To a God Unknown

John Steinbeck Robert DeMott

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To a God Unknown

To a God Unknown While fulfilling his dead father s dream of creating a prosperous farm in California Joseph Wayne comes to believe that a magnificent tree on the farm embodies his father s spirit His brothers and th

  • Title: To a God Unknown
  • Author: John Steinbeck Robert DeMott
  • ISBN: 9780141185507
  • Page: 275
  • Format: Paperback
  • While fulfilling his dead father s dream of creating a prosperous farm in California, Joseph Wayne comes to believe that a magnificent tree on the farm embodies his father s spirit His brothers and their families share in Joseph s prosperity and the farm flourishes until one brother, scared by Joseph s pagan belief, kills the tree and brings disease and famine on the faWhile fulfilling his dead father s dream of creating a prosperous farm in California, Joseph Wayne comes to believe that a magnificent tree on the farm embodies his father s spirit His brothers and their families share in Joseph s prosperity and the farm flourishes until one brother, scared by Joseph s pagan belief, kills the tree and brings disease and famine on the farm Set in familiar Steinbeck country, To a God Unknown is a mystical tale, exploring one man s attempt to control the forces of nature and to understand the ways of God.

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      Posted by:John Steinbeck Robert DeMott
      Published :2018-05-23T15:06:49+00:00

    One thought on “To a God Unknown

    1. Dolors on said:

      Steinbeck’s second novella is more than the sum of words that composes it. On the surface, a story of a young man called Joseph Wayne who leaves his homeland in Vermont to establish his own farm in Our Lady of the Valley, California. Underneath, a parable that is a converging point between pagan rites, Greek myths and the Old Testament, rich with allegorical meaning and thought-provoking interpretations.The lush, fertile valley that Joseph selects to start a family and a cluster of farms with [...]

    2. Kim on said:

      Back in 2012 I embarked on a project of reading my way through the works of John Steinbeck. Looking back on it, I should have developed a bit more of a plan: reading the novels in chronological order probably would have appealed to my Virgo tendencies. As it is, I started with Cannery Row, moved on to The Grapes of Wrath and then just read whatever came my way. Having finished To a God Unknown, I now only have one more novel– Steinbeck’s first, Cup of Gold – and a couple of volumes of non- [...]

    3. Susana on said:

      (review in English below)Uau!4 estrelas e meia!Nem sei bem que diga, fiquei um bocado abananada por esta história, duma intensidade que parece atravessar décadas e continentes, transmitida através duma escrita superior, incisiva e sem floreados, mas com uma sensibilidade que me surpreendeu.A história é excelente, tal como os personagens e as descrições dos ambientes; é perceptível que o autor conheceu aqueles locais, mas ilustrá-los desta forma não é para qualquer um.Foi o meu primei [...]

    4. Suzy on said:

      Continuing in my quest to read all of SteinbeckWow, this book affected me more than any other book in a long while. First, Steinbeck's writing is pure beauty. Sometimes I stop and savor each sentence, particularly in descriptive passages, and the perfection with which he writes is unbelievable.Like the protagonist, Joseph, I love and feel connected to nature in a deep and a strong way. I also have a strong sense of the sacred that permeates my everyday experiences; Joseph seems always distracted [...]

    5. qwerty on said:

      Μια από τις καλύτερες εκδόσεις που συνάντησα ποτέ και μια άψογη μετάφραση του Κοσμά Πολίτη. Ένα συλλεκτικό παλαιό βιβλίο που πραγματικά αξίζει να το έχει κανείς στη βιβλιοθήκη του. Πολύ ωραία η εισαγωγή του Αντώνη Σαμαράκη και τα σκίτσα στην αρχή του κάθε κεφαλαίου δίνουν [...]

    6. Jolene on said:

      "I do not know whether there are men born outside humanity, or whether some men are so human as to make others seem unreal. Perhaps a godling lives on earth now and thenI tell you this man is not a man, unless he is all men."4.5 stars. This book has so much symbolism and layers of meaning that I will probably read it again to try to absorb everything. I can't believe this was one of the first books Steinbeck wrote; it seems like something written at the end of a writer's career. It is rich and p [...]

    7. Darwin8u on said:

      “Everything seems to work with a recurring rhythm except life. There is only one birth and only one death. Nothing else is like that.” ― John Steinbeck, To a God UnknownAn early Steinbeck filled with amazing biblical, pagan, and Greek images. The novel sketches the relationship between Joseph and his efforts homesteading out West with his family. It is a story of four brothers who move from the East (Vermont) to the West (California) to work the land and raise cattle. Joseph Wayne isn't th [...]

