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
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.
Say something about yourself!
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.
My goal is to write a review of everything I've listened to, but I'm woefully behind. Wish I would have kept up. I'm a writer!
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.
The colorful characters and the fun story that made me smile through the whole book.
All are good.
I read this book in high school and loved it then, the audio book brought me back to that time.
this is the first time i ever read it. i have become fond of steinbeck lately.
i think the two other steinbeck books i read: east of eden and grapes of wrath are similar.
especaily grapes of wrath.
oh the first party at doc's!!
i read it in a 24 hour period.
such a great book. i think steinbeck has become one of my faves!
"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)
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.
Yes, interesting story well written
Yes, like his way of writing
His immitations of characters gives feeling of being there
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.
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.
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