The Grapes of Wrath

Version: Unabridged
Author: John Steinbeck
Narrator: Dylan Baker
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Literature, Classics
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Published In: June 2011
# of Units: 17 CDs
Length: 16 hours, 39 minutes
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John Steinbeck's powerful evocation of the suffering and hardship caused by the Great Depression, and a panoramic vision of the struggle for the American Dream, "The Grapes of Wrath" includes a critical introduction by Robert DeMott in Penguin Modern Classics. 'I've done my damndest to rip a reader's nerves to rags, I don't want him satisfied.' Shocking and controversial when it was first published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning epic "The Grapes of Wrath" remains his undisputed masterpiece. Set against the background of Dust Bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of Tom Joad and his family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel west in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and broken dreams, yet out of their suffering Steinbeck created a drama that is intensely human, yet majestic in its scale and moral vision. Adapted into a celebrated film directed by John Ford, and starring Henry Fonda, "The Grapes of Wrath" is an eloquent tribute to the endurance and dignity of the human spirit. 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, with his collected dispatches published as "Once There Was a War" (1958); in 1945 he was awarded the Norwegian Cross of Freedom for his novel "The Moon is Down" (1942), a portrayal 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 liked "The Grapes of Wrath", you might enjoy "East of Eden", also available in "Penguin Classics". "A novelist who is also a true poet". ("Sunday Times").

Reviews (13)


Written by Anonymous on December 16th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Great story. Outstanding narration. 4 stars only because I struggled with the profanity.

Good book

Written by Anonymous on September 14th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This was on my high school reading list and I never got around to reading it. I was a good read.


Written by David C. on April 6th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A very meaningful classic that is ageless in the lessons the book conveys. The narrator did a fantastic job.

Written by Anonymous on April 25th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

So grateful for the audiobook of the Grapes of Wrath. Really enjoyed the reader. Excellent book. I do have to agree with other reviewers about the harmonica between chapters. Jarring.

Written by Karin S on October 17th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A must listen! This narrator was terrific. And John Steinbeck is a truly great story teller. . Sadly, this story could be of the present in so many ways.

Written by Louis V on September 29th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Great classic! Dylan Baker is the best narrator that I know

Written by Anthony Caruso on July 20th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great story and narration, but the loud harmonica music between chapters was really jarring.

Written by Phil Grey on May 23rd, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Narrator - outstanding. The story - equally outstanding. Though things HAVE changed for the better over the years, a classic like this provides the reader a perspective and appreciation for what most of us have and enjoy today, at least in comparison to the U.S. citizens in this story who bravely headed west for a better life. The book and the narrator - highly recommended!

Written by Thomas Little on May 10th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Very interesting compelling story of the struggles of a family collectively and individually facing enormous adversity. I feel Stein beck had a little trouble finding a suitable ending.

Written by Janas Durkee on August 16th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A brilliant book, brilliantly read. This is a must read/ listen. Topical. Much better than the movie version!

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.