Doc Rickets' lab
Photo of Doc Rickets’ lab by Bob Who used under a Creative Commons license.

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row (Penguin, 1994).
THS pal Tim writes:

Cannery Row is the Steinbeck book you weren’t asked to read in high school, and for good reason: It doesn’t stand up to literary analysis and it doesn’t stretch the reader’s capabilities. It’s no surprise, then, that your English teachers universally turned elsewhere to mold you into a fan of difficult texts. As a mood-altering substance for grownups, this isn’t LSD, Ecstasy, or even booze. It’s more like a fresh pretzel: salty, warm, and vestigially ethnic. Written in 1945 and set in the Great Depression, the book is a graceful string of character sketches and vignettes of people in and around Monterey, California that make you want to be in that place and with those people. Few books so charmingly capture the life of a place.

Google Book Search has the usual resources, including the introduction to the Penguin edition (but not an excerpt). The National Steinbeck Center offers biographical information about Steinbeck. Wikipedia’s entry about the book is relatively detailed. The City of Monterey offers a tour of Cannery Row. On NPR, Renee Montaigne explains that Steinbeck’s version was faithful to the real place. Here’s the Cannery Row Foundation’s web site. Michelle Potter writes about Steinbeck’s California ties. David Nale put together this photo essay of sites from the book. Robert Fulford writes about Steinbeck and Monterey. Via writes about “Steinbeck country.” Sue read Cannery Row to prepare for a visit to Monterey. So did Janette Griffiths. Neil at the Williamsburg Regional Library recommends the book. More bloggy goodness from Brian,
Jessica, abi, Brennig Jones, and Vega.

Buy it at Amazon.com.

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