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Table Of Contents

Good Fortune
All Simple Tings but Time
Between the Twitter and the Tweet
Treadmill, Life on the Run
Tarry with the Check
One for Bacchus
Ten Feed Tem Seeds of Age
Te Alumni Magazine
Que Es La Vida?
To Diane on Her Birthday
N. G. Flake, Around the World
1. Airborne
2. London
3. Munich, the Old Art Museum
4. Zurich
5. Hong Kong
6. Home
Norgood in His Dotage
Seventeenth of March
String Quartet in an Unheated Hall
A Poet Between Poems
“Somehow It Will Come Right”
Te Edge of Farmlands
For the Man Who Gave up Sleeping
John Milton and the Ghost of Crazy Cohen
A Soldier’s Leave
Winter Trip to the Keys
Little League Father, Class II
Civil War Monument
Te 320 Bomb Group in Convention Convened
Last Train from Newark
Swann’s Way
Desani Said
“Bread,” Said the President
Pale Silks at Dusk
Te Twelfth House
Mingled and Beguiled
One for Joyce, Announced with Child
For Sigmund Semmel (1956-1980)
Te Wake
On Leaving Rented Rooms
Winter Dream Before Sleep
Poetry Reading at a Women’s College
Postcard from London
Stolen Stones
Earth and Air
Bus Tour from Salzburg to Burchtesgarden
Tey Fall Easy Tat Have the Spare Couch for Bed
Will She Gaze and Wonder Why?
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral
Poets at Winter’s Party
On Seeing My Picture Taken Unaware
In Memory of Bernie
One for the Moon
Sweet Memory
Perhaps It Is a Leaf
P. 1




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Published by Trafford
Bernstein follows his mythic hero Norgood’s (also known as N. G. Flake) travels in the old world and new. Whether Norgood visits the classical Greek and Roman gods of wine or our present moment in time of Twitter and tweets, he woos his dreams. Though often wooed and seldom won, they excite his continued journey.
Bernstein follows his mythic hero Norgood’s (also known as N. G. Flake) travels in the old world and new. Whether Norgood visits the classical Greek and Roman gods of wine or our present moment in time of Twitter and tweets, he woos his dreams. Though often wooed and seldom won, they excite his continued journey.

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Published by: Trafford on Apr 16, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781490733562
List Price: $3.99 Buy Now


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becky221_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Beautifully written -- I love the description of the "background" music playing throughout Kino's experiences. Kino recognizes that the pearl will lead to his son's being educated and that will be his ticket out of poverty. Alas -- this is not to be! Another sad Steinbeck! I hesitate to state, but the conclusion seems to be that if you try to rise above your station in life, your values will change and you are destined for failure. I read this for the first time many years ago so the ending was not a surprise, but it was still very sad.
kimmr_2 reviewed this
Rated 4/5

