Danny is a paisano, descended from the Spanish settlers who arrived in California centuries before. Danny is quick to offer shelter to his fellow gentlemen when he suddenly inherits two houses. They are drawn into many daring adventures, until Danny, tiring of his new responsibilites, disappears.
Streetwise George and his childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California. They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day they'll find a place of their own and live the American dream. But do dreams come at a price!
Set in the rich farmland of the Salinas Valley, California, this often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations hopelessly re-enact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.
In the din and stink that is Cannery Row, a colourful blend of misfits - gamblers, whores, drunks, bums, and artists - survive in a jumble of adventure and mischief.
Kino is a Mexican pearl fisher in the Gulf of California. When he and his wife, Juana, have a baby, their joy is complete ... until the infant is bitten by a scorpion. Kino finds a great pearl worth a fortune, but it brings only tragedy and evil to his family.
Returning to the scene of "Cannery Row" - the weedy lots, junk heaps and flop houses of Monterey - Steinbeck brings to life in "Sweet Thursday" the denizens of a netherworld of laughter and tears. He again explores the common bounds of humanity and love which make goodness and happiness possible.
Jody Tiflin has the urge for rebellion, but he also wants to be loved. First, he is given a red pony, and is later promised the colt of a bay mare. Yet both gifts bring tragedy as well as joy, and Jody is taught not only about the harsh lessons of life, but also about the fallability of adults.
Set against the background of dust bowl Oklahoma and Californian life, this title tells the story of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel west in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and broken dreams.
In his exploration of the tensions in rural life between town and country, labourers and owners, Steinbeck gives voice to the lonely and outcast individuals who fall outside the established norms. Included are the two tales, "The Murderer" and "The Chrysanthemums".
One of the finest and most influential social novelists of the twentieth century, Steinbeck remains a best-selling author in the UK. Collected here in this covetable and must-have boxed-set are four of his major works, including the Pulitzer-prize winning The Grapes of Wrath.