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Cannery Row | [John Steinbeck]

Cannery Row

Published in 1945, Cannery Row focuses on the acceptance of life as it is: both the exuberance of community and the loneliness of the individual. Drawing on his memories of the real inhabitants of Monterey, California, Steinbeck interweaves the stories of Doc, Henri, Mack and his boys, and the other characters in this world where only the fittest survive, to create a novel that is at once one of his most humorous and most poignant works.
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Publisher's Summary

Here is Steinbeck’s tough yet charming portrait of people on the margins of society, dependent on one another for both physical and emotional survival.

Published in 1945, Cannery Row focuses on the acceptance of life as it is: both the exuberance of community and the loneliness of the individual. Drawing on his memories of the real inhabitants of Monterey, California, Steinbeck interweaves the stories of Doc, Henri, Mack and his boys, and the other characters in this world, where only the fittest survive, to create a novel that is at once one of his most humorous and most poignant works.

Public Domain ©1945 John Steinbeck (P)2011 Penguin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (562 )
5 star
 (296)
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4.3 (479 )
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Story
4.4 (477 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Judy Sarnia, Ontario, Canada 04-26-12
    Judy Sarnia, Ontario, Canada 04-26-12 Member Since 2012
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    "I love Steinbeck! Loved the narration!"

    When I was a young child, I lived in a fishing village in the late '40's, and early '50's. There were canneries in our small village, and many of the people worked either on the boats, or in the canneries.

    There was quite a community - something like that of Cannery Row.

    We visited Monterey some years ago, and I enjoyed knowing that Steinbeck wrote about that area.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas HAYDEN, IDAHO, United States 12-13-11
    Thomas HAYDEN, IDAHO, United States 12-13-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing Contrast, then and now"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, interesting story well written
    everyday life


    Would you be willing to try another book from John Steinbeck? Why or why not?

    Yes, like his way of writing


    What does Jerry Farden bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His immitations of characters gives feeling of being there


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Moser North Puget Sound, WA 11-23-11
    Tom Moser North Puget Sound, WA 11-23-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Great Listen to a Classic Steinbeck"

    Steinbeck builds characters that you fall in love with and then struggle to support as they drift into trouble; usually of their own making. The story is about respect and how people on Cannery Row have lives devoid of meaning apart from place and time. They are not people like me, yet they are every part of my life experience. Doc is the main character, a man with a solid education, job and place in the world of marine biology. Yet he is empty in places that Steinbeck is able to reveal and describe.

    Mack and the Boys are everywhere and add spice to the community on Cannery Row. They want to express gratitude for Doc and make a mess of things. Steinbeck takes us through the slow motion disaster of a party and builds tension as we wait for Doc to return home to the destruction Mack and the Boys created.

    The narrator does a nice job of giving voice to people who we can only try to imagine from the words on the page as they share their story of respect, loneliness and community.

    If you like Steinbeck this short book will not disappoint. It isn't Grapes Of Wrath, but it is still a fine work by an author who knows how to build characters that are irresistible.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LTCKEL 08-28-14
    LTCKEL 08-28-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Fun, interesting, enticing reading"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I read "Of Mice and Men" in college but skipped Steibeck's other books in favor of books by Ian Fleming. Yep, James Bond was all the rage in the mid-60's. I shouldn't have changed paths. Steinbecks's ability to capture the raw essence of the human experience is pure genius and Cannery Row may be the most profound and reflective of his efforts. This book was a pure joy to listen to. So much so, that I've already begun listening a second time.


    What about Jerry Farden’s performance did you like?

    He put "character" into his oral interpretation of Steinbeck's work. Well done, Jerry!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jewel 05-30-15
    Jewel 05-30-15
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    44
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    "My first Steinbeck"

    I love how he describes everything, but sometimes felt there was too much detail about the characters. Some of it was unnecessary to the story. Good read; I enjoyed it. Next up for me.....Grapes of Wrath.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marti Darling Twisp, Wa United States 05-12-15
    Marti Darling Twisp, Wa United States 05-12-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Reminds me of my dad"

    I loved the tough & tumble stories! The resourcefulness of the characters reminds me of some of the adventures my dad would tell of his wild youth during the depression.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Love 10-07-14
    S. Love 10-07-14
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    "Narrator Perfect!"
    What made the experience of listening to Cannery Row the most enjoyable?

    The narrator! I bought this audiobook because my book club was reading it. I told them all I wished they had listened to it. Of course Steinbeck's prose is wonderful, but it really came to life through this voice.


    Have you listened to any of Jerry Farden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nelson Mostow Cleveland ohio 03-13-14
    Nelson Mostow Cleveland ohio 03-13-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Expected more. Seemed dated."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The main character, Doc, did not come alive for me with the reader.


    What could John Steinbeck have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    More character development. I expected more. It concerns Cannery Row, the part of town of Monterey California where many poor people lived. The story was from many years ago. The pace was rambling and slow, Steinbeck could have picked up the pace. The character development was lacking, the characters were shallow for the most part.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jerry Farden’s performances?

    not if I had a choice


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I think that at the time it was written it provided insight into a strata of life which many people were not aware of.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 03-09-14
    Robert 03-09-14
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    "A Love Letter To Time & Place"
    Would you listen to Cannery Row again? Why?

    Absolutely and I have. "Canary Row" is like a love letter to a time and place you never visited. After reading this book, I felt as if I knew the characters as fully realized people. Closing the book and reaching the end of the performance, I felt as if I were saying goodbye to dear friends. The imperfectly perfect people you would wish to have as neighbors with all the love, pain and other emotions that comprise valued relationships.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Cannery Row?

    I love the part in which "The Boys" party goes awry turning tragic and humorous. Particularly, the truth of how we cope with the inevitable disappointments and pain that are part and parcel of meaningful relationships.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Scott 02-11-14
    John Scott 02-11-14
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    "Great reading of an under-appreciated gem"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Cannery Row to be better than the print version?

    Maybe. Farden reads Steinbeck like it should be read. Which is not fast. He savors the words properly.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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