Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

Cannery Row (1945)

by John Steinbeck

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Cannery Row (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,471117592 (4.05)1 / 576
  1. 41
    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (Booksloth)
  2. 10
    All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (mabith)
    mabith: McCarthy's border trilogy reminded me so heavily of Steinbeck. I think if you enjoy one author you'll enjoy the other as well.
  3. 11
    Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck (Hollerama)
  4. 01
    The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck (chrisharpe)
  5. 01
    Underworld by Don DeLillo (xtien)
  6. 01
    Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner (lyzadanger)
    lyzadanger: Similar pastoral view of the West.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (113)  Lithuanian (1)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (117)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
What is this about? Well something and nothing really. ON one level very little happens, but that's not to say that this is not packed full of interest. It is set in a street that has a shop, a house of ill repute and is populated by all sorts of people. It is overlooked by a couple of sardine canning factories and these impact a certain atmosphere to the book, as well as incidents and a coming and going in the street. There are a few people around whom the tale revolves, Doc, Lee Chong, Mac and the boys. All male, you note. If one were being critical the gopher's chapter is indicative of the care and attention paid to the ladies in this book, they simply don't turn up. That's slightly unfair, but the ladies are all either wives or whores, there is nothing else for them to do in this world.
In spite of what one could find to complain about this, I really enjoyed it. The narrator had a nice laid back voice and that really sited the tone of a book in which nothing much really happens, yet all of life is here. ( )
  Helenliz | Sep 30, 2015 |
i just really love john steinbeck's characters. they always have these moments of brilliance and beauty. i really can't remember the ones that struck me from this book. i loved mack and the boys. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
So is this frog-catching business still a thing and if so how do I reach Doc? ( )
  trilliams | May 30, 2015 |
The main story of this book revolves around friends of Doc (a marine biologist) wanting to throw him a party. These friends include a group of unemployed men lead by Mack, the women who work at the local bordello, a Chinese storekeeper and various other inhabitants of Cannery Row.

Mr. Steinbeck has given us wonderful characters that will work their way into your heart; great writing that really creates a picture and an atmosphere. Lovely book! ( )
  LynnB | Dec 31, 2014 |
I said it in my review of Tortilla Flat a couple of days ago, and I’ll say it again here and now: Steinbeck may be as close to a poet (albeit, in prose) as any writer this country has ever produced.

In Cannery Row, the poetry and the parties continue. It’s frankly hard to say where one leaves off and the other continues. But both they do — continue, that is. As just one example (on p. 86 of the Penguin edition I’ve just read): “It is the hour of the pearl — the interval between day and night when time stops and examines itself.” (Steinbeck himself apparently likes this metaphor of ‘the hour of the pearl’ to describe twilight — and uses it once again elsewhere in the book. And so he should!)

Apart from the brilliant narrative line of this entire novelette, Cannery Row contains any number of short chapters — vignettes, really — that could easily stand alone as examples of what we today would call ‘Flash Fiction.’ They don’t always contribute to the narrative line, but so what? They’re quite enjoyable in and of themselves.

Far be it from me to criticize an almost flawless work. And yet, do I detect a bad — or at least a careless — day with the following (on p. 129)? “At his step on the stairs, the rattlesnakes ran out their tongues and listened with their waving forked tongues. The rats scampered madly about the cages. Doc climbed the stairs. He looked in wonder at the sagging door and at the broken window. The weariness seemed to go out of him. He stepped quickly inside. Then he went quickly from room to room, stepping around the broken glass. He bent down quickly and picked up a smashed phonograph record and looked at its title (emphasis mine).” To my way of thinking, Steinbeck could’ve been a little less quick in the composition of this paragraph!

But this is indeed a minor flaw in an otherwise perfect diamond. His was a Nobel Prize quite justly earned.

Brooklyn, NY
( )
  RussellBittner | Dec 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (43 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steinbeck, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brugmans-Martens, L.I.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farden, JerryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frank, RudolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shillinglaw, SusanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waechter, PhilipCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For ED RICKETTS who knows why or should
First words
Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.
It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Published in 1945, "Cannery Row" focuses on the acceptance of life as it is: both the exuberance of community and the loneliness of the individual. Drawing on his memories of the real inhabitants of Monterey, California, Steinbeck interweaves the stories of Doc, Henri, Mack and his boys, and the other characters in this world where only the fittest survive, to create a novel that is at once one of his most humorous and most poignant works.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014200068X, Paperback)

Unburdened by the material necessities of the more fortunate, the denizens of Cannery Row discover rewards unknown in more traditional society. Henry the painter sorts through junk lots for pieces of wood to incorporate into the boat he is building, while the girls from Dora Flood’s bordello venture out now and then to enjoy a bit of sunshine. Lee Chong stocks his grocery with almost anything a man could want, and Doc, a young marine biologist who ministers to sick puppies and unhappy souls, unexpectedly finds true love. Cannery Row is just a few blocks long, but the story it harbors is suffused with warmth, understanding, and a great fund of human values.

First published in 1945, Cannery Row focuses on the acceptance of life as it is—both the exuberance of community and the loneliness of the individual. John Steinbeck draws on his memories of the real inhabitants of Monterey, California, and interweaves their stories in this world where only the fittest survive—creating what is at once one of his most humorous and poignant works. In Cannery Row, John Steinbeck returns to the setting of Tortilla Flat to create another evocative portrait of life as it is lived by those who unabashedly put the highest value on the intangibles—human warmth, camaraderie, and love.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:43 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Vividly depicts the colorful, sometimes disreputable, inhabitants of a run-down area in Monterey, California.

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
8 avail.
54 wanted
9 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.05)
0.5 2
1 6
1.5 7
2 43
2.5 21
3 290
3.5 104
4 618
4.5 91
5 534


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185082, 0141045396, 024195245X

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 99,781,610 books! | Top bar: Always visible