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I have finally read this book, after meaning to for years, and am glad that I did. I really enjoy the opportunity to read a book that teaches me about a period or event in history that I only knew about vaguely before reading it, and this book was no exception. You can really see parallels in other periods of history, both within and outside of the US in this story - it's kind of timeless in a way.
The Grapes of Wrath...,towards the end, after finally reaching California and being mistreated down near Bakersfield, they move north into Tulare County to Linnell Camp (near Visalia) where a county agent checks in on them to be sure they are being treated well...,my Dad was one of those agents back during those hard times.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape....I've seen the movie, but I'm sure the book is better.