Returning to the scene of Cannery Row, Steinbeck brilliantly re-creates its bawdy, high-spirited world of bums, drunks and hookers, telling the story of what happened to everyone after the war. There’s Fauna, the latest madam at the Bear Flag brothel; Doc, still there for everyone else but feeling strangely sad himself; and Suzy, the new hustler in town who might just be the girl to save him.
©1954 John Steinbeck (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd
"The outstanding quality of Steinbeck's writing... is his feel for the lives, thoughts and aspirations of ordinary people" (Spectator)
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"Return to Cannery Row"
This is a sequel to Cannery Row - which I very much enjoyed. The places are the same, but as time has passed some characters have gone and others have arrived. The tendency for trouble and pints of whiskey has not diminished.
I enjoyed the opening of this - almost meta-fictional and a joke on Steinbeck's real life relationship to Monterey. (I listened to the audiobook at the same time of reading the section of Travels With Charley that Steinbeck returns to Northern California).
The story I enjoyed slightly less than Cannery Row - perhaps this suffers from the difficult-second-story aspect. It doesn't do anything terribly different. But nonetheless, I cared for the characters and it was nice to revisit their lives in the wake of WW2.
The reading was good - not too intrusive but with enough modulation to keep me interested.
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