Sunday, 13 March 2011
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
Cannery Row is a short book written by Steinbeck as a tribute to his upbringing in California. It is an excellent read full of humour and drama.
The characters in Cannery Row are, without exception, societies outcasts: Drunkards, thieves, prostitutes, gamblers and down-on-their-luck businessmen. From reading this you would be forgiven for thinking this story would be bleak or perhaps unpleasant. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It's refreshing to read about characters who genuinely love life. There isn't a whole lot of brooding or introverted thoughts just a small group with tenuous links in common getting on with their lives and co-existing. There is a subtle thread of mutal love and friendship amidst the grime of their existence.
I found the book uplifting and fun to read. There is tragedy and sadness but also great and simple joys and an honest way of living which has perhaps been lost these days. I don't envy any of their hard lives but in the midst of their poverty, crime and immoral behaviour alot of joy and decency can be found.
On top of all this I love the front cover of this addition. A very powerful book but also great fun.
I am currently reading 'Sweet Thursday', the sequel to Cannery Row which I intend to review here when I finish it.
Final verdict 5/5