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Sweet Thursday (Penguin Classics) Paperback – July 29, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (July 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143039474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143039471
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. His complete works will be available in Penguin Modern Classics. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

John Steinbeck (1902-1968), winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, achieved popular success in 1935 when he published Tortilla Flat. He went on to write more than twenty-five novels, including The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men.

Customer Reviews

Steinbeck invented such wonderful characters and breathed life into them.
john martin
This book manages to be exceedingly funny (don't read it on an airplane--people will hate you), while at the same time holding together a wonderful story.
Benjamin
I've read this book around 30 times I think since I first found it in High School (30 years ago!)
Christie S. Schultz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Paul Dana on April 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Sweet Thursday" is, without a doubt, my personal favorite Steinbeck novel.
Assuredly, he wrote better books -- ones, such as "Cannery Row," for example (and for which this volume serves as a sequel), which were arguably far more profound and which today remain far more prominent in the public mind as examples of Steinbeck's craft -- yet I don't believe that he ever wrote anything with more insight, not mention love and dedication, than "Sweet Thursday."
"Sweet Thursday" is, simply put, a 'love letter;' Steinbeck's love -- for the characters (and the real-life people who inspired those characters), as well as his love for the simple craft of writing -- shines forth in every page. Written approximately fifteen years after its "prequel," "Sweet Thursday" also serves to document Steinbeck's growth as a writer (he'd significantly narrowed the gap in those intervening years between what a writer wants to say -- as expressed by yet another California author [Raymond Chandler] -- and his ability to actually say it).
But above all else, it's simply a "marvelous read;" and, by the way, you don't have to read "Cannery Row" beforehand in order to fully enjoy it.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Nelson on May 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
Steinbeck's colorful sequel to "Cannery Row". WWII has passed, and in one way or another everyone from "Cannery Row" has either fought in it or been affected by it; now, they have resumed their lives in Monterey. Some old characters have left, moved on, or died, and new characters such as Joseph & Mary Rivas (one man), Flora, Whitey #2, and Suzy are new. But the main characters without whom the book wouldn't have been written, Doc, Mack, and Hazel return. Each character is real and believable from speech to dress, thought and action. Their seemingly mundane and simple lives are interesting and appealing (as are most people's without even realizing it), and the love story which develops between Doc and Suzy is charming in my opinion. Throughout, and especially in the two chapters Steinbeck entitles "hooptedoodle", there are interesting asides on subjects such as Pacific Grove, Carmel Valley, and marine biology for example, which help fill in the larger universe of "Sweet Thursday/Cannery Row". One of my favorite chapters is the one entitled: "There's a Hole in Reality Through Which We Can Look if We Wish". Here, Doc takes a lonely, evening stroll along the beach where he encounters a man called "the Seer". The Seer invites Doc to his campfire for dinner and in a mystical conversation we begin to really see and feel another side of Doc's personality not as evident in the more light-hearted "Cannery Row". This mysterious beach-bum talks to a morose Doc and gets him to realize that what's lacking in his life is nothing less than Love. "Sweet Thursday" is the story of Doc's accepting love, as well as the good intentions of his diverse friends, into his life.Read more ›
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Mitchell VINE VOICE on February 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
Rarely do sequels rise to the level of the first book, but this one sure does. Although it is not essential to have read Cannery Row before Sweet Thursday, it certainly helps. Sweet Thursday carries on the stories of the misfits of Cannery Row and their unceasing cause of paying Doc back for all the good he has done the misfits' community.
This sequel takes place after World War II. A few characters are vets, one was lost in teh war and the canneries have closed. The main characters return in full favor and flavor.
This is a rarity for Steinbeck - a humorous love story. The characters, as always, are interesting and very engaging. The wit and wisdom of the unemployed men and brothel denizens keep the pages turning. A new store owner, a visiting professor and a new "hustling" lady are added to the cast of the previous book. With every page there is a smile a bit of thought-provoking philosophizing.
A wonderfully entertaining book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By nilanjan on December 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read Sweet Thursday in my undergrad days and I remember sitting up all night to finish the novel. Steinbeck is an intelligent writer, and one has only to roll his words in the mind, over and over again, to get their full import.
Doc epitomises the secret fantasy in every man's mind to be the average man but with above-average ideas. Living in this world, yet supremely unattached from its petty temptations and puny ambitions. Doc tries to pick up his life in the post-War society with changing priorities and prejudices. He tries to tackle issues with his "archaic" set of values and morals and gets confused in the process. The reader feels almost relieved to identify with Doc's confusions, in the novel. With the meeting of Suzy and Doc, the mood of the novel changes to tantalizing hope and expectation. It is a happy novel, with wonderful 'hooptedoodles', that serve as apparent distractions but in the end complete the whole picture of Doc and his mates of Cannery Row.
If I ever write a novel, I would like to write one like this.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By kkrome25 on March 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is Cannery Row part 2, and it does not let up from part one, I'm happy to say. To note, Cannery Row was copyrighted 1945, and Sweet Thursday in 1954. Sweet Thursday opens by letting the reader know that it's after WWII and the boys are coming home from the war, except for Gay. For me, the central character is Doc. I think this is so, because almost all the characters think so highly of him, especially Hazel. Doc has a crisis, and I will not say what it is, but it has made a significant change in Hazel. But getting back to Doc, there is more about him, particularly about how he is "inside" the man of science. When I finished reading I was uplifted and satisfied. I only wish there was a part three somewhere for us to discover in some attic in Salinas. This is a must-have for Steinbeck fans.
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