Overbooked met this month to discuss the John Steinbeck novella The Pearl, a parable based on a Mexican folktale revolving around Kino, a poor fisherman, whose discovery of a large pearl soon puts him and his family in danger as the greed and evil of those around him covet his priceless find.
Amongst some of the biggest critiques of the novella were passages that some members felt as too detailed and unnecessary given the novel’s relatively short 112 page count. Others, however, remarked the opposite and relished the use of Steinbeck’s evocative imagery to illustrate key themes throughout the story. Some members also felt that the writing was much too simplistic given the literary prestige of the author yet other members sighted this as a highlight. Too often “classic literature” is perceived as too high-brow or not for “the common man” and some members appreciated the approachability of Steinbeck’s “simple writing” and making it more accessible to the everyday reader, but without diminishing the effectiveness of his writing.
In the end, the novella received a favorable 3.2 out of 5 stars average rating from members.