Shelf Control #121: Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: Cannery Row
Author: John Steinbeck
Published: 1945
Length: 181 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Cannery Row is a book without much of a plot. Rather, it is an attempt to capture the feeling and people of a place, the cannery district of Monterey, California, which is populated by a mix of those down on their luck and those who choose for other reasons not to live “up the hill” in the more respectable area of town. The flow of the main plot is frequently interrupted by short vignettes that introduce us to various denizens of the Row, most of whom are not directly connected with the central story. These vignettes are often characterized by direct or indirect reference to extreme violence: suicides, corpses, and the cruelty of the natural world.

The “story” of Cannery Row follows the adventures of Mack and the boys, a group of unemployed yet resourceful men who inhabit a converted fish-meal shack on the edge of a vacant lot down on the Row.

How and when I got it:

I bought a copy several years ago, after hearing a favorite author mention this book as one that really inspired him as a writer.

Why I want to read it:

To put it simply — I just haven’t read enough Steinbeck, and it’s about time for me to do something about that. I’ve read East of Eden and Of Mice and Men, but both were ages ago, and I really feel like I should try more of his books. Maybe I’ll start with some of his shorter fiction, like this one, and work my way up to Grapes of Wrath!

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

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6 thoughts on “Shelf Control #121: Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

  1. I was forced to read so much Steinbeck in school that his name just makes me cringe now. The saddest part about this is that I really didn’t hate the books – I was just a “rebellious” teenager and I wanted to read about dragons or some such 🙂 I’m not sure I’ll ever try a Steinbeck again (although I logically probably should).

    • That’s so sad. I was never forced to read Steinbeck, so it’s never been spoiled for me! And I get it — who wouldn’t rather read about dragons at that point?!!

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