To A God Unknown by John SteinbeckTo A God Unknown by John Steinbeck

To A God Unknown

byJohn SteinbeckIntroduction byRobert Demott

Paperback | August 1, 1995

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Ancient pagan beliefs, the great Greek epics, and the Bible all inform this extraordinary novel by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck, which occupied him for more than five difficult years. 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, frightened by Joseph’s pagan belief, kills the tree, allowing disease and famine to descend 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, ultimately, to understand the ways of God and the forces of the unconscious within. This edition features an introduction and notes by Steinbeck scholar Robert DeMott.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
John Steinbeck, born in Salinas, California, in 1902, grew up in a fertile agricultural valley, about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast. Both the valley and the coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses un...
Title:To A God UnknownFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 7.7 × 5 × 0.38 inPublished:August 1, 1995Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140187510

ISBN - 13:9780140187519

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from A must read for nature lovers! This book was so rich in detail that each sentence felt like a warm chocolate brownie in your mouth. However, this small book did not make for quite the "quick read" that I had intended. Steinbeck LOVES nature and I was taken right back to Grapes of Wrath where the settings was essentially a character as well. His description is so intricately detailed, and I'm not one for much nature detail (Wuthering Heights almost killed me lol) so if I had chosen to read this book for the nature, yes, it's incredible, but I was not in the appreciative frame of mind for trees, rivers, mountains and the meaning of life. I wish i could have taken the time to do a literary analysis between characters, nature and plot points because he lays out these metaphors and similes so clearly! This reminded me of a high school comparative novel.
Date published: 2016-11-29

From Our Editors

After toiling for more than five years, John Steinbeck's hard work finally paid off with the publication of To a God Unknown in 1933. This ambitious second novel from the Nobel Prize-winning author is flavoured with ancient pagan beliefs, great Greek epics and the Bible. Cleverly crafted, it tells the extraordinary story of a California farmer who comes to believe that a tree on his land embodies his father's spirit. When the farmer's spooked brother kills the tree, he sets in motion a series of tragic events in this mystical tale.