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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

4.3 (437 )
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  •  
    Jax 08-23-11
    Jax 08-23-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I disagree with Rob from Goodyear, AZ"

    The book is great, and I thought the narration was really good too. The narrator sounds like someone who could've been there watching the whole thing from an upstairs window in one of the shops. Fantastic.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bette 04-23-12
    Bette 04-23-12

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Five stars with a Caveat"

    Cannery Row is one of my favorite books of all time. I have read and reread it more times than I can recall. I bought this audiobook out of curiosity, I wanted to hear the words for a change. Jerry Farden's narrative perfectly captures not only Steinbeck's love of his Cannery Row characters and sense of community, but his lyrical language as well.

    Which is the reason I recommend reading Cannery Row before listening to it. No narrator can show you the odd punctuation and mystifying strings of words Steinbeck so lovingly assembled in this book, which I think of as his 'ode to the English language'. It quite simply deserves a leisurely reading.

    Once read, I do recommend listening to Mr. Farden's joyful interpretation of this wonderful story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Franks New York, NY United States 10-20-11
    Cynthia Franks New York, NY United States 10-20-11 Member Since 2006

    Sootyfootyput

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great way to re-live this book."

    I never read CANNERY ROW in school and was well into my 30s the first time I read it. The book is almost a poem. The way the humanity of the characters--none of having very much in the way of material possessions--is gently revealed through the subtle building of the plot is a joy to read. They are very rich. It is Steinbeck at his best. I waited a long time for Audible to have Steinbeck available and I'm so glad I can re-live this book in this form.

    The performance by Narrator Jerry Farden is adequate. He gives voice to the inhabitants of Cannery Row in a way that adds depth to this audio version. The only negative being the book is to short.

    I can't wait to download the rest of the Steinbeck collection.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 01-10-13
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 01-10-13 Member Since 2007

    50yrs old / audible member for 5 yrs library. 75% nonfiction, 15% classics and 10% fiction. History/Science/biography/Eng.18th cent fiction

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    "PART OF MY SOUL IN PRINT (AUDIO)"

    I've been looking for a place exactly like cannery row in all its simplistic beauty complete with all its character and characters since I was born.. so you can imagine my joy in finding all those elements in this book and its sequel sweet thursday.
    a community of that time that's reasonably Simple,honest and, caring,excepting ,thoughtful and,un-poisoned by money, bureaucracy,greed,status and voracious land,development,
    I love how that old boiler was fixed up twice as a place to live lol- and how the palace flophouse and the whorehouse where also excepted parts of the community.Its a time and place where People were judged by who they were rather than what they did for a living or how they dressed.
    Needles to say the above is but 1 element of this story. Steinbeck knows how to write of this sphere because he lived it . I wish he had written more in this series,It seems to me it was his intention, because theres quite a gap in years.. There should have been a book between cannery row and sweet thursday, Wish there was!! maybe Ill write it lol .I wish I had that ability
    .late last night I finished his last book-winter of our discontent-it put me into an immediate depression the instant I finished it. the shallow will think oh I wont read that, and the wise will know that a work that can move you so much is defiantly worth reading.
    Ive been compelled to read all of steinbecks major works in a row, since my first steinbeck book, the stunning EAST OF EDEN.
    When an author brings so much pain,pleasure and emotionally cutting fodder to the deepest part of you- for you to sort out and digest-and it also manages to bypasses your defenses to your soul, thats an artist still lives and is immortal.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Burns, TN, United States 08-16-12
    Tim Burns, TN, United States 08-16-12
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    "Feel good book"
    What did you love best about Cannery Row?

    The colorful characters and the fun story that made me smile through the whole book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All are good.


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

    No


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I read this book in high school and loved it then, the audio book brought me back to that time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 08-04-12
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 08-04-12 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "another great seinbeck book!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Cannery Row to be better than the print version?

    this is the first time i ever read it. i have become fond of steinbeck lately.


    What other book might you compare Cannery Row to and why?

    i think the two other steinbeck books i read: east of eden and grapes of wrath are similar.

    especaily grapes of wrath.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    oh the first party at doc's!!


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

    i read it in a 24 hour period.


    Any additional comments?

    such a great book. i think steinbeck has become one of my faves!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack St Petersburg, FL, United States 11-14-12
    Jack St Petersburg, FL, United States 11-14-12

    Blind Vietnam veteran. Antique weapons collector. Outdoor enthusiast. Florida State University graduate with Business major. Owner of home health agency. registered nurse.

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    "One of the Best Stories Ever Written"

    The first time I read Cannery Row was in junior college in the early 60's. I have always loved the characters and the flow of the story. Having lived in Monterey, California, for some time, I always felt a part of the story. Hearing it performed was very different than the voices that I conjured up when I read it to myself. Not worse, not better - just very different. For that reason alone I would recommend it very highly to anyone who likes the story. Perhaps it is like drinking good beer from an ice cold mug rather than the bottle.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Lane Plano, TX USA 10-11-12
    John Lane Plano, TX USA 10-11-12 Member Since 2011

    johnlane

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    "An Enjoyable Book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I like this meandering story and think others will. I don't think it is as good as Of Mice and Men, though.


    What other book might you compare Cannery Row to and why?

    Well, Mice and Men comes to mind because of the author. But this is much different - it is more about the characters in a town.


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

    No, but he does a superb job here.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Cannery Row, a collection of characters


    Any additional comments?

    Worth reading. I enjoyed. It just kind of ends without a clearcut ending. Reads almost like a few short stories put together.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 10-11-12
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 10-11-12 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My Favorite Audible Steinbeck so far...."

    Not at all what I expected from the book. It was deep, poignant, symbolic and fun at the same time. Somehow I had missed reading this classic and bought it only to fill in my missing knowlege void. I'd buy it again in a heatbeat for the joy of it and will read again soon. Heck, I'd pay 35 frogs for it... maybe even 75.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maynard Moravian falls, NC, United States 07-06-12
    Maynard Moravian falls, NC, United States 07-06-12 Member Since 2011

    Scientist, artisan, anachronism

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It's obvious when it's Steinbeck, it's outstanding"

    "Cannery row in Montaray, in California, is: a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery row is: the gathered and scattered ,tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honkey tonks, restaurants and whore houses and little crowded groceries, laboratories and flop houses. It's inhabitants are, as the man once said: whores, pimps, gamblers and sons of bitches; by which he meant everybody. Had the man looked through another peep-hole, he might have said: saints and angels and martyrs and holy men, and he would have meant the same thing." (from the preface, by Steinbeck)

    Steinbeck knows hardship. He knows what is forged in the heart in the flames of tribulation. He knows goodness, knows badness. He captures situations, environments, events and the emotional effects of the combination of these that is life. Steinbeck has a specific style and it is consistent in each of his novels. It is obvious when it is a Steinbeck. This story, as always, is great.

    (my other Steinbeck ratings: grapes of wrath- 5; of mice and men- 5; the pearl- 5; cannery row- 5; tortilla flat- 5)


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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