East of Eden

It’s been a long time since I finished a novel and felt as satisfied as I recently did after reading John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. Among the things I liked about it are the one-liners that stop you in your tracks. For example:

“An unbelieved truth can hurt a man much more than a lie. It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There’s a punishment for it, and it’s usually crucifixion.” (p. 262)

“No story has power, nor will it last, unless we feel in ourselves that it is true and true of us.” (p. 266)

“The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears. I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt – and there is the story of mankind. I think that if rejection could be amputated, the human would not be what he is. Maybe there would be fewer crazy people. I am sure in myself there would not be many jails.” (p. 268)

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