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
“It has always seemed strange to me...The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”
I am breathless.
In this book, Steinbeck mostly narrates the characters so we learn about them in 3rd person - very rarely do we get inside the character's minds - which to me is like being held at arms length from knowing a character. And there are a lot of characters. They are introduced throughout the entire book, animals and people alike, up until the last 10minutes of the read. There is no plot in my opinion, just a bunch of different people living their lives. I kept waiting for something that never happened. At the end of the book, I was bewildered by the reviews stating this book is 'life changing' and 'hard to put down'. It could not hold my attention and therefore it took me a while to finish. Not just that, but the narrator spoke so slowly I resorted to listening in double speed. This helped keep my attention a bit but the content was just plain dry.
I think this was one of the most provoking and in-depth novels by Steinbeck.
Cannery Row had more thought put into the underlying message within the story. Most Steinbeck books are " what you see is what you get" They are all american stories, that can be taken literally as they are.
However this book had more substance.
Mac and the boys are a humorous and simple bunch of guys. Everything they did and said was funny, and you often figure if they are honestly that daft.
All the characters seems to be this way.
And then there is Doc, he's much like the others, but for some reason his presence and character bring a new level to the story. He's the leader that brings everyone together. He's the brains of the town. Which is not hard to be!
In the end of the book, there is a passage read out loud by Doc that sums up the whole of the story. Its the purpose and message of the whole book.
This is the element to Cannery Row that sets it apart from Steinbeck's other books.
Well worth the read. Not my favourite Steinbeck. Likely because I felt it varied from what I love most about Steinbeck. But still worthy.
Just a person trying to read more books.
The chapters are varied in length but almost like vignettes, so it's easy to take breaks. I also loved Jerry Farden's reading. Will have to look him up and see if he's done any other work I can listen to. His voice is clear and he reads at a natural, conversational pace. He changes voices a little for the characters, but not in an exaggerated way.
Oh, the frogs being caught in the grass. Lee Chong in his shop. Doc socking Mack after the party. Just about everything.
Have not, but will look him up.
I wouldn't say better – my son reads along as the audio version plays. This way he gets the best of both worlds and can make the necessary notes on the pages of the book as he goes.
I have not listened to other Jerry Farden's performances, but will because he did an amazing job with Cannery Row.
What a great opportunity for all kids to have access to. There was not one flaw in the reading of the story, nor in the choice of performers. An absolutely captivating listen!
This is a heart-warming (and at times heart-breaking) story that is no less real for having been a fiction. Great novels have a lot to teach, but the best never sound pedantic.
The narrator does a wonderful job.
I love Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men - this is comparable in that I slowed down my 'reading' near the end - didn't want to leave my new friends.
Wonderful Story that captures a time and place you wish you could been apart of.
This is my favorite Steinbeck book and I was thrilled to finally see it on Audible. Unfortunately this narrator's take on Steinbeck's writing felt too glib and casual to me, and also a little too childish. It would have been perfect for a Mark Twain novel, but this book would have benefited by a reader with a more serious and less lighthearted approach. But it's still a good listen and a great book.
In reviewing books like Cannery Row, considered classics, when I have liked them I have compared them to time machines, a book written in a time long gone within a culture made distant by time can have the ability to take us back to that time and place and allow us to live there with the characters and be a part of that culture. Cannery Row does this in a beautiful way, the people often eccentric, become alive and around us and we have the opportunity through this beautiful book to become part of a community that is no longer with us. It is wonderful to bring a book like this into our lives, we are better for it, we understand a place in the past and therefore understand some of the path we have traveled as a society, and see some of the things we have lost as well as gained.
The story revolves around the community called Cannery Row, and Steinbeck writes a colorful and beautiful story around it, it is funny, interesting, sad and totally engrossing.
Highly Recommended, you will be better for this story to be part of your life.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.