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Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

Cannery Row (original 1945; edition 1993)

by John Steinbeck

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,705154682 (4.04)1 / 670
Title:Cannery Row
Authors:John Steinbeck
Info:Penguin Books (1993), Edition: 5th, Mass Market Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck (1945)

  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 (147)  Spanish (2)  Lithuanian (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (153)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
It would be fair to say that our group takes on the classics with a healthy amount of uncertainty. No one is widely read of the classics and in previous years have struggled through Austen, Hawthorne and Bronte with the best of intentions (and at times a glimmer of enjoyment). So it was quite a surprise to find that everyone thoroughly enjoyed Cannery Row and Steinbeck’s imagery and narrative style that brought his characters so plausibly to life.
The individual stories of each character tended to give the novel a ‘short stories’ feel, but some of us found some intriguing connections within the district and its inhabitants. Extremely well-written with poise and empathy, Steinbeck has a natural insight into the lives of the down-trodden and underprivileged and cast his magic over the humble dwellers of Monterey during the Great Depression.
For many of our group, this was their first foray into Steinbeck’s world and they were genuinely excited about venturing further. The humour and honesty was not lost on us and no one felt the story stilted or bogged down in any way.
We had a thought provoking discussion on the homeless and marginalised in our community and came to the conclusion that literature such as Steinbeck’s is still relevant and important today. ( )
  jody12 | Apr 16, 2019 |
Loved it. The characters were strong and real. His humor reminds me a bit of Mark Twain's. I'm psyched to read the next in the series. ( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
Not sure why this is considered a classic. One of the worst books I've ever read. ( )
  Wapil | Mar 23, 2019 |
Beautifully written and virtually plotless, 'Cannery Row' was an excellent car-read to while away the long trip to Maine.

Unlike other notable books by Steinbeck the hopelessness here is not overwhelming and the anger is not present. People abide. Or they don't. More than one case is given of someone giving in to hopelessness, but Steinbeck doesn't dwell, so people go on.

My copy is a first edition that's been around the block. It lacks a jacket and at some point the front-cover was a resting place for a large mug. The yellow boards are chipped and uniformly covered in working grime as if this was read between stints swapping out Model-T carburetors. And yet the binding is tightly in place and the browned and water-stained pages are clearly printed, if occasionally creased. The book abides.

Mack and the crew at the Palace Flophouse are prototypical Lebowskis, taking it easy and only doing what's necessary to ensure some comfort. They cause some damage along the way, their well-meaning acts often backfire, but I have to grudgingly admire them.

The natural writing here, descriptions of the tidal beds, the frogs, and a lone groundhog, is fantastic and blends in perfectly with scenes featuring eccentric personalities of the area, including a housewife who holds kitty tea-parties and awe-inspiring Chinese fishermen. All-around lovely.

Next: 'Sweet Thursday' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (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.)
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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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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