Cannery Row: (Centennial Edition)
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Steinbeck's tough yet charming portrait of people on the margins of society, dependant on one another for both physical and emotional survival
Unburdened by the material necessities of the more fortunate, the denizens of Cannery Row discover rewards unknown in more traditional society. Henry the painter sorts through junk lots for pieces of wood to incorporate into the boat he is building, while the girls from Dora Flood’s bordello venture out now and then to enjoy a bit of sunshine. Lee Chong stocks his grocery with almost anything a man could want, and Doc, a young marine biologist who ministers to sick puppies and unhappy souls, unexpectedly finds true love. Cannery Row is just a few blocks long, but the story it harbors is suffused with warmth, understanding, and a great fund of human values.
First 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. John Steinbeck draws on his memories of the real inhabitants of Monterey, California, and interweaves their stories in this world where only the fittest survive—creating what is at once one of his most humorous and poignant works. In Cannery Row, John Steinbeck returns to the setting of Tortilla Flat to create another evocative portrait of life as it is lived by those who unabashedly put the highest value on the intangibles—human warmth, camaraderie, and love.
This Steinbeck Centennial Edition features French flaps and deckled pages.
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particularly among such a group of ravening individualists. A training army which has not been equipped with guns and artillery and tanks uses artificial guns and masquerading trucks to simulate its destructive panoply— and its toughening soldiers get used to field guns by handling logs on wheels. Mack, with a piece of chalk, drew five oblongs on the floor, each seven feet long and four feet wide, and in each square he wrote a name. These were the simulated beds. Each man had property rights
the face. Doc’s heart pounded deeply and his throat felt tight. He picked up his bucket and his jars and his crowbar and went slowly over the slippery rocks back toward the beach. And the girl’s face went ahead of him. He sat down on the beach in the coarse dry sand and pulled off his boots. In the jar the little octopi were huddled up, each keeping as far as possible from the others. Music sounded in Doc’s ears, a high thin piercingly sweet flute carrying a melody he could never remember, and
skater broke the world’s record he was going to come down and sleep right in the window without taking off his skates. The trade name of the mattress was on a little card at the foot of the bed. Now in the whole town there was interest and discussion about this sporting event, but the most interesting question of all and the one that bothered the whole town was never spoken of. No one mentioned it and yet it was there haunting everyone. Mrs. Trolat wondered about it as she came out of the Scotch
Lee Chong joined the party for a while but his stomach was notoriously weak and he got sick and had to go home. At eleven o’clock they fried the steaks and ate them. Someone digging through the records found an album of Count Basie and the great phonograph roared out. The noise could be heard from the boat works to La Ida. A group of customers from the Bear Flag mistook Western Biological for a rival house and charged up the stairs whooping with joy. They were evicted by the outraged hosts but
him for the same reason. The seven-foot cabin was too small for two people. They resented bumping their heads when they stood up and they definitely felt the need for a toilet. Marine toilets obviously would not work in a shore-bound boat and Henri refused to compromise with a spurious landsman’s toilet. He and his friend of the moment had to stroll away among the pines. And one after another his loves left him. Just after the girl he had called Alice left him, a very curious thing happened to