John Steinbeck is one of the greatest American writers of all times, and the international critics are calling him a visionary, a prophet and a brilliant man. The Winter of Our Discontent is his final book, his good-bye gift to the fans. This is a story of corruption, devastation, decay and spiritual failure.
Steinbeck has always been the kind of a writer that doesn't care about the "commercial" element and focuses on creating something truly unique, insightful and monumental. Hawley, the main character of the novel, works as a clerk in a store - his fam ran it back in the day. He used to be a part of the country's elite, the aristocrats, but now he's forced to make a living selling groceries. His wife is constantly "bugging" him, and his kids want to go back to that luxurious life that he once provided for them.
Soon, the weight of the whole world comes down on his shoulders, and Ethan decides to forget about his noble standards and do something crazy. The Winter of Our Discontent is set in the '60s and Steinbeck managed to depict the very essence of the American life back then. As far as insightful novels about the country in the middle of the 20th century go, this one is on top of the list.
With that said, it's safe to say that if you wanna familiarize yourself with the legendary US writers and read one of the most important American novels to ever be published, grabbing a copy of The Winter of Our Discontent and digging deep into the controversies of Ethan's journey would be the right thing to do. John Steinbeck’s brilliant writing, fast-paced narrative, rich, multi-layered characters and the overwhelming message will most definitely impress you.