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Cannery Row: (Centennial Edition) Paperback – February 5, 2002
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“It’s one of the most thoroughly enjoyable and delicious books you’ll ever have the fortune to read.” Chicago Sun Times
“Everything is always somehow overlaid with laughter, the special kind of laughter and contentment with one’s lot, however humble, that only John Steinbeck can put into words. . . . John Steinbeck sees his characters with deep compassion as well as amusement.” Chicago Sunday Tribune
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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
A charming wander through the joys and sorrows of the community living around the Monterey Bay canneries. Read morePublished 1 hour ago by David Robinson
compared with grapes of wrath and winter of our discontent this was a light hearted, sweet, funny novel. Some great characters.Published 2 days ago by nicholas mooney
I have seen the movie many times & loved it, but the book was better.Published 5 days ago by Rezwalker
If you love the way Steinbeck writes, then there's no question you'll enjoy the book. I wish the Chong Lee character had been more multidimensional. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Chelsea Johnson
After a visit to the Monterey area, and having read Grapes of Wrath in my youth, I was looking forward to something similar to Grapes of Wrath in Cannery Row. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
It was a simple story, however, the characters were all quite interesting based on the plot. I wouldn't read it again because I didn't like the book structure-wise.Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
Re-reading Steinbeck after fifty years puts him at the top of favorite authors, as descriptive passages and personalities prove even more impressive. (Is there violence? Read morePublished 26 days ago by Ken V.
Steinbeck is the American writer for the ages. He creates a broadstroke tapestry of the ordinary in anway that few can match. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Robert Hilton