Wednesday, September 23, 2009
In Which Mom Is Interviewed about Tortilla Flat
To catch up, this interview is part of Me? Read That?! An ongoing mother-daughter challenge where we dare each other to read books. (I pick what she reads; she picks what I read.) This interview is part of the second round. I am asking the questions, mom is answering. The book in question is Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck. You can read my review of Tortilla Flat that I wrote back in March.
So you've read John Steinbeck before, so you had some idea of what to expect. How do you think Tortilla Flat compares with the other novels you've read by him?
It definitely has a humorous tone. Although it deals with poverty--it does it with sarcasm (mild) and humor. Some of his other works (Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl) deal with tragedy.
What do you think is the book's greatest strength? Do you think the book has any major weaknesses?
Strength: Humor, dialogue, characterizations
Weaknesses: more like a series of short stories instead of a continuous plot.
Do you have a favorite character?
The Pirate and his dogs.
What is your favorite "episode" in the book?
The family with all the kids who got digestive troubles when they ate anything except beans.
Do you think the book is in any way intimidating? Did it change the way you think about 'classics' at all? Do you think it would be a good introduction to Steinbeck?
This book was not intimidating. I've learned not to judge one "classic" by another "classic" written by the same author. I think it would probably be a good introduction to Steinbeck but not a complete picture of the talent of this author.
[I just have to add in mom's first response. "This is considered a classic?!" Which I thought was just cute. No one would hesitate to call Grapes of Wrath or Of Mice and Men or East of Eden classics. I honestly don't know if anyone considers Tortilla Flat a classic or not. It's by an author who is typically valued by the literary community though.]
Were you surprised that my second selection was so "easy" compared to Frankenstein? Are you worried that I'll try to "get you" on the third book?
Yes and yes.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews