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John Steinbeck ☆ 7 read

Lly bad Returning to the scene of Cannery Row the weedy lots and junk heaps and flophouses of Monterey John Steinbeck once brings to life the deni A book that is a love story on three levels We have the love that Mack Hazel and the gang feel for Doc their friend and mentor They want to set him up with a home a girl and a microscope don t ask and almost but not uite get it rightWe have the slow burn love affair between Suzy and Doc From totally different backgrounds repelled and attracted in eual measure but always set to get together in the endMost of all we have the love that Steinbeck clearly has for Cannery Row and it s motley cast of characters They may be living on the wrong side of town have intermittent work prospects and have a relaxed attitude to morals and the law but their colourful and joyful lives are a treat to read Written with affection and wit this is a wonderful book worth a read Oil Painting is a love story on three levels We have the love that Mack Hazel and the gang feel for Doc their friend and mentor They want to set him up with a home a girl and a microscope don t ask and almost but not uite get Putins Russia it rightWe have the slow burn love affair between Suzy and Doc From totally different backgrounds repelled and attracted Seducida (Esclava victoriana, in eual measure but always set to get together Essential Juices and Smoothies in the endMost of all we have the love that Steinbeck clearly has for Cannery Row and Buttermilk Graffiti it s motley cast of characters They may be living on the wrong side of town have Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink intermittent work prospects and have a relaxed attitude to morals and the law but their colourful and joyful lives are a treat to read Written with affection and wit this Pantaleon y Las Visitadoras is a wonderful book worth a read

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Sweet Thursday

In Monterey on the California coast Sweet Thursday is what they call the day after Lousy Wednesday which is one of those days that are just natura The War is over and life seems to go back to normal in Cannery Row Mack and the boys return to their feisty drinking at the Palace Flophouse and Fauna and the girls recover their usual business at the Bear Flag Companionship and good cheer camaraderie and the right dose of picaresue reign over the marginalized neighborhood in Monterey and the familiar pulse of tragicomedy takes hold of the comforted readerThere is only a discordant note in Steinbeck s symphony that dulls the otherwise colorful picture old Doc has come back home from the front a changed man his boundless love for the sea its marine creatures and even the appeasing voices of Gregorian chants have lost their allure Doc has run out of the selfless love that kept all the community tied up together and an impending sense of dread has darkened the mood of the whole neighborhoodTrying to reconnect with his former self and screaming out in stifling loneliness Doc reopens his laboratory and embarks on a new project to study the behavioral pattern of octopuses in situations of stress yes Steinbeck s humor shines with gusto thinking that hard work will raise his spirits while ignoring the inner voice that nags mercilessly at him about what is missing in his life Luckily for Doc Mack and Fauna know exactly what he needs to be a complete man again and an improbable seuence of events will entertain and warm the heart of any reader who was missing the gang of crooks vagrants prostitutes and drunks that live in peaceful fellowship in Cannery RowOnce Steinbeck s prose is a delight to read With loads of self effacing and good natured humor he uses comedy and rich vocabulary salted with fine irony and a pinch of surrealism to create characters that will beat the odds and prevail over the grim circumstances that have been imposed on themForty chapters with titles sporadic poetry and plenty of philosophy fill the pages of this endearing tale of love and friendship Time takes the best of us and new yearnings plague even the most lone wolves when the moment is right The sea is lonely without its fish Doc s solitude is the birth of a metamorphosis that will bring some anguish and self doubt but also the only chance that his dreams and wishes will materialize and make him whole If you had such an opportunity would you let it pass by without risking everything you have to get itI thought so and so did Steinbeck

