Editor's note: I was never a fan of Steinbeck's works before hearing this LP and still am not. However, I do like this record. A lot. He comes across as a wry, albeit flatter version of Hemingway without much flowery language. The reading starts off a little clunky as well but he eventually eases into a storyteller voice and it becomes more natural. The stories themselves are a bit open-ended and have no overt meaning other than as portraits of interesting characters. I like that. I hate most novels for the very reason that many are written: to explicate a common theme or purpose. As Nietzsche said, and I paraphrase very loosely because I'm too lazy to find the exact quote, "I wish to write in a paragraph what most writers take a book to say." Steinbeck has done just that except he hasn't really said anything. That's good because I'm in the grand business of gibberish.
Also, I don't know when this was recorded but Steinbeck died nearly 20 years before it was released so I'm guessing sometime in the middle 1950s or so.
I came across this record on a few blogs and managed to track down some audio from WFMU's site. I would love to hear more from this honky-tonkin' caterwaulin' queen. Listen to the tracks below and I think you will too!