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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kirsty on 06-10-15
Thank goodness for Jeff Harding the narrator
I would never have read this book if it hadn't been for my "stalking" of Jeff Harding on Audible
Not my normal genre at all and what a fantastic surprise- made accessible by the narrator
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By uhhuhlex on 02-02-16
An enjoyable listen to one man's world changing
Would you listen to The Winter of our Discontent again? Why?
This was my first real forray into Steinbeck. I realise I perhaps made an odd choice - before beginning I wasn't aware that this was his last novel, and knowing him as a Californian author I was surprised to find it set on the east coast!
The character of Ethan, and other aspects of the novel, reminded me a lot of Willie Loman and Death of a Salesman. The overall subject is the same - how does one man gain and keep respect of his peers and himself in a world where the rules have shifted. If you like Arthur Miller's play, then you will probably enjoy this too.
I found the reader largely engaging, and while the story is relatively slow-paced itself, I didn't feel bogged down at all.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ian C Robertson on 11-05-15
No Son of York
This has been one of my favourite Steinbeck's for a long time, and that is saying something because I love "Of Mice and Men". Alas, this production didn't make me feel good about it and I have come away wondering whether the faith I put in this return to the top tier was well placed. Overall, I think I am more enamored with the story than I was disappointed with the production, so, to borrow from the Bard, "All's Well that End's Well".
Unfortunately this did not start well and I regret to say that it is because Mr Harding's take on Ethan Hawley just didn't gel with my picture of him. He was too slick, more Sienfeld than cynical; more petty than purist. This meant that when it came time to move away from the path of righteousness, the movement was too easy and the rationalisation too trite to make the impact that I think ought to be wrought from a Walter Mitty character that resists his awakening to a cold reality. Put another way, we started in autumn, not summer and the seasons were not different enough.
For all that, I have liked Jeff Harding's readings before (notably, "Matterhorn"), so I guess it is more my personal minds eye that rejects this production's reality, so perhaps don't judge this book by it's reviewer and judge for yourself. It is, as a story, one of Steinbek's very best in my opinion. It has a wit the earlier novels do not have, a modern outlook that is easier for us to relate to than say the depression years, but the same level of moral exactness that I love, where his hero is just a person, neither perfect no evil, but just doing their best. It would be a pity to miss out on that because I was wrong about the way I heard it in my head. For that I have given it three stars, but if I was as honest as Etan ultimately might be, then this is a two.