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Sweet Thursday (Penguin Classics) by John…
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Sweet Thursday (Penguin Classics) (original 1954; edition 2008)

by John Steinbeck, Robert DeMott (Editor)

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1,866313,704 (3.98)147
Member:phranchk
Title:Sweet Thursday (Penguin Classics)
Authors:John Steinbeck
Other authors:Robert DeMott (Editor)
Info:Penguin Classics (2008), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library, Read in 2012
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Classic, Fiction

Work details

Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck (1954)

  1. 30
    Cannery Row by John Steinbeck (Hollerama)
  2. 20
    The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck (jlelliott)
    jlelliott: In the appendix to The Log of the Sea of Cortez Steinbeck tells the stories of the real denizens of Cannery Row, inspiration for the characters in Sweet Thursday.
  3. 00
    The Hamlet by William Faulkner (Cecilturtle)
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English (26)  Norwegian (2)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
John Steinbeck found something funny in Monterey, California. The three novels he set in the city make up the author's three most recognized comedies (his only comedies, I believe, with the exception of the satirical ...Pippin IV). In Sweet Thursday, Steinbeck returns to the characters and setting of his earlier novel Cannery Row. Some of the Row's characters have moved on and others have moved in. If you've read Cannery Row or Steinbeck's first visit to Monterey, Tortilla Flat, then you're already aware of the type of story at hand.

Of the three, I enjoyed Sweet Thursday most. In part, I believe this is because of the style of comedy Steinbeck employs in Sweet Thursday. In his earlier novels, much of the hilarity relies on drunken antics. Sure, drunk people can do funny things, but you can only laugh at a village of drunken idiots so long before you begin to feel bad for them and the comedy loses its effect. In Sweet Thursday the laughs are more situational and character driven.

Another reason I think Sweet Thursday succeeded more in reaching me is due to the structure of the novel—it felt more like a complete novel. Although Steinbeck's earlier comedic attempts certainly had an overarching story, they descended into many vignettes that were entertaining, but took me out of the story. With Sweet Thursday the entire story centers on curing the loneliness that ails Doc. There's romance and sacrifice and only the occasional drunken moment. Lastly, Sweet Thursday seemed to me the most simple and profound of the three novels.

Given my dramatic nature, Steinbeck's more comedic novels could never take the place of greats like East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, or The Winter of Our Discontent, but I enjoyed my visits to Monterey nonetheless. And I wonder, what is Monterey, California, truly like? ( )
  chrisblocker | Sep 26, 2014 |
A sequel to Cannery Row. This one is more plot-driven and not so much a series of vignettes, as Cannery Row was, even though it is its sequel and carries on the stories of nearly the same characters and the same setting. This picks up after the interruption of World War II, after Doc returns from the battlefield. He has changed inwardly, lacking the satisfaction with his life that he enjoyed before. His friends at the Palace Flophouse and the Bear Flag attempt with humorous and poignant results to come to his rescue.
  FancyHorse | Apr 11, 2014 |
"En dejlig Torsdag" er en ægte Steinbeck. Dagen kan være så sort den vil denne bog funkler.
TOM Kristensen
(paratekst fra bogens forside) ( )
  Biblofilter | Dec 21, 2013 |
Continuation of the stories of the crowd on Cannery Row. Loved both books. ( )
1 vote stuart10er | Nov 5, 2013 |

Since listening to an audiobook edition of [b:Cannery Row|4799|Cannery Row|John Steinbeck|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1309212378s/4799.jpg|824028] earlier this year and falling in love with both the characters and Steinbeck's writing, I've looked forward to reading this sequel. It's set about ten years after the events of Cannery Row. Doc has returned from army service to his work at the Western Biological Laboratory and finds himself unsatisfied and depressed. This makes the other denizens of Cannery Row decide that Doc needs a wife and that Suzy - a new girl at the Bear Flag Restaurant - is the wife for him.

Unlike Cannery Row, which is essentially a series of linked vignettes, Sweet Thursday has a more traditional structure. In many ways it resembles a 1950s romantic comedy - think Spencer Tracey and Katharine Hepburn* - in which boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. In the process of finding true love, both Doc and Suzy have to learn a lot about themselves and about each other. Getting Doc and Suzy together requires effort from Doc's friends, including Mack and the boys at the Palace Flophouse (and in particular the dimwitted but sweet Hazel), Dora and the girls at the Bear Flag Restaurant and the new owner of Lee Chong's Grocery, who revels in the name of Jesus and Mary.

I loved reading this novel. The characters are well-drawn and the narrative contains both humour and wisdom about the human condition. I love Steinbeck's use of language: there's something about the directness of his prose, its accessibility and its beauty, which really speaks to me. This is not a high-brow work. It may not be up there with [b:The Grapes of Wrath|4395|The Grapes of Wrath|John Steinbeck|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1336195638s/4395.jpg|2931549] in terms of literary merit, but for anyone who has read and loved Cannery Row, it's a real treat. I will definitely be reading it again. Spending time with Doc and those who love him is a joy.

*Not that I visualise Tracey and Hepburn in the roles of Doc and Suzy, but the sparring and the repartee which characterised their on-screen relationship would be just right for this pair.


( )
  KimMR | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Steinbeckprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
DeMott, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farden, JerryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Elizabeth with love
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One night Mack lay back on his bed in the Palace Flophouse and he said, "I ain't never been satisfied with that book Cannery Row. I would of went about it different."
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If only people would give the thought, the care, the judgment to international affairs, to politics, even to their jobs, that they lavish on what to wear to a masquerade, the world would run in greased grooves.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Parcă lipseşte ceva când nu-i aici ca să mai facă vreo boroboaţă.
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In Monterey, on the California coast, Sweet Thursday is what they call the day after Lousy Wednesday, which is one of those days that are just naturally bad. Returning to the scene of Cannery Row, the weedy lots and junk heaps and flophouses of Monterey, John Steinbeck once more brings to life the denizens of a netherworld of laughter and tears, from Fauna, new headmistress of the local brothel, to Hazel, a bum whose mother must have wanted a daughter.… (more)

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