    8. Célia Loureiro on said:

      IN ENG“To a God Unknown” is my first read by Steinbeck. I owned an old edition of “The Grapes of Wrath”, but I remember start reading it and being loss in so much description. Description is, precisely, what worked so well in this book, in my opinion. The title is marvel, and the book revolves aroud its symbology with admirable grace. The script is rather simple: land in the West Coast is being given away and Joseph Wayne, who always dreamt of possessing something of his own, says goodby [...]

    9. Joyce Lagow on said:

      Steinbeck wrote a number of California novels. The early ones feature lyrical descriptive prose of the land, whether of the Salinas Valley or the Pacific Coast. Clearly Steinbeck loved the area, had a real passion for the valleys, the vegetation, the animals and the people who lived there. But while almost all of his other California novels that focused on the land and the people who lived on it were gently affectionate, To A God Unknown is a very different bird. The title is taken from an adapt [...]

    10. André on said:

      Pensei que me fosse mais fácil escrever sobre este livro, mas talvez noutra altura. Por enquanto quero só dizer que foi uma experiência bastante enriquecedora e que tenciono, quando tiver mais disponibilidade, ler outras obras do autor. Muito, muito recomendado.

    11. Meghan on said:

      I opened this book for the first time - one of the few Steinbeck novels I had not yet read - shortly after completing my own first attempt at writing a novel. The little book is one of Steinbeck's earliest published works and, interestingly enough, the one that took him the longest to complete. It was in this context that I found the book most provoking: myself an aspiring writer, it was interesting to witness part of the development of one of my favorite novelists. Although not yet as strong an [...]

    12. Michael on said:

      An odd, often clumsy, but also fearless book. To a God Unknown is John Steinbeck's second novel, following a historical romance. I would not have guessed, in reading its first half, that I would end up giving it a 4-star rating, but its insistence on its unusual pantheistic themes, coupled with Steinbeck's tremendous evocation of the interior, unsung part of the California landscape's beauties and terrors, combined for powerful effect. The reader must be prepared for unrealistic dialogue -- Stei [...]

    13. Mike Frost on said:

      Although it runs only 240 pages (compare that to East of Eden at 601 pages), To a God Unknown was the project which took Steinbeck the longest to complete. It was only his second full-length novel, and he worked on it over a period of five years, nearly scrapping it on more than one occasion. And despite all of his revisions and efforts he just did not succeed in making it a great piece of literature.Now don't get me wrong -- it is still in an entirely different league than the pulpy kind of gar [...]

    14. Luís Miguel on said:

      Desconhecido, mas não irreconhecível. O segundo romance de Steinbeck tem os seus aspectos mais crus, mas a constante tensão que irradia demonstra arte. A própria sinopse é reveladora de desgraça: Joseph obtém a benção do pai para se mudar para um vale na Califórnia onde, após a morte do patriarca, desloca os seus três irmãos. No novo rancho da família, Joseph acredita que o espírito do pai continua vivo, através de uma árvore. Contrariado pela visão pagã de Joseph, o irmão Bu [...]

    15. Reza Mardani on said:

      کارای اشتاین بک موضوع های جالب و خاصی داره، فقط تنها مشکل من باهاش توصیف های زیاد از حدشه، این کتاب اگر جای ۳۰۰ صفحه، ۱۰۰ صفحه بود بی نظیر میشد.

    16. Jorge Cienfuegos on said:

      Tiene todos los elementos que luego van a marcar la obra de Steinbeck: la importancia de la tierra, sequías, familias humildes luchando por salir adelante, migraciones, el oeste, misticismo y mucha simbología bíblica. La parte final me ha parecido un poco árida, y en general toda la novela se centra más en transmitir la idea y abandona un poco a los personajes, que están lejos de ser tan entrañables como otras familias steinbeckianas. Aun así, la he disfrutado mucho, y es interesante com [...]

    17. Simona Bartolotta on said:

      "Vi dico che quell'uomo non è un uomo, a meno che non sia tutti gli uomini in uno. La forza, la resistenza, il lungo e incespicante pensiero di tutti gli uomini e anche tutta la gioia e tutta la sofferenza che in essi si cancellano a vicenda senza uscirne. E' tutto questo, è il ricettacolo di almeno un frammento d'ogni anima umana, e più ancora è un simbolo dell'anima della terra."John Steinbeck è senza pari. Gli scrittori come lui sono pochi, i narratori come lui si contano sulla punta del [...]

    18. Po Po on said:

      Ehh.The things I liked were: (1)the breathtaking, awe-inspiring descriptions of nature(2) the (sometimes heavy-handed) symbolismd (3) the well-rounded portrayal of women as sexual beings yet with boundless strength and intelligence.The things I didn't like: (1) the hero Joseph Wayne made choices that consistently made me want to discontinue reading(2) the glorification of emotional unavailability / stoicism, as if it were an ideal character trait (is it really ideal? This trait was unquestionabl [...]

