Book review: Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck


Tortilla FlatTortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the story of some paisanos living in a hillside above the city of Monterey, California.

The plot describes Danny’s life and his friends. Once Danny inherits two houses, he invites his friends to share one of his houses and their friendship will remind us about the famous Camelot’s tale.

According to the author: A paisano “is a mixture of Spanish, Indian, Mexican, and assorted Caucasian bloods. His ancestors have lived in California for a hundred or two years. He speaks English with a paisano accent and Spanish with a paisano accent. When questioned concerning his race, he indignantly claims pure Spanish blood and rolls up his sleeve to show that the soft inside of his arm is nearly white. His color, like that of well-browned meerschaum pipe, he ascribes to sunburn. He is a paisano, and he lives in the uphill district above the town of Monterey called Tortilla Flat, although it isn’t a flat at all.”

Page 10:
“Here we sit, homeless. We gave our lives for our country, and now we have no roof over our head.”

Page 23:
“If two generous paths branch from the high road of life and only now can be followed, who is the judge which is best?”

A movie was made based on this book: Tortilla Flat (1942), directed by Victor Fleming, with Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr, John Garfield.

5* The Grapes of Wrath
3* The Pearl
4* Tortilla Flat
TBR In Dubious Battle
TBR Canery Row
TBR Travels with Charley
TBR Sweet Thursday
TBR The Wayward Bus
TBR East of Eden
TBR The Moon is Down
TBR Of Mice and Men

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