The Grapes of Wrath

Version: Abridged
Author: Frank Galati , John Steinbeck
Narrator: Jeffrey Donovan , Shirley Knight , Robert Pescovitz , Rod McLachlan , Francis Guinan , Emily Bergl
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Literature, Audio Theatre, Drama, Classics
Publisher: LA Theatre Works
Published In: January 2002
# of Units: 2 CDs
Length: 2 hours
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Presented in collaboration with the California Council for the Humanities and the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University. The Grapes of Wrath tells the powerful story of the Joad family's trek from the dust bowl of Oklahoma to the fertile but futile fields of California in the early 1930s. Driven by the live rhythms of the Joel Rafael Band, this heart-wrenching award- winning adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel finds its timeless heart in the generous spirit of the common man.

Reviews (14)

Abridged Version of Classic

Written by Anonymous on August 1st, 2010

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I didn't check carefully enough and got the abridged version of this American Classic. I was disappointed and wished I'd paid more attention. For an abridged version, it wasn't bad.

Grapes of Wrath

Written by Anonymous on May 13th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 1/5

This is a play not a book. I wanted the book read to me. If I had wanted music I would have put the radio on.

Not the Book!!!

Written by MichelleNishi on April 5th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 1/5

This is NOT the book, this is a two hour "play". I was hoping to listen to the BOOK.

Theatrical presentation

Written by Peggy Stortz on February 22nd, 2010

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Renters should be forewarned that this audiobook is just pieces of Steinbeck's landmark book read by actors before an audience. It was entertaining, but I'd prefer the unabridged book.

The Grapes of Wrath

Written by wlh2040 from Miami, FL on February 3rd, 2010

  • Book Rating: 1/5

The narrator was very good on this one. Un-fortunately, I am afraid the fault lies with the author. I know this is meant to be a classic, but for the life of me, I've no idea why. There are plenty of books out that focus on the suffering of humanity during tragic times, and are able to tactfully convey their full meaning without all the vulgarity and crude humor and imagery used here. Just skip this's not worth your time. If you are interested in a very good non-fiction book about the same era, check out The Worst Hard Time (it's available from Simply Audiobooks).

drama adaptation

Written by DF on August 7th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This is a dramatic adaptation of Steinbeck's novel. I was hoping for a reading. That said, the work is well done, and presents the stark horror of the Joad family's story, and the folksy strength and wisdom of the central characters.

Grapes of Wrath

Written by Lilly on March 23rd, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This was a book play! It was short but performed great - you could visualize - some of the story was lost because you couldn't see it. But got the jist of the story

The Grapes of Wrath

Written by Debra Gatto on November 26th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I have forever been a fan of John Steinbeck and this audio presentation was powerful and right on. The actors superbly captured the strengths of this struggling family with all their hopes, dreams and disappointments. I became engrossed in their shattered lives and found it difficult to tear myself away from the story. It is quality material such as this that makes my daily commute enjoyable.

Well done.

Written by Pamela on December 11th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

The production was phenomenal. The actors were amazing. I just didn't like the story and the original music was annoying. I can appreciate the greatness of this classic tale, but I personally don't see what all the fuss is about. It wasn't that powerful to me.

Grapes of Wrath

Written by Molly from Heppner, OR on May 28th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Interesting theater-type audio with multiple characters. Well done and thought inspiring.

Author Details

Author Details

Steinbeck, John

John Ernst Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, on February 27, 1902 of German and Irish ancestry. His father, John Steinbeck, Sr., served as the County Treasurer while his mother, Olive (Hamilton) Steinbeck, a former school teacher, fostered Steinbeck's love of reading and the written word. During summers he worked as a hired hand on nearby ranches, nourishing his impression of the California countryside and its people.

After graduating from Salinas High School in 1919, Steinbeck attended Stanford University. Originally an English major, he pursued a program of independent study and his attendance was sporadic. During this time he worked periodically at various jobs and left Stanford permanently in 1925 to pursue his writing career in New York. However, he was unsuccessful in getting any of his writing published and finally returned to California.

His first novel, Cup of Gold was published in 1929, but attracted little attention. His two subsequent novels, The Pastures of Heaven and To a God Unknown, were also poorly received by the literary world.

Steinbeck married his first wife, Carol Henning in 1930. They lived in Pacific Grove where much of the material for Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row was gathered. Tortilla Flat (1935) marked the turning point in Steinbeck's literary career. It received the California Commonwealth Club's Gold Medal for best novel by a California author. Steinbeck continued writing, relying upon extensive research and his personal observation of the human condition for his stories. The Grapes of Wrath (1939) won the Pulitzer Prize.

During World War II, Steinbeck was a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune. Some of his dispatches were later collected and made into Once There Was a War.

John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 “...for his realistic as well as imaginative writings, distinguished by a sympathetic humor and a keen social perception.”

Throughout his life John Steinbeck remained a private person who shunned publicity. He died December 20, 1968, in New York City and is survived by his third wife, Elaine (Scott) Steinbeck and one son, Thomas. His ashes were placed in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Salinas.