    19. Адриана К. on said:

      Животът не може да бъде прекъснат лесно. Човек не умира, докато нещата, променени от него, са живи. Следите, оставени от него, са единственото доказателство, че е живял. Докато съществува и най-малкият спомен, човек не може да бъде забравен, да умре.

    20. Yana on said:

      Книгата на Джон Стайнбек „To a God unknown“ (Към един незнаен бог) беше втората книга прочетена по препоръка на приятел. И втората книга на Стайнбек, която въобще чета.Първата ми среща с автора беше чрез „За мишките и хората“, която ме остави с доста постни впечатления и въобще не [...]

    21. B. on said:

      One of Steinbeck's early novellas, it is eerie, neo-paganistic, and sublime. The brother who is murdered was actually based on a real literary figureJoseph Campbell. The two ran with the same literary crowd in the 40s and Campbell had an affair of the heart with Steinbeck's wife. Steinbeck handled the affair with grace and tact in reality, but poured out some righteous anger in To a God Unknown. Awesome stuff.

    22. Andrea on said:

      I really want to give To a God Unknown more that three stars, because it's more than an average kind of novel. I wouldn't call it boring in places, but rather "trying". It requires patience and a blind belief from the reader that in the end this slow, seemingly pointless plot will pay off. And that's a lot to ask from a reader. I do trust John Steinbeck, so I stuck around until the end. I'm glad I did. There is nothing shocking or impactful that happens in the finale, but after turning the last [...]

    23. Megan Baxter on said:

      I feel like I start a lot of reviews these days by explaining how and why I picked a particular book up, and I'm not sure it's useful to anyone else, but it's certainly useful to me. I like to be able to trace back where each book came from. So, in that vein, this book came as part of an experiment I've been doing with the database NoveList, which I like for a lot of reasons. To be precise, I'm taking books I've really loved from previous years and looking at their "read-alike" recommendations.N [...]

    24. Andrew Liptak on said:

      One of the latest books that I’ve read recently is John Steinbeck’s To A God Unknown, his second novel, and a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. The story, which looks to the Bible, ancient myths, paganism and several other influences, weaves together a story about belief and faith, mixing reality and fantasy in what I would really call a speculative fiction novel.Set in the 1800s, the book follows the story of the Joseph Wayne, a Vermonter, who yearns to go out west, and receiving [...]

    25. piperitapitta on said:

      Sicuramente Steinbeck conosceva bene la Bibbia, molto meglio di me che pure vado a Messa tutte le domeniche.La sua produzione o perlomeno quello che io ho letto della sua produzione letteraria, sin qui cinque opere, ne �� pervasa; che si tratti dell'esodo dei contadini di Furore che partono in massa verso la terra di latte e miele, o degli abitanti della verde vallata de I pascoli del cielo ai quali "il Signore li conduce", o dell'altare di Al Dio sconosciuto e del suo intrinseco richiamo a [...]

    26. Chris on said:

      In To a God Unknown, Steinbeck uses allegory to explicitly advance the philosophy of Nietzsche's Übermensch.Steinbeck:After meeting an old man "over the range" and witnessing the sunset sacrifice of a pig at his hands, Joseph asks: "Why do you do this?" After the two engage a back-and-forth dialogue, the old man hits his point: "I do it for myself. I can't tell that it does not help the sun. But it is for me. In the moment, I am the sun. Do you see? I, through the beast, am the sun. I burn in t [...]

    27. Hosanna on said:

      Its ambiguity, a novel written in ode to an unknown god, is what originally drew me to the book. Seeing that Steinbeck's latter works tended to be pretty biographical, I got the book, curious to see whether it gave any insight into how Steinbeck viewed religion or his faith. It was surprising to realize that the book is not so much intended to be a coherent story that spawns reader admiration, but rather, as Steinbeck himself put it, a complex mesh of his ideas and musings about life, death, and [...]

    28. Ryan on said:

      I can always count on a Steinbeck to break the streak of crappy, 2-star reads. I love how I can always return to him, with a book I’ve never really heard of, and immediately fall back in step with his style, his worldview, and completely love his message. Apparently this is his second book, and you can clearly see how he’s building up to his greater works, laying the foundation for themes to be developed throughout the course of his writing career. Though clearly in his second tier under Gra [...]

    29. Ginny_1807 on said:

      L’evocazione di temi biblici, spesso contaminata da una religiosità pagana misteriosa e quasi magica, caratterizza molta parte della narrativa di Steinbeck, sia per le vicende che tratta, sia per le caratteristiche che imprime ai luoghi e ai personaggi. In particolare, il paesaggio naturale si carica di significati inquietanti, di presagi propizi o infausti, scandendo e talora determinando il decorso degli eventi e le sorti delle persone; alcuni protagonisti dei suoi romanzi, poi, possiedono [...]

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