“I have a connection with this book somehow... ”Darryl Youzefowich wrote this review Monday, August 13, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I read this book a few years back for a middle school class, i think it was 8th grade.
i didn't know that Cannery Row actually existed as a place. its in Monterey California, right next the the Monterey Bay aquarium. Its pretty cool.
I should read the book again...”
“So different. Not really focused on characters, not really focused on the setting. It was more like sitting around a campfire and listening to a drunk tell a story where he skips from character to character without finishing a thought. For some reason I found this rather charming and enjoyed the book....for the most part.”Baxter Burgundy wrote this review Thursday, August 2, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This series of vignettes of characters in the poor working class section of Monterey during the Depression provides a timeless vision of human adaptability and grace. The benevolent omniscient viewpoint renders a sense of invitation to come appreciate a self-contained world largely untouched by the larger forces of capitalistic greed and technological progress. The main characters include: Doc, who collects and sells marine organisms and lets many take advantage of his kindness, Mac who succeeds in avoiding responsibilities by living simply with a group of homeless men in an abandoned warehouse (“the Palace Flophouse”; Lee Chong, a Chinese grocer who allows sales on credit as a form of investment toward future good will and business; and Dora, kindly madam of a bordello who contributes generously in response to community disasters and personal misfortunes. Like the sea creatures that Doc collects, the residents of Cannery Row are all adapted in their own niches in a specific ecology. In the process of fulfilling individual missions, each plays a collaborative role as in an ecological community of species. The main plot element comprises the steps Mac takes to pull off a party of appreciation for Doc, which initially backfires hilariously when they trash his place in drunkenness before Doc even arrives.
The overall message of the book to me is that in the brutal ecology of the world, there is beauty and grace in the benign human creatures who thrive in the shadows in niches untouched by the top carnivores. I appreciately highly the alignment of Steinbeck’s marine biology interests and this loving focus on a small human community. The book makes for a nice contrast with epic scope and larger social commentary of "The Grapes of Wrath". Supposedly, after experience with being a war correspondent, Steinbeck sought refuge in writing about a lighter subject. Steinbeck pays homage to god-like virtues of the residents of Cannery Row, with Doc ironically noting: “The things we admire most in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those the we detest, sharpness, greed, acquistitiveness, 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.”
“Loved this book. I've read alot of Steinbeck's work but for some reason had never read this one and I think it's probably by far my favorite!! I haven't even seen the movie (even though I love Nick Nolte) so am now going to have to track it down to watch. Although the setting certainly rings true with the depression era environment--I found this story to be so much more optimistic and up-lifting than his other work. Highly recommended.”Beverly R. wrote this review Friday, July 20, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really enjoyed this story, especially the relationship between Doc and Frankie. ”Zombie Kitten wrote this review Thursday, July 19, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“a masterpiece of humor derived from poverty.”Syed Sabir Jamil wrote this review Wednesday, July 18, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A series of vignettes of a community by a cannery, set just after the Great Depression. Full of colourful and interesting characters, this a tale of hope and finding happiness in an often bleak world. Very different in tone to Steinbeck's other works, there is a sense of irony in this optimistic outlook; however I feel only slightly. Hopeful, poetic and sometimes humourous, this is a beautiful little read.”Augusta N wrote this review Sunday, July 15, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Cannery Row is the story of a group of people living near the canneries of Monterey, California during the Depression Era. The entire story revolves around the daily life of these people and their interactions with each other. I know this makes the book sound boring, but it's certainly not. My favorite books all involve characters that seem real to me and the characters in this book did just that. I love the way that Steinbeck was able to show that no matter how down on their luck these people were, they were always optimistic and had a mostly positive outlook on life. ”kairilily wrote this review Wednesday, July 11, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No