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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
7,646150692 (4.04)1 / 667
  1. 61
    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck (Booksloth)
  2. 20
    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. 21
    Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner (lyzadanger)
    lyzadanger: Similar pastoral view of the West.
  4. 21
    Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck (HollyMS)
  5. 00
    A Foreign Woman by Sergei Dovlatov (Anonymous user)
  6. 01
    The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood (SomeGuyInVirginia)
  7. 01
    The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck (chrisharpe)
  8. 01
    Underworld by Don DeLillo (xtien)

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English (144)  Spanish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (150)
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)
This is my third (and final) book by Steinbeck. I really wanted to like this one better than The Grapes of Wrath or Mice and Men; but I couldn't. Underwhelming series of character studies with lots of profanity, and thin on the plot. (if there even was one). The story of bums, prostitutes, and n'er do wells living on the coast of Monterrey during the Great Depression. I listened to this on Audible and the narration was good; the story just average-low average ( )
  tess_schoolmarm | Jan 18, 2019 |
This is not the first time I've read Cannery Row, although it is possibly the first time I read it since my teens. I remember that this used to be one of my favorite books back then.

It still is. There is just something about the bon-vivant, go with the flow nature of the characters inhabiting this Monterrey neighbourhood that has an indescribable appeal. To me, this appeal is able to transcend even certain literary decisions that I would consider to be flaws in other works, like the fact that this novel has essentially no story. The entire thing is more like a collection of humorous anecdotes that concern the colorful characters in and around Cannery Row, with more focus given to the ones who are closer to the bottom of the societal ladder, than to those near the top.

So, long may they live, all of the world's Macks and their merry bands of easy–going bums, Docs with their incredible patience and the willingness to help and all Doras and their joy-bringing girls. If all the people in a society were like them, it would probably not mean good things for such a society (if nothing else, because of complete lack of ambition in every one of them), but there is definitely room, nay, a necessity, for some of them in every single one. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
I’ve only read Steinbeck way back in high school, so my experience of his work is very limited. I was thoroughly charmed by this short novel which I found rich, warm and full of good humor. The writing is deliciously good and his characters are lightly, yet fully drawn. So glad I read this fine literary work. ( )
  Zumbanista | Dec 30, 2018 |
2.5 ( )
  Bibli0mane | Aug 22, 2018 |
Excerpts from my original GR review (May 2009):
- Having just read Winter of Our Discontent it was heartening to sample a much lighter Steinbeck. A good character play using alternating chapters-vignettes. The misfit, beguiling Mack and the boys, living in their redesigned flophouse, are the center of the story. Their well intentioned schemes fall apart as the whiskey and beer start flowing, yet their chaotic determination to win favor with Doc ends up on a high note. I only wish JS had given us more adventures of this ragtag bunch - it feels we barely got to know them.
- Doc is a kind of glue to the eccentric citizens of Cannery Row. A supplier of animal cadavers (squid, frogs, fish mainly) who pours himself a beer and listens to Moonlight Sonata while injecting his wares with blue dye.
- Steinbeck's tone is light and you can sense his enjoyment in presenting his characters, some of whom derived from his own experiences on the central California coast. The narrative is tweaked with a few surprises, such as one of "the boys" disappearing, the flagpole skater, and Doc's shocking discovery while scavenging a beach. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Aug 3, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 144 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (33 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
Stahl, BenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Waechter, PhilipCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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 6 descriptions)

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

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Average: (4.04)
0.5 2
1 11
1.5 7
2 54
2.5 22
3 349
3.5 117
4 725
4.5 97
5 640

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185082, 0141045396, 024195245X

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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