Day 13/30: Speed Read The Pearl by John Steinbeck
The Pearl

Day 13/30: Speed Read The Pearl by John Steinbeck – 100 Pages in 53 Minutes

This is day #13 of the One Book, One Day challenge. We’re going to speed read The Pearl by John Steinbeck at 500 words per minute (WPM) using

Is 500 WPM Too Fast? Take Our Speed Reading Course To Keep Up!

About the Book:
Kino, a young, strong, but poor fisherman, lives in a small town, La Paz, with his wife Juana, and his baby son, Coyotito. When Coyotito, is stung by a scorpion, Kino must find a way to pay the town doctor to treat him. Shortly thereafter, Kino discovers an enormous pearl which he is ready to sell to pay the doctor. Sadly, other forces work against Kino. Nearly as soon as he returns from sea, the whole town knows of the pearl. Everyone calls it “the pearl of the world, ” and many people begin to covet it. That very night Kino is attacked in his own home. Determined to get rid of the pearl, the following morning he takes it to the pearl buyers in town. However, the pearl buyers collude together and refuse to pay him what he wants, so he decides to go over the mountains to the capital to find a better price. However, Juana, seeing that the pearl brings darkness and greed, sneaks out of the house late at night to throw it back into the ocean. When Kino catches her, furious, he attacks her and leaves her on the beach. Returning to the house with the pearl, Kino is attacked by an unknown man whom he stabs and kills. The pearl is dropped and hidden from view. He thinks the men have taken the pearl, but Juana shows him that she has found it. When they go back to the town, they find their home has been set on fire. Kino and Juana spend the day hiding in the house of Kino’s brother Juan Tomás and his wife and gathering provisions for their trip to the capital city. Only there can they hope to sell the pearl for a decent price. Kino, Juana, and Coyotito leave in the dark of the night. After a brief rest in the morning, Kino spots trackers who are following them. Well aware that they will be unable to hide from the trackers, they begin hiking into the mountains. They find a cave near a natural water hole, where the exhausted family hides and waits for the trackers to catch up to them. The trackers find the water hole and decide to rest there for the night. Kino realizes that he must get rid of the trackers if they are to survive the trip to the capital. As he prepares to attack, the men hear a cry like a baby’s though they decide it’s more like a coyote with a litter. One of the men fires his rifle in the direction of the crying, where Juana and Coyotito lie. Kino tackles the man, takes the gun and kills all of the trackers. Kino then realizes that something is wrong; he climbs back up to the cave to discover that the man’s shot has killed Coyotito. In mourning, Kino and Juana return to La Paz with Coyotito’s body. No longer wanting the pearl, Kino throws it back into the ocean. Punished for stepping out of their social class, Kino and Juana have become hardened and indifferent.

See previous books in the 30-day Challenge

Here are the most common words in the book…

Speed Read The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Book Stats:
Pages: 100
How Long To Read: 53 minutes (at 500 WPM)
Published: 1947

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Paul Nowak

Paul is the founder of Iris Reading, the largest provider of speed-reading and memory courses. His workshops have been taught to thousands of students and professionals worldwide at institutions that include: NASA, Google, HSBC and many Fortune 500 companies.

Day 14/30: Speed Read The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway - 128 Pages in 53 Minutes
Day 12/30: Speed Read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - 71 Pages in 52 Minutes


  • Jake Rothman

    Steinbeck is the most depressing author I’ve ever read.

  • KP

    This book was so tragic and sad. I was so tired while reading it (long day at work). I had to do everything in my power to focus but it is so worth it!