13. In Dubious Battle

by John Steinbeck

This is one of Steinbeck's novels about migrant labor strife. And an awesome one. Apporoximately 1,500 workers arrive at California apple orchards to find that the orchard owners had decided to cut their pay. With the help of the protagonists, two labor organizers, better knows as reds or radicals, they strike and all hell breaks loose. The rapacious landowners will stop at nothing to get their apples to market (besides paying a decent wage; they'd rather kill) and the starving, angry migrant workers have absolutely nothing left to lose. The violence- and there is a great deal of it throughout- was nothing short of apocalyptic.

A gripping, tense novel. I'd go on about Steinbeck's extraordinary social vision and perfectly natural voice but we all know about it. Still, this being my foourth Steinbeck novel I am beginning to think he's a friggin' Shakepeare.

1 comment:

Jarrett said...

Steinbeck is the man! Have you read Winter of our Discontent yet? That's about my favorite JS, but so far everything I have read by him is great. I reread the Red Pony about two years ago and thought it was quite good.

His words are delicious. And he has a nice, light touch.