East of Eden

Version: Unabridged
Author: John Steinbeck
Narrator: Richard Poe
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Classics
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Published In: June 2011
# of Units: 22 CDs
Length: 18 hours, 20 minutes
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An epic allegorical novel chronicling the fortunes of two families as they try to escape the sins of their forbears, the "Penguin Modern Classics" edition of John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" is introduced by David Wyatt. 'There is only one book to a man,' Steinbeck wrote of "East of Eden", his most ambitious novel. Set in the rich farmland of the Salinas Valley, California, this powerful, often brutal novel, follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations hopelessly re-enact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity; the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love's absence. John Steinbeck (1902-68), winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for literature, is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. During the Second World War Steinbeck served as a war correspondent, his journalism later collected in "Once There Was a War" (1958), and he was awarded the Norwegian Cross of Freedom for his portrayal in "The Moon is Down" (1942) of Resistance efforts in northern Europe. His best-known works include the epics "The Grapes of Wrath" (1939) and "East of Eden" (1952), and his tragic novella "Of Mice and Men" (1937). John Steinbeck's complete works are published in "Penguin Modern Classics". If you enjoyed "East of Eden", you might like Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath", also available in "Penguin Classics". "A fantasia of history and myth ...a strange and original work of art". ("The New York Times Book Review").

Reviews (9)


Written by Albert G on November 21st, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I enjoyed re-reading this classic. Exceptional writing with a fine narrator.

American Masterpiece

Written by Anonymous on June 22nd, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is certainly an American Masterpiece. I loved every page, every word. The narration was superb!

Written by Marcelle H on May 21st, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great Narrator! Thank you Mr. Poe

Written by Andrew Hermanski on December 12th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Second time reading this book, but it's one of the most incredible books ever written. The narator does an awesome job and makes to book very entertaining to listen to.

East of Eden

Written by Julee on September 9th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Absolutely loved this book. The narrator was fantastic. The book itself did have some long, narrative places, but if you can get through those, it will be well worth it. I started reading this book, but I ended up liking to listen to it much better.

Written by Beau Bruhwiler on November 9th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Brilliant. The review feature of audiobooks.com requires 50 characters, while the word "brilliant" sums it all up. Brevity has its place when it comes to criticism.

Written by Gwen Spain on August 24th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Narrators worked for me! Captured the essence of the story precisely! I had to quit cleaning

Classic but hard going

Written by Suze on July 12th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Finally realized that the problem with this book is the narrator. He is very difficult to listen to over all of these hours to get through the unabridged version. Still worth a listen.

East of Eden

Written by Charlene from Carpinteria, CA on May 14th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Absolutely enthralling!! Had always meant to read this book. Probably one of the best books I have ever "read". A real page turner (I know I was listening to it but you know what I mean). Richard Poe is incredible. I did not want to do anything except listen to this book! It is 25 hrs but worth every minute. The story is hopeful and touchng, tragic and sad. NOBODY writes like Steinbeck...

Author Details

Author Details

Steinbeck, John

John Ernst Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, on February 27, 1902 of German and Irish ancestry. His father, John Steinbeck, Sr., served as the County Treasurer while his mother, Olive (Hamilton) Steinbeck, a former school teacher, fostered Steinbeck's love of reading and the written word. During summers he worked as a hired hand on nearby ranches, nourishing his impression of the California countryside and its people.

After graduating from Salinas High School in 1919, Steinbeck attended Stanford University. Originally an English major, he pursued a program of independent study and his attendance was sporadic. During this time he worked periodically at various jobs and left Stanford permanently in 1925 to pursue his writing career in New York. However, he was unsuccessful in getting any of his writing published and finally returned to California.

His first novel, Cup of Gold was published in 1929, but attracted little attention. His two subsequent novels, The Pastures of Heaven and To a God Unknown, were also poorly received by the literary world.

Steinbeck married his first wife, Carol Henning in 1930. They lived in Pacific Grove where much of the material for Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row was gathered. Tortilla Flat (1935) marked the turning point in Steinbeck's literary career. It received the California Commonwealth Club's Gold Medal for best novel by a California author. Steinbeck continued writing, relying upon extensive research and his personal observation of the human condition for his stories. The Grapes of Wrath (1939) won the Pulitzer Prize.

During World War II, Steinbeck was a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune. Some of his dispatches were later collected and made into Once There Was a War.

John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 “...for his realistic as well as imaginative writings, distinguished by a sympathetic humor and a keen social perception.”

Throughout his life John Steinbeck remained a private person who shunned publicity. He died December 20, 1968, in New York City and is survived by his third wife, Elaine (Scott) Steinbeck and one son, Thomas. His ashes were placed in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Salinas.