sound like an unemotional robot and a monster that doesn't think it's sad when a baby dies, but I THOUGHT IT WAS SAD. Just not as sad as it should have been.

2. The writing. I love descriptions in books, imagery and all that, it's all good, but this book? OVERKILL. The book will take like 3 pages to describe the Gulf of Mexico, and at that point, you just feel like this:


A paragraph, even a PAGE of descriptions is fine. But gosh, this was too much.

3. The Plot. When I was describing to my reading teacher WHY I didn't like this book, I said it was boring and lacked action. She looked utterly shocked, because well, the book has a TON of action. I know it does too. But it wasn't the kind of action I like. The action I like? The action that keeps your heart pounding. The action that makes you bite your nails. The action that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The action that makes you hyperventilate like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.



This book just didn't do that. So if I didn't like the action sequences a lot, how do you think I felt about the normal, everyday life parts?


4. The Characters. OH MY GOD. The two main characters in this book pissed me off SO MUCH. Let's see...

Kino- Kino is the main character in this book. He was a poor fisherman until he found The Pearl of The World!!!! The pearl starts bringing destruction to his family and himself, but yet he wants to keep it. I understand his motives but seriously? I would REALLY consider getting rid of an object that has caused several attempts on my life. Even if I was poor, it's not like I would rather DIE! Plus, he has this whole misconception that he can do ANYTHING because he's a man. JUST STOP.

Juana- Juana, Juana, Juana. She is described as being strong, like a lioness. Yet she... let's her husband beat her up. WHAT????? She was smart enough to try to get rid of the pearl that is bringing danger to her family. She was about to throw it in the river, but Kino catches her, and starts beating the crap out of her. She sees MURDER in his eyes, but she doesn't do anything. Oh, and also, she says she NEEDS A MAN. WOO-HOO! What a feminist! Whatever happened to A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle? Not to say I don't want to get married eventually, but saying she needs a man? She's not exactly what I think of as a strong, independent woman.

That's it. I'm done. PHEW. I feel better now.

So To Read Or Not To Read?
Unless you HAVE to read it for school like I did, I would NOT recommend this book. At all. AT. ALL.

Bye! Oh, BTW, my next review will be of Pandemonium. So stick around if you want a review that is HAPPY!!!!! :D

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