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Vort mismods vinter (1961)

af John Steinbeck

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
5,353991,936 (3.95)1 / 299
Ethan Hawley, a descendant of proud New England sea captains, works as a clerk in the grocery store owned by an Italian immigrant. His wife is restless, his teenaged children are troubled and discontented, hungry for the tantalizing material comforts he cannot provide. Then one day, in a moment of moral crisis, Ethan decides to take a holiday from his own scrupulous standards.… (mere)
Nyligt tilføjet afMelAnnP, Kyle1223, SantiagoM, beththorpe, privat bibliotek, eremozdemir, CravingCozy, toddste, nicosilver
Efterladte bibliotekerHannah Arendt, Carl Sandburg
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Endiselt täiesti briljantne. Ja ikka veel leian ma sealt asju, mida pole varem näinud ... või märganud :) ( )
  sashery | Jan 29, 2024 |
John Steinbeck’s novels are pure class in writing style and construction of people, images and worlds. Yet they are all eerily familiar, even fifty years later. People are still lying and doing the dodgy on each other. Everyone wants more money, a better job and some time away from the kids. The Winter of Our Discontent is a timeless tale about money, greed and trying to be honest when everyone else is getting ahead by being deceitful.

Initially the reader is introduced to Ethan Allen Hawley, the protagonist, in the third person. After a couple of chapters, the story is told from Ethan in the first person. This unusual style repeats itself in part two of the novel. Normally that would annoy me but in this novel, it just works. We get the bigger, unbiased picture of a small town past its glory days, before honing in on perhaps the last honest man in town. Ethan is from a whaling family, whose fortunes started to turn when their boat burned in suspicious circumstances. He still has the big house, but he lost the store he owned after World War II. Now he works in that grocery store for an Italian owner, and his family don’t have a car or television. His wife feels their poverty but doesn’t really let on. Ethan’s children however feel the lack of material wealth and let his know it. Ethan is at heart an honest man, but he feels pushed to try to turn things around. He sets off a chain of events that will change things for him and the town and are all morally shades of grey. These include a quick call to immigration and giving his former best friend, now a drunk, a lot of money for a deal that cut out the dishonest, rich people in town. Ethan even plans a robbery on the bank but is thwarted at the last minute. It’s fascinating to think whether he was just after the money, or revenge on the bank manager whose family may have destroyed the Hawley’s ship and is part of the dishonesty amongst the town’s elite.

Despite setting these events in motion, Ethan does his darndest to remain honest. He knocks back advances to undercut his boss and sleep with his wife’s friend. He struggles with what the line to cross is for dishonesty, and what is required to keep his family happy and content. And how is it different or worse to what others are doing? And what would have happened anyway? What breaks Ethan is when his son benefits from his own dishonesty but states to his father that it doesn’t matter because everybody does it.

The novel is an interesting commentary on the level of deceit people are willing to partake in and how much leaves them still comfortable with their conscience. For Ethan, it’s not that much and for his boss, it makes him tired of running. Yet others seem to have no limit to what they will do to get ahead and stay ahead of the pack. Some are willing to call it out or at least make suggestions that they know what’s going on. Others are happy to let ethics slide if it doesn’t bother them. It’s quite different to Steinbeck’s earlier novels but it still packs a punch today, raising questions of duty to others and most of all, self.

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | Sep 30, 2023 |
This reads like a great screenplay to me. While main character is male, I see great potential for female actors here. ( )
  rebwaring | Aug 14, 2023 |
This, I think, was much more deep and metaphoric than I realized when I read it. ( )
  mykl-s | Aug 13, 2023 |
What an incredible novel, could not recommend more highly. Read over the course of almost this entire year. I think I read this at the right time in my life but I’m not sure why.

Steinbeck has such amazing dialogue that I believe could stand on its own. I’d be very interested in seeing a version of the book with only the dialogue and how that reads…

I’m also blown away by how different this book is compared to others from the same relative time period and context… Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, American Pastoral, etc. This one is timeless ( )
  Melman38 | Apr 12, 2023 |
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Readers seeking to identify the fictional people and places here described would do better to inspect their own communities and search their own hearts, for this book is about a large part of America today.
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Ethan Hawley, a descendant of proud New England sea captains, works as a clerk in the grocery store owned by an Italian immigrant. His wife is restless, his teenaged children are troubled and discontented, hungry for the tantalizing material comforts he cannot provide. Then one day, in a moment of moral crisis, Ethan decides to take a holiday from his own scrupulous standards.

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