Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Pearl

First off, sorry for the lateness of the post. I've had a hard time with not recommended week. I know I've read many stinkers over the years, but I must have blocked them from my mind because I can't remember many of the titles. I usually end up abandoning most books I hate long before the end. My other problem this week is that my opinion of some books often changes over time. For example, my opinion of the snooker book has improved since I read it because at least it is a book that has stayed with me and left me with things to think about. The Pearl is a book I had to read for sophomore English class and is the book I have always carried around as the example of a book I hated. I wanted to reread it before posting to see if my opinion has changed but didn't get around to it. I remember hating The Pearl because it was boring and bleak. Kino is a poor fisherman and pearl diver who finds The Pearl of the World. He hopes to use it to improve his family's lot, but it leads to disaster for his family instead. The book could be called a parable and I tend to hate the lack of subtlety that suggests. I also remember being confused by the message it was trying to convey. It could have been a story about greed, but the things Kino wanted were so modest and universal, such as the dream of educating his son. I would definitely hesitate to take advice from my sixteen year old self but if you want to read Steinbeck, stick with The Grapes of Wrath or East of Eden.

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