The flatness of the tone of the narrator makes the homeless criminal winos not lovable for all that, but utterly ridiculous. The structure of the novella is also rather stiff, each chapter can pretty much stand on its own as a story, and each one contains one incident. The work could have been made into a older style film, though I don't know whether it already has been (perhaps it would be time for a remake).
The obviously poor choices made at the beginning of the novel by Danny and his friends makes us so easily quick to judge them while reading. But when we begin to see them make small positive changes, we can't help but reflect back upon ourselves and find a way to relate to each of them. Danny and his friends slowly build upon their shaky moral foundations throughout the novel. It is indicative of the slow progress that we as fallible humans go through, learning from our mistakes and gaining bits of wisdom that translate into a better moral character. Whether or not Danny and his friends had truly changed is left a bit open. The key lesson of the novel is in the goodness of friendship and camaraderie.
There is so much heart in this novel that one can appreciate it without following all the Knights of the Round Table references. No Holy Grail quest here, though, except for friendship. The end is heart-wrenching.
I cannot believe this won anyone an award. If more readers wasted their time reading this rubbish, there wouldn't be a need for awards. A bum inherits two houses and his drunken associates make the Simpsons seem intelligent.
Our evening book discussion described Steinbeck’s novel as fun, whimsical, and a combination of humor plus emotion. While it was apparent by the number of stars given that, overall, people enjoyable the book, it did receive a few mixed reviews. A couple people said they were not into it and described it as not uplifting and surprisingly seemed the opposite. However, the majority who did enjoy the novel liked it because it was about friendships, humorous rogues, the simple life being the best life, “smiles of the hopeless man”, “ultimate anti-heroes” and Steinbeck’s mythology about Paisanos in California. The fact that there was a lot of wine consumed throughout the book was unanimous.
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