The next book I’ve chosen is The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck. It’s the story of the Joad’s familys’ migration to California and all the trouble they find when they get there but in between that story there is also a running theme of people in poverty and distress and how they behave. When I put it like that it sounds really boring but it’s actually incredibly moving and I personally prefer those bits to the story of the Joad family. He writes in what I call ‘big’ language, using an epic sweep and grand emotions with a huge setting but he still creates intimacy. It’s an immensely political book and it’s obvious that Steinbeck is left wing but he manages not to preach, merely to convey. The story of a bunch of obvious underdogs going through a hell on earth in the heart of sunny California is a tremendously powerful rebuke on those who don’t know and don’t care about other people’s suffering, and shows the darkness that lies at the heart of The American Dream.