Thursday, June 30, 2011

2011 Book #30: Cannery Row

n17137.jpegI waited too long to write this one, so I don't have much to say. Cannery Row is a very short novel about, well, Cannery Row in California around the Great Depression. It starts off with a description of the town's grocery store owner and how he influences the community, then moves on to other characters, like a series of vignettes. Eventually, though, Steinbeck settles on some guys who rent from the grocery store owner and do occasional work for a doctor (they call him doc) who supplies medical parts, mostly in jars. The men want to throw him a party, and they accidentally cause lots of damage in his lab. They try again, and Doc finds out about it first, so he makes preparations, but windows get knocked out and the like, too. There are some fun fights and dealings with the local brothel madam. And that's about it. It's short.

I love Steinbeck. He's one of my very favorite authors. Many years ago, I read Travels with Charley and Of Mice and Men, and, more recently, I read The Grapes of Wrath. I enjoyed all of them immensely, just as I did Cannery Row. My favorite was The Grapes of Wrath, and East of Eden is on my to-read list. Next up, though, is Sweet Thursday, which is a sort of sequel to Cannery Row, and the liberry happened to have it. I have a few of his other novels in one of my bookcases, and I think I'll be moving through them pretty quickly.

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