A jewel of a novella, short, suspenseful and moving, The Pearl is the re-telling of a Mexican folk tale. It's the story of Kino, a poor pearl diver, who finds an enormous pearl. He sees it as the path to dignity for his family and an education for his son, but it brings tragedy instead. Essentially a parable, a central message of the work is to be careful what you wish for. The message is obvious from the text and there's nothing subtle about the way in which it's presented. On the other hand, Steinbeck's prose never fails to speak to me, with its beautiful descriptions of the natural world and wonderful use of simile and metaphor. I think of Steinbeck as a compassionate writer with a deep interest in people and the environment in which they live. This is something which shines through the work.
crazymamie reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Ah, avarice...it's an old story, really, about how greed always corrupts, about how it always tarnishes everything that it comes into contact with.The Pearl by John Steinbeck is one such story. Kino and his wife, Juana, live simple lives. When their small son, Coyotito, is stung by a scorpion they set out for the only doctor." Kino hesitated moment. The doctor was not of his people. This doctor was of a race which for nearly four hundred years had beaten and starved and robbed and despised Kino's race, and frightened it too, so that the indigene came humbly to the door. And as always when he came near to one of this race, Kino felt weak and afraid and angry at the same time. Rage and terror went together. He could kill the doctor more easily than he could talk to him, for all of the doctor's race spoke to all of Kino's race as thought they were simple animals. And as Kino raised his right hand to the iron ring knocker in the gate, rage swelled in him, and the pounding music of the enemy beat in his ears, and his lips drew tight against his teeth -- but with his left hand he reached to take off his hat."Of course the doctor will not see them because they cannot afford to pay his fee. What is it to the doctor? They are nothing to him. Less than nothing. So Juana makes a poultice for her son, and she and Kino do the only thing that they can think of: they pray and venture out to the sea to dive for pearls, hoping that some miracle might occur and they will find a pearl that is worth the life of their son. The pearl that Kino brings up is no small thing - "Kino lifted the flesh, and there it lay, the great pearl, perfect as the moon. It captured the light and refined it and gave it back in silver incandescence.... In the surface of the great pearl he could see dreams form."And this changes everything. This pearl must be not only salvation but also the key that opens doors to a new way of life, one that they had not even dared to dream of before. Of course, news travels quickly in a small town, and Kino and Juana are not the only ones that dare to dream about what this pearl can give them: "The essence of pearl mixed with the essence of men and a curious dark residue was precipitated."Told with Steinbeck's usual care, this simple story is beautifully rendered. I am not sure which I admire more, Steinbeck's ability to describe place so completely that you feel as if you were there, or his ability to provide the reader with physical descriptions of people that also describe their character. I loved the imagery he used to give us the doctor: "In his chamber the doctor sat up high in his bed. He had on his dressing gown of red watered silk that had come from Paris, a little tight over the chest now if it was buttoned. On his lap was a silver tray with a silver chocolate pot and a tiny cup of eggshell china, so delicate that it looked silly when he lifted it with his big hand, lifted it with the tips of thumb and forefinger and spread the other three fingers wide to get them out of the way. His eyes rested in puffy little hammocks of flesh and his mouth drooped with discontent. He was growing very stout, and his voice was hoarse with the fat that pressed on his throat."
amqs_1 reviewed this
This was a good audiobook, and a tension-filled folktale about the nature of greed. Kino, a poor pearl-diver, lives in a grass hut with his wife and baby son. When the baby is stung by a scorpion, the family rushes to see the doctor, who refuses to see them because they cannot pay. Kino and his family set out to sea in his canoe with more urgency than ever, hoping to discover a pearl that can buy the needed treatment. The baby recovers with his mother's seaweed poultice, but Kino finds "the pearl of the world," a stunning pearl large enough to carry a whole village's hopes and dreams. Word spreads of the pearl like wildfire through the village, even reaching the doctor who is pleased to note that Kino and his family are patients. Kino sees opportunity in the pearl -- means for him and Juana to properly marry in church, means to buy a rifle, and most importantly, means for the baby to go to school and learn to read and write, and to see if the words in the books (presumably the Bible and other books used by colonial occupiers and rulers to subjugate native peoples) are true. But the pearl brings evil to Kino: his home is robbed and burned, he is attacked, the town's pearl dealers conspire to cheat him, and the doctor sickens the baby so that he can swoop in just in time with a miraculous cure. Kino and Juana must determine if their pearl is a blessing or a curse. Told with Steinbeck's trademark beautiful writing and the familiar, repetitive rhythms of a classic folktale.
ccookie_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
First line:~ Kino awakened in the near dark ~Once again, what can I say about John Steinbeck. Brilliant writer. How could I not have read more of his works up till now? Thank God for Library Thing and the push that Challenges give me. I would not have looked at these books without the Steinbeckathon! This is a novella, a parable and, to me, reads like a children's fairy tale. And, like many of the tales of the Brothers Grimm, has the requisite good and evil where good triumphs over evil. Or perhaps not triumphs but evil is thwarted. There is recognition that man is basically and intrinsically evil and the evil in not stopped until after much tragedy has occurred. We see that avarice and greed are powerful destructive forces.I enjoy the lyrical prose that is so like poetry. (4.5 stars) Onward to East of Eden.
