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Cannery Row Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1993
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Top Customer Reviews
CANNERY ROW shows us many great ironies, not the least of which is the fact that "Mack and the boys," a group of down-and-out bums, seem to be more content and fulfilled with their lot in life than is "Doc," the professional man who operates the Western Biological Laboratory. Doc is alone in the world; he lacks that human attachment that brings comfort and connectedness to those who are otherwise adrift in an uncaring universe. He has lost his only lover some time before our story begins, and his stumbling across the corpse of a beautiful, drowned girl is a painful reminder of that loss. An even more poignant reminder of his alienation from humanity comes in the words of Frankie before he is isolated in an insane asylum. Frankie's simple answer of "I love you" sends Doc retreating to the seclusion of his laboratory.
Contrasted with the loneliness of Doc, we find a fulfilling camaraderie among Mack and his cohorts.Read more ›
The story is about life on Cannery Row and the everyday people who live there. There's a whole cast of wonderful characters but the most respected is Doc and the people of Cannery Row decide they want to show Doc their appreciation and throw him a surprise party.
I've read a number of Steinbeck's gloomier books and I loved them all but "Cannery Row" holds a special place in my heart (even after repeat readings) because it's so bright and sunny and it makes me happy. There's plenty of sad things happen in the book - suicide by rat poison, suicide by stabbing, a heartbroken gopher, a sad boy with no future, a dead girl - but even with all that sadness there's an overall feeling of happiness, like everything is going to be alright. It's hard to explain. How about you just read the book and find out for yourself?
One striking example of Steinbeck's worldview is the automobile. Unlike Fitzgerald's symbol of American aspiration and status, of danger and tragedy, Steinbeck's machine is distinguished by the working symmetry of its parts and by its relation to resourceful, inventive human beings capable of adapting and modifying it to their own purposes--which aren't primarily selfish but directed toward the survival and celebration of the community which it serves. Gay's mechanical expertise inspires the narrator in Chapter 11 to proclaim: "Two generations of Americans knew more about the Ford coil than the ..., about the planetary system of gears than the solar system of stars. With the Model T, part of the concept of private property disappeared.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best part of the book is the good humor. A friend recommended it to me,
saying he re-reads it at least annually, especially when he is feeling despondent.
I gave it to my grandson. He is looking forward to reading it.Published 2 days ago by Jane Sabatino
My first Steinbeck book! I went to Cannery Row and had the privilege of staying in own of his old properties. I was expecting the writing to be good, like Fitzgerald good. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Susanna
Who am I to review a book written by John Steinbeck. The five stars say it all.Published 3 days ago by Judith
Pretty much the best book I've ever read. Which means I can't explain much about the book in a relatable way in this review, after all, I adore it in a way that is neither healthy... Read morePublished 1 month ago by zth
I really got into the characters and felt for them as they struggled through the great depression. Steinbeck had a real knack for that.Published 2 months ago by Barry C. Noller