This stunningly American novel offers a crystal image of the eccentric soul of the modern world's central nation. The ruggedness of it all, the hardness of the characters and the hardness of their world could not be more aptly encapsulated than it is in Steinbeck's magnum opus, which brings to the foreground the defining and forgotten characteristics of the American world, a world that is not, after all, beyond mystery.

The berating of the one-eyed man, the role of the men's stubborn rage in the face of catastrophe, and the drivers' blase attempts to steer over all living things which dare cross the threshhold of the headlights are carefully rendered images that will color forever my knowledge of the American soul, its obsession with strength, and the wrath that that obsession necessitates.