Written in the immediate post-World War Two era, it reflects many of the thoughts of common people of the time. There are good scenery descriptions to put the reader in the location. Still decades before Civil Rights and Women’s Rights one can get the feeling of how people treated each other, equality issues, and life goals.
For a serious novel to grab me, a problem should be present that colors the entire work even if it is not totally solved. Here only half-way through does a physical problem come up, but by that time I’m waiting for the book to end.
Annoying also were the footnotes explaining iconic places and people to the uninitiated which is usually done in non-fiction works only. One character also was hard to vision with the name of “Pimples,” who had dreadful acne, which I know happens, but it seemed overdone.
Despite his fame with other novels, I could not recommend this unless you have a goal of reading all of John Steinbeck’s novels.