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Sweet Thursday (Cannery Row #2)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,475 Ratings  ·  510 Reviews
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 naturally bad. Returning to the scene of Cannery Row, the weedy lots and junk heaps and flophouses of Monterey, John Steinbeck once more brings to life the denizens of a netherworld of laughter and tears from Fauna, new headmistress ...more
Paperback, 249 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Penguin Classics (first published 1954)
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Patricia Hamill Well, I just read this and haven't read Cannery Row yet.

The start of this book was a bit lost on me because it starts off with the "where are they…more
Well, I just read this and haven't read Cannery Row yet.

The start of this book was a bit lost on me because it starts off with the "where are they now" stuff. But, that being said, once it got to the plot, I found all that didn't matter. I love this book. I do think I probably should have read the first one first, though.(less)
East of Eden by John SteinbeckOf Mice and Men by John SteinbeckThe Grapes of Wrath by John SteinbeckCannery Row by John SteinbeckThe Pearl by John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
10th out of 43 books — 171 voters
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteLord of the Flies by William GoldingThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Best Books of the Decade: 1950's
136th out of 651 books — 868 voters

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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 24, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing

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've looked forward to reading this sequel. It's set about ten years after the events of Cannery Row. Doc has returned from army service to his work at the Western Biological Laboratory and finds himself unsatisfied and depressed. This makes the other denizens of Cannery Row decide that Doc needs a wife and that Suzy - a new girl at the Bear Flag Restaura
Joe Valdez
Sep 20, 2014 Joe Valdez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
Published in 1954, John Steinbeck's sequel 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 more sober footing than Steinbeck's previous literary excursions to Monterey, California; rather than loosely connected vignettes connected to a party, this is more of a fully-formed novel, with a doggone romance as its centerpiece.

In a prologue, Steinbeck indulges in a delightful b
Jul 08, 2008 Meghan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who liked Cannery Row
The sequel to Steinbeck's Cannery Row, it's difficult to nail down exactly why this novel isn't as good as its prequel. Sweet Thursday is still a very enjoyable book and managed to arouse and audible chuckle from me here and there, but, as the only work of Steinbeck's I've read that could be labeled as a "romantic comedy," it fell short of leaving me with that happy and slightly amazed feeling that Cannery Row succeeded in leaving behind. There were points in the story where I almost wanted to g ...more
Nov 02, 2007 Miriam rated it it was amazing
The second time this book has caught me by surprise. He's got a very... I wanna say "astute," but it's something else. He just keeps "gettin'" (like GOTCHA!) me. Steinbeck has a voice I can tune in to. It's weird, like how singing voices resonate whether I like the music or not, styles of writing... they either rattle your bones, or it's nothing. Just a story. Words completely randomly and inelegantly strung together. end rant. a-a-a-and... :) here's the part...


"... "You kn
Jenny (adultishbooks)
I loved Cannery Row and it was a love that developed over many years of growing appreciation. Sweet Thursday had everything I loved about Cannery Row (it being a sequel and all). I can't get over how good Steinbeck is at characterization; he shows, not tells. There were some slow parts and bizarre parts, much like Cannery Row but I really enjoyed it and bought into everything that happened.

You got to watch Hazel though. That boy is trouble.

Apr 14, 2009 E.C.R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read Cannery Row something like 15 years ago, and had forgotten a lot of the characters. So, it may not be essential to have read it prior to reading Sweet Thursday, but it does help.

There is a kind of style or attitude that Steinbeck brings to this world which is both sympathetic and very humorous. That's a difficult trick as it would be very easy for us to laugh at Hazel - a man who believes he will become President because of a horoscope reading from the madame of the local whore house
Jan 30, 2013 RØB rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans Of CANNERY ROW
Recommended to RØB by: The Internet
SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET THURSDAY! Man, finding out that this book existed, which I did only after reading CANNERY ROW this more recent, second, time, was like discovering a new manuscript of the Dead Sea Scrolls, or something, for me. Only all I had to do was go to the library and check it out! After tossin' back CANNERY ROW and finding myself scarcely able to get a hold of it, of course I was on the internet browsin' around about it to glean every little iota of information I could, and there, stari ...more
Norma Christensen
Jan 25, 2014 Norma Christensen rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to get into this book, and I found myself wondering, why revisit Cannery Row? But, Steinbeck draws you in and I finally succumbed. I think he is a masterful writer and I will relate one paragraph which I especially loved:
"The eyes of the snakes looked dustily at him---or seemed to. Doc went on, "Let me put it this way: there is nothing I can do. They say of an amputee that he remembers his leg. Well, I remember this girl. I am not whole without her. I am not alive without her.
I had three hours left of this nine hour audiobook, and I was still not enjoying it. But I persisted. This is one of those books that it takes a while to warm to. By the end I cared for some of the characters (not just Doc, but Fauna and Hazel too) and there was some humor that made me smile. It has a "cute" ending. How do you rate a book that for the most part bores you but then at the end it turns for the better? By the end I liked it, but not in the beginning and not in the middle either! It ...more
Aug 08, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Sweet Thursday is the sequel to Cannery Row, one of my favorite of Steinbeck’s books. I’ve read the epic masterpieces, like East of Eden and Grapes of Wrath. I’ve read the shorter morality tales, like Of Mice and Men and The Pearl. Yet after all of those brilliant works, my favorites remain his road trip memoir, Travels with Charley, and Cannery Row. I may get more depth and inner turmoil from his other works, but these are the ones I relate, the ones I want to return to.

