Cannery Row (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) Paperback – 1 Feb 1994
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|Paperback, 1 Feb 1994||
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John Steinbeck knew and understood America and Americans better than any other writer of the twentieth century. ("The Dallas Morning News") A man whose work was equal to the vast social themes that drove him. (Don DeLillo)"
Packed with invention and joie de vivre CANNERY ROW is Steinbeck's high-spirited tribute to his native California. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The characters in Cannery Row are, without exception, societies outcasts: Drunkards, thieves, prostitutes, gamblers and down-on-their-luck businessmen. From reading this you would be forgiven for thinking this story would be bleak or perhaps unpleasant. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It's refreshing to read about characters who genuinely love life. There isn't a whole lot of brooding or introverted thoughts just a small group with tenuous links in common getting on with their lives and co-existing. There is a subtle thread of mutal love and friendship in among the grime of their existence.
I found the book uplifting and fun to read. There is tragedy and sadness but also great and simple joys and an honest way of living which has perhaps been lost these days. I don't envy any of their hard lives but in the midst of their poverty, crime and immoral behaviour alot of joy and decency can be found.
On top of all this I love the front cover of this addition. A very powerful book but also great fun.
Cannery Row centres on life upon a small strip of largely dilapidated land situated next to a sardine cannery in Monterey Bay. It's the 1930s, the time of the Great Depression, and the story follows the daily interactions between the mainly down-trodden residents. These residents (all of whom symbolically represent various class structures in society) are primarily comprised of: Lee Chong, the Chinese grocer, Mac and 'the boys' who reside in a `refurbished' storage hut loving christened the Palace Flop-house, Doc who runs the marine laboratory, and Dora, the owner of the Bear Flag restaurant, which in actuality is a house of ill-repute.
Given Mr. Steinbeck's incredible talent for creating remarkable characters, and settings (something which I've discovered in ALL of the his books that I've read), I'm not surprised I'm so enamoured with Cannery Row, there's just something so magical about each and every one of them. This is the first novel I've finished where the characters, and the place, have carried on living in my head; out of nowhere I suddenly begin wondering how Doc's getting on in his laboratory, or whether Mac and the boys have managed to get up on their luck, if Mr. Chong is still in his sentinel position in his shop, behind the cigar counter, or if Dora's place is busy or not.
I have to say though, that I found no real story behind Cannery Row. As I found with other Steinbeck novels, the onus of the story is all about the characters and how they interact with one another, rather than any hugely engaging plot.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully written. Paints a very clear picture of what it was like back then.Published 19 days ago by Peter M. Spiteri
One of Steinbeck's best. .Characters not overdrawn but so real.Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
A typically skilled and lyrical look at Steinbeck's beloved California. Filled with love and hate and tragedy and comedy and written with his customary endless compassion and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by email@example.com
John Steinbeck’s story of a down-at-heel neighbourhood in Monterey during the great depression is a story about people who have nothing but make do as best they can whilst never... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Neil Griffiths