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Saturday, 31 August 2019

#BookReview #20BooksOfSummer Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

Time for the rundown to the completion of this fabulous challenge!  This was book 18 and, yet again!, not on my original list but I picked this one up as I was in need of a quick read - it's only 156 pages long - and it also is the September choice for the GoodReads book club I'm  part of so I'm getting ahead of myself already!


In the din and stink that is Cannery Row a colourful bend of misfits - gamblers, whores, drunks, bums, and artists - survive side by side in a jumble of adventure and mischief. Lee Chong, the astute owner of the fantastically well-stocked grocery store, is also the proprietor of the Palace Flophouse that Mack and his troupe of good-natured 'boys' call home. Dora, of the flaming orange hair and taste for Nile green dresses, runs the brothel with clockwork efficiency. Doc, who owns the laboratory, is the fount of all generosity and wisdom. Everybody wants to do something nice for Doc: the trouble is, he always ends up paying.

Packed with invention and joie de vivreCannery Row is Steinbeck's high-spirited tribute to his native California.


My first John Steinbeck and not going to be my last! I was a little unsure what was ahead of me when I started this and did struggle with the first few pages, but I soon took the characters to heart, especially Doc and Frankie, and I loved seeing how things were going to pan out between this wonderful mix of outsider characters, and their quest to throw a party!

I loved the comings and going on Cannery Row - it really helped set the scene as these outcasts of society came together in their own world, none more so than Doc who the others adored as he was always there to help out. But as a man himself he was happy to dance his own tune, stay out of the 'normal' and was totally wrapped up in his work and helping others.

This was only a short novel but it really packed a punch and I could happily have read more as the characters lended themselves to so many storylines and avenues to explore!


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