Sweet Thursday quickly
Bill Ward
May 30, 2014 Bill Ward rated it liked it
It's probably been more than 30 years since I read Cannery Row so I had forgotten all the characters that feature in this sequel. While I admire the writing skill and descriptions I was frankly bored for most of this book. Very little happens and I suspect that with age my reading tastes have changed and I seek more action content for me to rate a book higher than 3 stars!
The post war characters didn't really interest me and I think I will have to read again one of his more famous books, to see
Jul 02, 2015 Nathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ed Ricketts, whom the recurring character "Doc" in Steinbeck's books is based (namely in this title and its predecessor Cannery Row) was an everyman, non-degreed scientist whom Steinbeck idealized in writing and worshiped in near equal measure as a friend; or so I've gathered based on accounts - I didn't know the guy. Described as "half Christ, half goat," Steinbeck not only fictionalized his great - and typically bearded - friend but they also co-wrote the travelogue/science monograph Sea of Co ...more
Miss Karen Jean Martinson
Jul 18, 2012 Miss Karen Jean Martinson rated it it was amazing
I read this book and loved this book a long time ago, when I was young and didn't know anything. So I re-read it and loved it, but at least now with the knowledge that comes from living on this planet for 40 years. I love how Steinbeck is mythic and straightforward at the same time, both amazingly complex in his construction of character and sparse in his language. I've always found him to be one of the profound writers; I admire that he can get at deepest and most truthful observations of human ...more
Apr 04, 2013 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Had I known this was a sequel to Cannery Row, I would have read this the minute I finished Cannery Row. (How did I not know there was a sequel to Cannery Row!) But, thank you, Elmore Leonard. I decided that this year, I’m taking my favorite authors and reading the books they’ve read. To follow that thread, that slow-burn rapture, the world unfolding from a singular point of view. And thus: I found Sweet Thursday, the sequel to Cannery Row, from the man that makes more sense than anybody that he’ ...more
Po Po
Jan 21, 2015 Po Po rated it really liked it
If you enjoyed the hijinks and ill-fated shenanigans of Mack and the boys in Cannery Row, you won't want to miss this sequel.

The story primarily follows Doc, who has found himself changed after the war. Unhappiness and discontent has set in for ol' Doc and the inhabitants of CR can't help but notice his sad shiftlessness and his strange fixation with cephalopods. Mack and the gang want to "fix" Doc. Thus begins an undertaking of behemothic proportions.

* * *

Steinbeck loves whores, so of course a
Sep 03, 2010 Cams rated it it was amazing
I just finished this one this morning. Utterly, utterly brilliant. I read Cannery Row a while ago and bought Sweet Thursday a while ago too. Since the bairns came along, my books tend to be consumed in audio fashion rather than in the more tangible paper form. As we were travelling to Scotland and back recently and would be spending time in a B&B, I thought I would take a book along. I grabbed this one off my shelf and was hooked right from the start.

It's hard to describe why this is so goo
Primero Fin
Nov 24, 2012 Primero Fin rated it did not like it
It is impossible for me to separate Sweet Thursday from Cannery Row - so I cannot objectively comment on Sweet Thursday as a standalone novel.

Cannery Row is one of my favorite novels. Beginning as a high school assignment and continuing over the next 40 years I have read it a dozen times. Someone told me that Steinbeck wrote Cannery Row as a gift to the country during WWII - as something to make people happy. He succeeded in that goal. Cannery Row is simply magical. It has that certain 'somethi
Sep 05, 2009 jeremy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
published nearly a decade after cannery row, sweet thursday is a revisiting of the characters popularized in steinbeck's earlier work. the row again serves as the backdrop, though this time during the years following world war ii. old faces abound (doc, mack, hazel, eddie), as do some new ones. the bear flag, the palace flophouse, western biological, and lee chong's (under new management) are each here as well, and life on the row seems to have sauntered on all the while.

sweet thursday is as ric
Apr 02, 2015 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
I've been waiting for the time to come that I don't flip over a Steinbeck novel. This wasn't his most creative, but damn if I don't fall in love every time. I've been trying to think of a word to describe Sweet Thursday, but all I can think of is, well, sweet. What struck me while reading this novel was why I think I love Steinbeck as much as I do. I've got a lot of favorite authors that are superb at what they do, that make me feel to my marrow, and I know they put their heart and soul into the ...more
Nov 19, 2015 James rated it really liked it
Having enjoyed Cannery Row so much, it was with some trepidation that I began this one - I'm not a big fan of sequels and think that they are often poorly thought out, ill conceived or just plain lazy. However, this one proved to be an exception and is well worth a read - it definitely added to the first book rather than detracted which is often the case. Any fan of Steinbeck should definitely make the effort to get hold of this one!
Jun 18, 2015 Jason rated it liked it
Blatant racism and misogyny aside, Steinbeck's sequel to the wonderful Cannery Row is a quick and entertaining read; a stark contrast to his more depressing moral parables of rural Americana. Doc and the Flop-House gang are back again, so of course, zany shenanigans ensue. It's no surprise that Elmore Leonard was a huge fan of this novel, one that he personally considered to be a great influence on his own writing--more specifically, Steinbeck's expert use of dialogue. He holds back on lengthy d ...more
Aug 11, 2014 Lorraine rated it really liked it
“Sweet Thursday” by John Steinbeck is a “sweet” story, very uncharacteristic of the Steinbeck who wrote “Grapes of Wrath (1939),” or “Of Mice and Men (1937).” It is not considered one of his great novels, yet it is worth reading, and I’m glad I did (it was a book club selection). It took me a while to get into it, but somewhere along the way (more than 50 pages) I was drawn in. It is supposedly a sequel to “Cannery Row (1945),” and includes many of the same characters but in a post World War II ...more
Brian Willis
Mar 28, 2016 Brian Willis rated it liked it
Hot on the heels of East of Eden, Steinbeck wanted to ease the pressure and write something fun. He had been thinking about his past a lot lately, as clearly indicated in the biographical references in EOE, and most particularly of his best friend and soul mate, Ed Ricketts, who had died in an unfortunate accident in 1948, six years earlier.

This sequel to Cannery Row, the book in which Steinbeck had placed the spirit and mannerisms of Ricketts into the central character of Doc, creates the alter
Mar 08, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun book to read! The story picks up post-WWII with updates of our favorite characters from Cannery Row, as well as a new character or two, namely Suzy and Joseph and Mary (otherwise known as J&M). I found that it took a while for the intended story line to gain momentum, but once it did, there was no stopping it...what with all the Hooptedoodles going on! The intention, as in Cannery Row, was: Doc is such a good guy, we all must do something nice for him. You can guess the chaos that ...more
Buck Ward
Aug 17, 2015 Buck Ward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Sweet Thursday is the sequel to Steinbeck's famous Cannery Row. It takes place after Doc returns from his service in the war, World War II. John Steinbeck's most widely read and most famous books, The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and Of Mice and Men, though not thoroughly dark, are tragic. Sweet Thursday is light and comedic, truly a pleasure to read. It's not a long novel, but I didn't read it quickly. I found myself taking the time to savor it. It put me in mind, a little bit, of his much ea ...more
Jan C
Jul 01, 2009 Jan C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this before, years ago. When I was in junior high-high shcool (I guess calling it junior high kind of dates me), the girl friend and I went on a real Steinbeck jag. I still remember her coming back from Pentwater one summer, I'm sitting on the balcony, and she's coming down the street yelling that she just read the greaterst book. Not sure it was this one, I think it was Cannery Row, which was the precursor to this book.

It's funny, most of the stories that I remember from the movie "Canne
Aug 11, 2011 Myles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana, literary
Sequel to Cannery Row this may be, but this is an entirely different book that we're dealing with.

What I missed most in Sweet Thursday, that had been present in Cannery Row were the beautiful passages of nature writing. We still have Doc visiting the tidal fields but there's no magic in there. Aside from such lyrical musings on the perfect days of the title, there's nothing like it to be found. Instead of the place we get the people; shoddy, post-war versions of people.

OK, so that may come off
Apr 10, 2015 Sara rated it it was ok
Shelves: undecided
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2013 wally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steinbeck
sweet thursday, 1954, penguin books paperback...not this edition, but an edition from 1986...same amount of pages, 272. i don't believe i read this yet...have read Cannery Row, at least twice...the 1st time sometime around 1978-79...and then again last year, 2012...or maybe it was the year before.

a dedication: for elizabeth with love

there's a prologue to this one...begins:
one night mack lay back on his bed in the palace flophouse and he said, "i ain't never been satisfied with that book cannery
Jul 07, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it
Both more focused and more flighty than "Cannery Row," this nine-years-later sequel (1954) surely is one of John Steinbeck's most fun and delightful books. From the get-go, it's obvious things have changed a bit in Cannery Row, and Steinbeck's approach has, too. In the prologue, Palace Flophouse dweller Mack is complaining to a cohort about the first book, including the lack of chapter titles. "Sweet Thursday," it turns out, becomes the only Steinbeck novel with chapter titles (and often with ob ...more
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Did anyone read this without reading Cannery Row? 14 68 Aug 25, 2014 07:47PM  
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  • John Steinbeck, Writer
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John Steinbeck III was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939 and the novella Of Mice and Men, published in 1937. In all, he wrote twenty-five books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and several collections of short stories.

In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley
More about John Steinbeck...

Other Books in the Series

Cannery Row (2 books)
  • Cannery Row

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“You've seen the sun flatten and take strange shapes just before it sinks in the ocean. Do you have to tell yourself every time that it's an illusion caused by atmospheric dust and light distorted by the sea, or do you simply enjoy the beauty of it?” 344 likes
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