I was first exposed to John Steinbeck when I was assigned The Red Pony as our first novel of freshmen year. I hated it. It felt like a kids book when I wanted to start reading real novels. I later read Of Mice and Men. Better. I wasn't assigned The Grapes of Wrath. I remember other students reading it and disliking it because, according to them, there was a twenty page description of a turtle crossing the road. In college I was assigned In Dubious Battle. It was OK, but tough to get through.
I'm a somewhat fast reader, but it ended up being a really fast read, even at a dense 600+ pages of epicness. Here's my favorite line from the book:
"If necklaces of pork chops were accepted, it would be a sad child who could not wear pork chops."
I haven't watched the movie. I'm somewhat afraid to. I usually watch a movie as soon as I finish the book. It's been about fifteen years since I read it. I think it's getting time for a reread, and then perhaps I'll take a look at the movie. That's my timshel.