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'This book is brutal. I wanted to be merely a recording consciousness,' Steinbeck said of In Dubious Battle, which aroused immense controversy when first published in 1936. It follows the fortunes of Jim Nolan, disenfranchised and alone, his family destroyed by the system. Desperate to find his place in the world, Jim joins the Communist Party and becomes entangled in a strike of migrant workers which spirals out of control, unflinchingly detailing the apocalyptic violence that breaks out when the masses become the mob. This fast-paced, compelling novel is at once a brilliant observation of social and political turmoil and a moving story of a young man's struggle for identity. In Dubious Battle explores and dramatises many of the ideas and themes key to Steinbeck's writing.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780141186023
ISBN-10: 014118602X
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 17mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Penguin Classics
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 18-Jan-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


US Kirkus Review » A far cry from Tortilla Flat, with none of the originality and sardonic humor of that delightful book. But this qualifies for recognition on the score of being much-better-than-average proletarian novel (of which there are chiefly below average books). The setting is a fruit growing district in California - the story revolves around the deliberate and almost fanatical machinations of red agents to foment discontent and to organize strikes. It is extraordinary how Steinbeck succeeds in swinging the sympathy with the agent and his young apprentice, in building understanding of the methods employed, of showing how the side of convention twists and distorts facts and creates false evidence, establishing disturbance where there was simply quiet and grim determination. Almost one grows to accept the inevitability of eliminating the human equation. A book for those interested in Left Wing literature - and those concerned with new trends. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - John Steinbeck

Nobel-Prize winning author John Steinbeck is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. His complete works will be available in Penguin Modern Classics

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