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Zens of a netherworld of laughter and tears from Fauna new headmistress of the local brothel to Hazel a bum whose mother must have wanted a daught Published in 1954 John Steinbeck s seuel to Cannery Row arrived nine years after its predecessor and directly followed the monumental world building of East of Eden This might explain why Sweet Thursday is on much sober footing than Steinbeck s previous literary excursions to Monterey California rather than loosely connected vignettes connected to a party this is of a fully formed novel with a doggone romance as its centerpieceIn a prologue Steinbeck indulges in a delightful bit of meta fiction Mack king of the Palace Flophouse and leader of the indigents who suat there comments on Cannery Row and how he would ve written the book differently Mack s beef is that the author should ve included chapter titles to help jog the reader s memory He then launches into general literary critiue that s easy to read as an address by Steinbeck to his contemporaries Well I like a lot of talk in a book and I don t like to have nobody tell me what the guy that s talking looks like I want to figure out what he looks like from the way he talks And another thing I kind of like to figure out what the guy s thinking by what he says I like some description too he went on I like to know what color a thing is how it smells and maybe how it looks and maybe how a guy feels about it but not too much of thatChapter 1 What Happened In Between picks up most of the characters of Cannery Row after the end of World War II Marine biologist Doc returns from a stint as a tech sergeant to find Western Biological Laboratories which Doc had entrusted to a trust fund baby and fellow scientist known as Old Jingleballicks run into disrepair Mack and the boys Hazel Whitey No 1 and Whitey No 2 still reside rent free at the Palace Flophouse but Lee Chong has sold the Heavenly Flower Grocery to a street hustler from Los Angeles named Joseph and Mary who found the odds in drug trafficking too steep and transitioned into human trafficking instead By chance Joseph and Mary discovered a few of his wards had musical talent He s now found a new hustle show business managementDora Flood owner of the Bear Flag Restaurant died in her sleep The whorehouse has been inherited by her next of kin an older sister from San Francisco named Flora who s rechristened Fauna by one of the regulars Fauna runs the Bear Flag as a finishing school of sorts priding herself in marrying her girls off to proper gentlemen Against every instinct Fauna takes in a new arrival to Monterey named Suzy a tough kid whose heart as well as her mouth is too big to make it as a hustler With no wife and no children Doc has begun to think seriously about his legacy and hits upon the idea to write a paper on cephalopods noting his many detailed observations about the moods of octopi Instead he develops a bad case of writer s block and a cloud falls over all of Cannery Row Fauna sees that Suzy is too opinionated to excel as an employee of the Bear Flag and needs a husband as much as Mack needs a wife to lift him out of his malaise Meanwhile Mack and the boys are worried that the deed to the Palace Flophouse has been sold to Joseph and Mary without his knowledge but when the new owner receives a tax bill the tenants will be expected to pay rent Mack s brainstorm is to raffle off the deed to the flophouse using the raffle to buy Doc an expensive microscope and rig the contest so that he inherits the flophouse as well Fauna and Mack s schemes converge without Doc or Suzy having much to say about it Sweet Thursday the day between Lousy Wednesday and Waiting Friday is a delight Steinbeck conjures a world I didn t want to leave The climate and atmosphere of postwar Monterey with its shuttered canneries its fishing fleets its working girls philosophers and charlatans is just one facet Steinbeck is a student of human nature and has a wonderful way of noting what s wrong with people without being bitten by bitterness or cynicismSeveral of the characters of Cannery Row get the idea to do something nice for Doc when in the end they do what they really want which is something nice for the person they know best themselves But their scams are always out in the open Characters lie cheat steal slack off and take advantage of each other but they feel bad about it too And with Monterey as small as it is they have to live with their guilt and atone for it in some way which I found hopeful This usually leads to a greater disaster but it makes for delightful readingSomewhere in there is the story of the whole human raceI leave you with some wisdom from Steinbeck regarding choosing a wife You know they say there s three good reasons for marrying a hustlerWhat are you talking about said DocMack counted on his fingers Number one she ain t likely to wander she s done all her experimenting Number two you ain t likely to surprise her or disappoint her And number three if a hustler goes for you she ain t got but one reasonDoc watched him hypnotized What reasonShe likes you Good night Doc


10 thoughts on “Sweet Thursday

  1. says:

    Dear Mack and the boys in Palace Flophouse I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the advice you gave the author in the prologue You were entirely right and helped him write a masterpiece After all who would know better than you how to describe the intricate balance of talk action and hooptedoodle and chapte

  2. says:

    Over the course of this year I have discovered an appreciation for American master story tellers I have noted in reviews that some of the books assigned to high school children may not be age appropriate and that one gets a deeper appreciation for some of these books by reading them through adult eyes It is in this regard that I have read Capote Hemingway and Steinbeck during this calendar year A month ago I found myself enjoyin

  3. says:

    The War is over and life seems to go back to normal in Cannery Row Mack and the boys return to their feisty drinking at the Palace Flophouse and Fauna and the girls recover their usual business at the Bear Flag Companionship and good cheer camaraderie and the right dose of picaresue reign over the marginalized neighborhood in Monterey and the familiar pulse of tragicomedy takes hold of the comforted readerThere is only a discordant note i

  4. says:

    Sweet Thursday Cannery Row ReduxThe world is so full of a number of things I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings Happy Thought from a Child's Garden of Verse Robert Louis SteversonIf you love the works of John Steinbeck as I do it does not matter whether the critics have labeled one of his novels among his major novels Even a minor Steinbeck is a joy to pick up and read Even re read Recently I reveled in Cannery Row Original

  5. says:

    I was in Monterey uite recently and even visited the Steinbeck house in Salinas so I thought it would be a damn good time to read another Steinbeck As per usual it was a really good read and as per usual I was right But then again it's always a good time to read SteinbeckHaving said that I do worry every time I read one of his books because all the character's always die and it will always be sad The amount of hyperbole in that previous s

  6. says:

    A book that is a love story on three levels We have the love that Mack Hazel and the gang feel for Doc their friend and mentor They want to set him up with a home a girl and a microscope don't ask and almost but not uite ge

  7. says:

    Published in 1954 John Steinbeck's seuel to Cannery Row arrived nine years after its predecessor and directly followed the monumental world building of East of Eden This might explain why Sweet Thursday is on much sober footing than

  8. says:

    Since listening to an audiobook edition of Cannery Row earlier this year and falling in love with both the characters and Steinbeck's writing I

  9. says:

    A good companion piece to CANNERY ROW I enjoyed this book

  10. says:

    The second time this book has caught me by surprise He's got a very I wanna say astute but it's something else H

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