Saturday, 2 April 2011
Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
It has been my firm belief for quite some time that John Steinbeck is the greatest writer of the 20th century. I love his books and this one did not disappoint.
Sweet Thursday is the sequel to the brilliant 'Cannery Row' and picks up again a few years after the events of the first book. A few of the characters have died or moved on and have been replaced with others every bit as interesting and colourful (sometimes more so) The Second World War has happened in between the two books and has taken its toll on the people living in the row.
Some old favourites such as Doc and Mack return and I'm delighted to say there is every bit as much mischief and mayhem as the first book and just as much human feeling goes into it. Steinbeck has a way of really bringing his characters to life, you feel like you know these men and women and that they could be as real as anyone else.
Love, happiness and loneliness are central themes with great highs and lows included. There is more humour here than the first book and, perhaps because it is longer, I felt the story was more substantial in some ways, less in others.
The ending is brilliant and just what i'd hoped it would be. I strongly recommend reading both 'Cannery Row' and 'Sweet Thursday' as it is some of the very best Steinbeck has to offer.
Final verdict 5/5