This was the last of his novels , published just before he was awarded the Nobel Prize.
A tale of what he regarded as a morale decline the American Culture , though it has to be said that it was also a landmark to his own moral decline that led the man who wrote Grapes of Wrath in the late 30s to an outspoken supporter of the Vietnam War and critic of the Anti-War Artists and Writers in the mid to late 60s.
The plot is nuanced , so that much sympathy can be directed towards the main character that will do a ghastly deed against his person and soul for a trifling advantage.On page 90 we get some hometown advice about dealing with difficult situations that linger in the mind " ...cant push it out of mind...instead , remember it from start to finish whenever it comes and then youll slowly forget bits of it over time" and on page 93 we find the protagonist trying to justify to himself but realising "...no one wants advice-only corroboration."
And having sold out he tries to return to normal , having failed to satisfactorily convince himself on page 164 "...People buy from People they know.Its called goodwill and it works." , In the end the End does justify the means of this depraved morality the lead falls into on page 187 "...Success and Strength are above morality , above criticism."
The video below has a panel discussing the themes of the Book: