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Publisher's Summary

A Penguin Classic.

First published in 1938, this volume of stories collected with the encouragement of his longtime editor Pascal Covici serves as a wonderful introduction to the work of Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck. Set in the beautiful Salinas Valley of California, where simple people farm the land and struggle to find a place for themselves in the world, these stories reflect Steinbeck’s characteristic interests: The tensions between town and country, laborers and owners, past and present. Included here are the O. Henry Prize-winning story “The Murder”; “The Chrysanthemums,” perhaps Steinbeck’s most challenging story, both personally and artistically; “Flight”, “The Snake, ,“The White Quail”, and the classic tales of “The Red Pony”. With an introduction and notes by John H. Timmerman.

For more than 70 years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines.

Public Domain (P)2012 Penguin

What listeners say about The Long Valley

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Generally Good Stories, Some are Great

This is a selection of short stories about the California Salinas Valley. The collection includes The Chrysanthemums, The White Quail, Flight, The Snake, Breakfast, The Raid, The Harness, The Vigilante, Johnny Bear, The Red Pony, The Murder, and Saint Katy the Virgin. These stories all have at least a touch of the darkness common to much of Steinbeck’s work, yet almost all of the stories have a strange, subtle and almost mystical power. These stories are generally good, some are great, some are OK. I really liked the voice and tone of the stories and the narration was excellent. This collection pairs very nicely with The Pastures of Heaven.

22 people found this helpful

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includes The Red Pony stories

This one is difficult to review. I am a huge fan of Steinbeck -- he is my favorite author, by far. But I am not really a fan of short stories, making this book a hard one to assess for me. I found some of these stories wonderful and rich. I had previously read The Red Pony, and I find it a smart, sweet, emotional tale in the vein of The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. I also loved Flight, which had the perfect Steinbeckian ending. Truthfully, I hated The Snake, but that is an anomaly.

5 people found this helpful

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I am struck by this man’s genius, again.

A beautiful collection of short and not so short stories.
Some stories made me laugh aloud, like st. Katherine the virgin. The red pony however is a timeless masterpiece of human literature.

3 people found this helpful

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Paul Sacramento

Excellent short stories. Wonderful narration. Absolutely loved every minute of this book. I will definitely read or listen it again.

1 person found this helpful

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great narration to an excellent story

the narrator did an amazing job of capturing different characters without detracting from the story.

1 person found this helpful

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GREAT

What did you love best about The Long Valley?

The varied stories

If you’ve listened to books by John Steinbeck and John H. Timmerman (Introduction) before, how does this one compare?

good as always

What about Holter Graham’s performance did you like?

his voice

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

unanswered questions

Any additional comments?

the stories ended sp abruptly that I was into the next before I knew it. I did not like that I had no time to process what I had just heard

4 people found this helpful

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Off the mark. Not what I expected

Just not what I expected. To many different scenarios to understand. Not as captive as most Steinbeck novels

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I dwell in Steinbeck Country

I hold Steinbeck's stories of the Salinas Valley and Monterey Peninsula closer to the vest, almost like The Book of Common Prayer for the Episcopalian, pulling from the text at each new, or rereading, something deeply personal while equally universal.
Steinbeck loved and knew this area; with a profound reverence for its deep, rich earth and its history. He honed a keen observation of human interaction with nature, the hard-edged man, and indefinable woman, and loved most dearly the 'lost souls' among us, living on the fringe of town...looking in.
It is in the telling of these seemingly simple stories, I find some of the most profound tales of human nature, man against nature, and his ultimate relationship with God, often embattled on the page and most eloquently argued with only a single character--on the mountaintops, in a terrifying grove, or on a railcar.

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I require more.

I know they are short stories, but I still want them to be longer. like all Steinbecks work.

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Distracting narration.

I usually listen to non-fiction, and, as a result, I have a hard time with the "performance" of some fiction audiobooks. The narrator's intonation of male and female voices was a distraction for me. I'd prefer either a straight reading, without vocal performance, or different narrators for different characters. I know it's my problem, but I wasn't able to continue with this book, one I've read a few times in th past.