Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Sweetest of Thursdays

Not surprisingly, I greatly enjoyed Steinbeck's Sweet Thursday!  I would not say it was one of my favorites of his novels, but it is always a treat to see how Steinbeck describes a place, crafts dialogue, and introduces a motley cast of characters.  Considered a sequel to Cannery Row, the story follows Doc, who works in his homegrown lab named Western Biological to learn about various creatures he finds in tide pools, and Suzy, the new gal in town, as well as an extensive supporting cast including Hazel, Whitey No. 2, Mack, the Seer, and Joseph and Mary (one person!) all who populate Cannery Row in Monterey, CA.  What I love about Steinbeck is his unique way of telling a story - he invents phrases like "tom wallager" and has chapter names such as "There's a Hole in Reality through which We Can Look if We Wish" and "Oh, Woe, Woe, Woe!"  This is a story about our basic humanity that focuses on classic themes such as love, loyalty, friendship.  While not much happens on a grand scale, Cannery Row shows off Steinbeck's way of infusing lyricism into the most regular of human activities - throwing a party, playing matchmaker, helping out a friend, and even and most importantly, making brownies.

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