This is a tough book to rate. I think I would give the writing 4 stars because Steinbeck is such a beautiful writer, but I would give my enjoyment of the book 2 stars. I found the story disjointed, really did not enjoy any of the characters, and there was no real buildup in the story at all. It was just a sad expose of a small part of a town full of the poor and downtrodden. That was likely the point, but I just found it tough to turn the pages.