Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

A story about the inhabitants of a few blocks called cannery row, due to it being so close to the fish cannery. These people are colorful characters. You will meet Dora, the proprietor of a brothel masquerading as a restaurant. There is Lee Chong the Chinese man running the corner grocery store. There is Doc, the local ‘scientist’ who collects sea creatures to sell. There are also a few single, young men, like Mack, who live day to day as vagrants doing odd jobs here and there and enjoying their whiskey. There are a few others, too.

The book is set in Monterey, California in the late 1930s. It’s a great book showing how a micro community works. They all help each other, but are also caught up in their own lives.

I like Steinbeck’s writing. It feels real. Reading this reminded me of living in my small little town where everybody knew everybody and invariably got into each others business.

This was a wonderful little book. I enjoyed the hilarious characters who were driven by their different agendas. Now I’m really interested to read The Grapes of Wrath about the time period before this book, the Great Depression.

I found this gem tucked away on my bookshelf. I don’t remember how I came into possession of it. Let this be a lesson to other book nerds out there, just grab a book off the shelf and read it. You may discover some hidden treasure that’s been sitting under your nose this whole time!

Rating: ★★★★★

Book #35 in my 2022 Reading Challenge

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