I have to admit that it has been the first Steinbeck to let me down in the first half. However, my final thoughts about it are totally different. It's a genuine story, as always from him, with its curious facts about normal (but strange) people.
It's not my favourite one, but I've enjoyed it.
In an interview, Christopher Moore said this was one of his favorite love stories. It's good. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't rate it as one of my favorites.
Steinbeck's characters are interesting and likeable. It's a worthwhile read.