I'm a big fan of Steinbeck's works and East of Eden is one of his best. East of Eden is, at its heart, a retelling of the bible story of Cain and Abel; though there is somewhat more to it than that. Like many of Steinbeck's other stories this one takes place in the Salinas Valley, California during the turn of the 20th century. East of Eden is longer than most of his other books, my version (The Penguin Centennial Edition) comes in at about 600 pages, so its not a short read. Despite the length, the book moves pretty fast due to the excellent pacing. Once I started this book I found it hard to put down without reading several chapters, which caused a few problems for me since I like to just lay down and read a few chapters before going to sleep.