And then there are the novels that shake you up. I found this one to be intense and harrowing as we follow the Joad family fleeing the ravages of the Dustbowl and Depression from Oklahoma to California, all told in vivid lyrical prose. Call it a dystopia if you like, the story hit me hard as I had one set of grandparents and great-grandparents who lived it, and it helped me to understand a great deal about them. There are also echoes of today's treatment of the poor and the marginalized workers in modern times, and it wouldn't be that hard to translate it to the here and now what with Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy and massive forclosures along with con-men and rapacious corporations. All in all, this one gets five stars from me, and a hearty recommendation. It's not easy to read, but it is worth it.
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