‘In the town they tell the story of the great pearl – how it was found and how it was lost again. They tell of Kino, the fisherman, and of his wife, Juana, and of the baby, Coyotito. And because the story has been told so often, it has taken root in every man’s mind.’
The Pearl is Steinbeck’s heartbreaking short parable about wealth and the darkness and evil it can instill in even the most generous of men’s hearts.
I gave this book two stars out of five on Goodreads.
I must admit I have only ever read one other Steinbeck book, Of Mice and Men and I truly loved it. I read it in a day and reread it the next if I remember correctly. So when I read a short story by Jeffrey Archer with Steinbeck in, I thought I would read another of his books. The Pearl was the only one I owned that I knew for certain where it was (sadly most of my books are still in boxes from moving).
I started reading The Pearl with high hopes but sadly I just couldn’t get into it. The size of the book is tiny, a mere 120 pages in my edition, so I should of easily read it in a day but because I couldn’t settle with it, I read it in small chunks.
It starts off with Kino and his wife and child. Kino is a pearl diver and lives in terrible poverty but he is happy. He lives his wife and child and getting up to see the sunrise and happily sits and makes a fuss of a stray dog who is his friend. However, when Kino finds a huge pearl, so big that it gets called ‘the pearl of the world’ he gets obsessed with what this pearl could mean for him and his family and his character starts to change. The first sign in my opinion is Kino ignoring the stray dog and not being kind to it.
The pearl only brings out the worst in people, including Kino and Juana his wife, can see this but is helpless to what is happening.
I enjoyed how music was constantly referenced in this book. The fact that Kino could hear a family tune, a tune for the pearl and an evil tune was really fascinating and basically for me the best part of the book. Hence the two stars instead of one.
The book obviously has a massive moral about greed and how it effects different people but it was just all a bit too much for me and far to predictable. I worked out the ending very quickly.
All in all a disappointment but I will not give up on Steinbeck and will try another of his works in the future.