Almost a throwback read back to my adolescent days, John Steinbeck was amongst those authors I read prematurely at 15 without necessarily understanding much beyond the actual story taking place at the surface. The Grapes of Wrath this time around was a pleasure to (re-)read then.
Steinbeck intermingles character-based parts and atmosphere, stream-of-consciousness type ones. He tells the story of the Joad family making its way from Oklahoma to California, but he really showcases the Okies life on the road, their misery, suffering, treatment and intra-group solidarity or lack thereof. His writing is part of its time, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, to an extent which makes it almost surprising that the book still carries as much weight with readers today (well: me).
Pure pleasure reading, if almost tragically tainted by Steinbeck's (in hindsight) naive belief (or references to in any case) in some kind of a left-wing (union, socialist even?) organization of the economy, the workers leading to an amelioration of their life conditions.