ashryan_1 reviewed this
Rated 1/5
John Steinbeck wrote several bad books (The Red Pony, Tortilla Flat, The Grapes of Wrath...), but this one just might be his worst. His message to the poor and ignorant: "Be glad you're not rich and smart---money and knowledge are the root of all evil and only lead to misery, so take comfort in your community of poverty and ignorance!" Leave it to a successful, well-educated "humanist" to write an absurd, contemptible little parable glorifying these things. It isn't even well-written (even for Steinbeck), and the story is truly ludicrous.At least Steinbeck wrote some good books too, books like Of Mice and Men, The Winter of Our Discontent, and East of Eden...pick up one of them instead.
tullius22 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I read this book before, about back when I was reading The Old Man And The Sea, but I didn't know what to say about it then. And I can't say I really do now. But what can I say, really, except: well done, John, well done. (10/10)
homeschoolbookreview reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Kino, a young and strong but poor pearl diver, and Juana live with their baby son Coyotito in a small fishing village outside the city of La Paz, Mexico (which according to Wikipedia is in Baja California Sur on the Gulf of California). Coyotito is stung by a scorpion, but as Kino has no money to pay the doctor, the boy is refused treatment. He recovers, thanks to Juana’s ministrations, but the next day Kino finds a huge pearl, which he calls “the pearl of the world.” By selling it, he can get the money to pay the doctor, but he also dreams of buying a rifle, marrying Juana, and getting Coyotito an education, things that he has never had money for thus far. However, his dreams blind him to the greed that the pearl arouses in him and his neighbors. Soon, the whole town knows of the pearl, and many people begin to desire it. That night Kino is attacked in his own home. The next day, he takes the pearl to the pearl buyers in the town, but they refuse to give him the money he wants so he decides to go to the capital for better price. Juana, seeing that the pearl is causing darkness and greed, sneaks out of the house later that night to throw the pearl back into the ocean, but Kino catches her. While he is returning to the house, Kino is attacked again by several unknown men and the pearl is lost in the struggle. Juana finds it and gives it back to Kino. When they arrive home they find that their canoe is damaged and their home is burning down, so they determine to walk to the capital but soon find that they are being tracked by men who are hired to hunt them. Will the family be able to escape? And what will happen to the pearl? This novella, which was first published as a short story “The Pearl of the World” in Woman’s Home Companion in 1945, explores man's nature as well as greed and evil and supposedly illustrates our fall from innocence. It is said to be a retelling of an old Mexican folk tale. That the doctor has performed clumsy abortions and had a mistress is mentioned. There are references to drinking wine and smoking cigarettes as well as to both “God” and “the gods.” Kino and Juana are not married but, of course, are living together and have a son. The story exhibits Steinbeck’s typical pessimistic cynicism leading to the conclusion that if something good ever happens, you had better watch out because it is just setting you up for something really bad. Someone has suggested that it bares “the fallacy of the American dream--that wealth erases all problems.” I don’t agree that the American dream is that wealth erases all problems, although some might think that, but I do agree that we must learn that wealth is not the ultimate answer to man’s greatest needs and presents some serious problems. All in all, it is not too bad of a book.
lauralkeet reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Kino makes his living searching for pearls in the sea. He is a poor laborer, with a wife and new baby to care for. One day he finds a huge pearl, and begins imagining how it will change their lives. He and Juana will be able to have a proper wedding. His son, Coyotito, will be baptised and go to school. They will join a new social class. The poor villagers envy Kino's new status, and Kino becomes protective and suspicious. But when he has the pearl appraised, he finds it may not be as valuable as he hoped. He decides to travel to the city with his family, and have the pearl appraised there. Fueled by greed, Kino is willing to do just about anything to keep the pearl. And that's when his life begins to unravel. This book was vaguely familiar; I think I may have read it in school. Steinbeck does a fine job showing how greed can make someone irrational. The style and tone were probably spot on when this was first published in 1945. For contemporary readers, the theme is a familiar one, and doesn't have the same impact.
santhony_35 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
This is a very short work, more accurately labeled a short story than a novella, easy readable in 1-2 hours. Its theme is as old as the hills, “be careful what you wish for, lest you receive it.”Kino and his wife Juana live a hardscrabble existence with their newborn son in a straw hut on the beach, where Kino scratches out a meager existence as a pearl diver. Kino’s discovery of “the pearl of a lifetime” changes his life over night. Kino imagines all of the positive things the pearl will make possible, while his wife soon recognizes it as a source of evil which soon gives rise to a string of disasters which they struggle in vain to overcome.Again, there is nothing original in what is essentially a parable of untold age. It has been compared in style, setting and theme to Hemingway’s Old Man and The Sea, but in my opinion, it suffers by comparison.

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