Reread this book in preparation for English class. I'm glad to get reacquainted with it, though the story is just as bleak as I remember. I kept thinking how this book, with its socialist themes and villainization of capitalist interests, is the perfect foil to Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Both books paint dire pictures of America, with plenty of declamatory passages of their moral principles. Steinbeck, however, is a much better writer than Rand. I read with the audiobook version of Grapes, performed by Dylan Baker, and he did an absolutely fantastic job. He nails Henry Fonda's Tom Joad vocal inflection.
I'm going to have to read some fun, escapist, genre fiction in order to wash the gloom from my brain.