Saturday, December 19, 2015

Review of The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Long before there were salt of the earth people getting instantly rich off the lottery only to curse the windfall they had received, there was a tiny little nugget of a novel called The Pearl. The novel was published by John Steinbeck in 1947. True originality in the novel is lacking because it is based on a folktale from Mexico.

The Pearl has been influential on popular singers. Below are a number of songs based on--or influenced by--The Pearl.

"Angry"                 Matchbox 20         Mad Season 2000
"Colored People"                 dc talk         Intermissions 2000
"Colors of the Wind"                 Vanessa Williams Pocahontas 1995
"Half-Breed"                 Cher                 If I Could Turn Back Time 1999
"How Can I Keep from Singing" Eva Cassidy         Eva by Heart 1998
"I am Woman"                 Helen Reddy         Helen Reddy's Greatest Hits 1987
"I Got a Name"                 Jim Croce Photographs and Memories 1985
"I Write the Songs"                 Barry Manilow Greatest Hits 1978
"The Pearl"                 Fleming and John
"Reach"                 Gloria Estefan         Destiny 1996
"Songs"                 Joan Armatrading What's Inside 1995
"Sunshine on My Shoulders"         John Denver         Behind the Music 2000
"To Have and Not to Hold"         Madonna         Ray of Light 1998
"The Pearl"                 Joshua Kadison Delilah Blue 1995
"Seek Up"                 Dave Matthews Live At Red Rocks 1995

Pros: If you want to read an artistically written book, bursting with fine prose, then is the novel for you. It is also on the shorter side and could be called a novella.

Cons: The characters of The Pearl are monotone and the dialog is lacking. In actuality, there is little dialog at all. I also found the plot rather simplistic and as mentioned above, lacking in true originality.

Rating: 6 out of 10 stars.

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