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Publisher's Summary

In the din and stink that is Cannery Row a colourful blend 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 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 and a generous heart. Doc, who owns the laboratory, is the fount of all wisdom. Everybody wants to do something nice for Doc: the trouble is, he always ends up paying.

Packed with invention and joie de vivre CANNERY ROW is Steinbeck's high-spirited tribute to his native California.

©1945 John Steinbeck (P)2011 Hachette Digital

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Do you remember that party?

One of Steinbeck’s best, but too short! Again Steinbeck draws a picture of a time and place that will remain a vivid portrait. This time it is a derelict area in Monterey, California. Probably the 1920s, although it is not said. There are T-Fords, it is on this I am guessing. Steinbeck was from Salinas, California, so he is writing about what he knows best: a cannery, the sea, its smells pungent, acrid and salt, the octopi and starfish and rattlesnakes and the rats, the sound of the surf, the feel of the air, the quiet at dawn and the heat at the end of a hot summer day. The stickiness and the lilting breeze and the people - who live in a discarded boiler, a rusted tunnel, the lucky in a deserted warehouse. There is a brothel and a Chinese grocery. This book is about these people and it is about friendship and it is about parties. Think back on all the parties you have been at. The ones of your youth. How they start and how they end. The food, the drink, the music and dancing and the whole atmosphere. Reading this book will back to you the parties of your own past. They are made palpable. This book is a tribute to parties, parties with people you love.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sylvia
  • 11-28-11

Sometimes listening is better.

This book was set by our reading group. Unable to buy and read it in time I downloaded this audible version and am so glad. It really is a cracking little story, we all enjoyed it but when I briefly played part of my audible version at the meeting some members thought it too slow. Not a fast reader myself I particularly enjoyed the audible because it really brought out the poetic lyricism of the novella, enlivened the imagery and was simply such a pleasure to listen to. I'd recommend it every time.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MsRanPan
  • 12-29-12

A small story worth reading

I decided to read some more highly regarded authors/books and Steinbeck was one of them. This is what I would call a 'small story' in that its just a little tale about a group of friends but obviously with all the things you can expect from Steinbeck, it's not Of Mice and Men or Grapes of Wrath but worth a read

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Annie
  • 02-05-11

just perfect

A Beautiful and characterful piece of writing from the man who wrote about the place he lived in and about the good that is always lurking somewhere in the hearts of men.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Mary C Dalziel
  • Mary C Dalziel
  • 04-01-18

Stienbeck discriptions are so exquisitely written

that you feel you are witnessing everything.You are part of the
narrative. Fabulous to listen to.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-05-18

A classic brilliantly performed.

I didn't want this to end. Such a wonderful depiction of life on Cannery Row. No great plot, but what characters! All brought to life by Trevor White's intelligent and entertaining performance ( as always). Really laugh out loud in parts and in others, bitter sweet and moving. My husband and I listened to it on the way to work and it almost made us look forward to going! We thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  • steve armitt
  • 01-22-18

Steinbeck at his best

loved it in paper back audible brought it to life . gave a new dimension to a classic title tempted to listen again from chapter 1









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  • J. R. Knight
  • 01-15-18

Lovely lovely

I enjoyed the book again again again as you can see I am a fan!

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  • MR R W FORTH
  • 11-15-16

Beautifully narrated

I'd not "read" any of Steinbeck's work before and have been very pleasantly surprised.

The nature of the story makes it perfect fo the audiobook format and one can easily imagine these tales being recounted in a bar among friends in much the same tone.

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  • Paul
  • 08-14-16

A strong performance of my favourite book

The book itself is a deserved American classic with wit and satirical elements but also a lot of heart as the various inhabitants of Cannery Row go about their lives. The characters are memorable and the narrator does a great job of bringing them to life. The same narrator has also performed the also great catch 22 to a similarly high standard.

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  • uhhuhlex
  • 02-01-16

Monterey brought to life

What made the experience of listening to Cannery Row the most enjoyable?

I am biased - I recently visited Monterey where this novella is set. However, in a way I don't think it mattered because I found the world it created vivid. The characters are not totally dynamic compared to epic works, but they are believable and the world they live in is too. The characters suffer from not having 'big' plans to follow in the narrative. This is compensated for me by the glorious descriptions of the landscape, moments of humour, and some philosophical considerations of human nature.

What about Trevor White’s performance did you like?

I thought that the reader was sympathetic and gave the text some momentum without over-dramatising it.

Any additional comments?

I'm hoping to listen to Sweet Thursday - billed as a sequel - soon. After I get through all the other Steinbeck I have downloaded!

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  • Helen
  • 02-22-15

Funny, nostalgic and beautifully written

John Steinbeck has such love for his characters. They are all flawed but their flaws are loved and treated with humour. He gives them such humanity. Loved this book, like his others such as Grapes of Wrath and Tortilla Flat.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful