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Sweet Thursday

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  6,786 ratings  ·  427 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, 288 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Penguin Classics (first published 1954)
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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 41 books — 147 voters
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerLord of the Flies by William GoldingThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Best Books of the Decade: 1950's
123rd out of 500 books — 647 voters

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Community Reviews

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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...more
Joe Valdez
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...more
Jul 08, 2008 Meghan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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...more
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
Jan 30, 2013 RØB rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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...more
Bill Ward
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...more
Norma Christensen
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....more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
“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
Jan C
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...more
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...more
My Take:
Sweet. The relationships of the town are endearing. Suzy is difficult to care about, but grows on you after awhile. It is about love led astray - it seems really simple concept of getting these two together. I can't say that it affected me though, but I do like that Suzy broke away to try to make it on her own, without any help. It shows a strong, independent woman, which I appreciate rather than a weak woman stereotype. I believe in self-sufficiency, but can also appreciate a hand when...more
Primero Fin
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...more
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
Miss Karen Jean Martinson
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
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
I just re-read the trilogy, "Cannery Row", "Tortilla Flats", & "Sweet Thursday". It takes a great writer to make this cast of alcoholic characters sympathetic & so likable! It's been 40+ years since I first read these books & I still love them. These guys & their ability to rationalize and re-frame any situation is inspiring (ha!). Their stories have stuck with me like no others but for the family in Steinbeck's heartbreaking, "Grapes of Wrath". Now I've got to re-read, "Log of t...more
I could never give Steinbeck less than a fourth star rating. His literature is easy to follow for a left brainer like myself. This story brings the extemity of solitude from the main character who has the heart to help everyone around him but himself. He is intelligent and successful with no one to share it with. As soon as his friends and the hooker with the golden heart sees an opportunity to fix this, everyone else around town plays a part in setting him up with the new kid in town. Nerds and...more
"Cannery Row" is my favorite John Steinbeck novel. So, when I found out about the sequel, "Sweet Thursday," I immediately added it to my reading list.

"Sweet Thursday" takes readers back to the familiar denizens of Cannery Row. In this book, Mack and Hazel, two of the fellows from the Palace Flophouse, decide that nothing will do but that they must arrange for Doc Ricketts to be married. And, of course, the bride-to-be must be Suzy -- the new girl at the Bear Flag (for those unfamiliar, the Bear...more
This book has gotten so many mixed reviews on Good Reads, I was almost afraid to read it; afraid that it would tarnish Cannery Row. But nothing could be further from the truth. I enjoyed going back to Monterey and finding out how the lives of it's residents have changed. The story takes place after Doc comes back from the war and settles back in - or at least tries to settle back in. Most of the familiar faces are back, with the exception of a few; I would have liked to know what happened to Pir...more
Beth A.
Jul 26, 2009 Beth A. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Beth A. by: Reading From the Best Books, Steinbeck Summer July 09
A discontent Doc felt alone and frustrated while his friends at the Palace Flophouse and the Bear Flag (whorehouse) tried to figure out what they could do to help him. They attempted to instigate a romance. As the saying goes, "With friends like this who needs enemies." But the unconventional attempts at cheering actually worked- due to an unprecedented action, literally listening.

Doc's discontent fills this book, along with cynicism. It's a meandering story with real, enjoyable characters. It'...more
Interesting to re-read so closely to having re-read Cannery Row, much different in style, but much the same in the dignity of the characters.
I conflate the two storylines, I realize, but I'd forgotten just how wonderful the ending was - sigh.
Despre legăturile dintre oameni, dragoste, schimbări,singurătate,cumpătare şi ţestoase.
Personaje: Doc (personajul principal), Mack, Hazel, Fauna şi Suzy (cele care îl ajută să-şi alunge singurătatea).
Timpul acţiunii: după AL DOILEA RĂZBOI MONDIAL
Locul desfăşurării: Cannery Rwo

Din ce mi-a plăcut
-Oamenii se schimbă şi schimbarea soseşte ca o adiere uşoară care mişcă o perdea, ca un parfum delicat de flori sălbatice. Uneori schimbarea se anunţă printr-un uşor gâdilat, ca şi cum ţi-ar veni să strănu...more
Cynthia Harrison
I have a new favorite book and it was written the year before I was born. I chat about a lot of popular fiction, but this literary gem has got to be mentioned just because I love it so.

It's a sequel of sorts to Cannery Row, which took place before the war. Sweet Thursday is after the war and Cannery Row has deteriorated in the time Doc, still the main character, comes home from the war to see his marine biology lab in shambles. His head is also messed up.

He and the zany crew of misfits lurch a...more
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Did anyone read this without reading Cannery Row? 14 47 Aug 25, 2014 07:47PM  
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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
More about John Steinbeck...
Of Mice and Men The Grapes of Wrath East of Eden The Pearl 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?” 287 likes
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