I've never made it all the way through this book. Steinback is too wordy for me. His prose just seems too heavy-handed and deliberate. Which flattens out the characters. Granted, this is heavy material that he's dealing with and I sympathize with the plight. I just can't spend the time to get through the book. Woody Guthrie says the same things in three minute songs. That sounds self-absorbed, but I'm spending my entire summer watching movies which is in itself a completely self-absorbed act.
As a film, I liked the story a whole lot better. Perhaps it's a lot easier to indulge in the blatant ideology behind the film if you are witnessing the actual dust bowls instead of reading about them in Steinbeck's prose. There are just somethings that need to be shown to be communicated. And fortunately John Ford was around at the time to film it.