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Sweet Thursday

(Cannery Row #2)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  15,328 ratings  ·  1,094 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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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  15,328 ratings  ·  1,094 reviews

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Vit Babenco
Sep 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Sweet Thursday – as he earlier did in Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row John Steinbeck, in a jolly way, romanticizes living on the fringes of society.
In Cannery Row, there are two monumental establishments: Doc’s Laboratory and Fauna’s whorehouse…
Failing to complete his biological research Doc feels despondent and lonely…
Doc was more than first citizen of Cannery Row. He was healer of the wounded soul and the cut finger. Strongly entrenched in legality though he was, he found himself co
Dear Mack and the boys in Palace Flophouse!

I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the advice you gave the author in the prologue. You were entirely right, and helped him write a masterpiece! After all, who would know better than you how to describe the intricate balance of talk, action and hooptedoodle, and chapters and settings and characters that form the unforgettable microcosm of Cannery Row?

Uninformed people might get the notion that Cannery Row is a hopeless dump filled with uneducated
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over the course of this year I have discovered an appreciation for American master story tellers. I have noted in reviews that some of the books assigned to high school children may not be age appropriate and that one gets a deeper appreciation for some of these books by reading them through adult eyes. It is in this regard that I have read Capote, Hemingway, and Steinbeck during this calendar year. A month ago, I found myself enjoying Steinbeck's Cannery Row, only to discover in some comments t ...more
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
The War is over and life seems to go back to normal in Cannery Row. Mack and the boys return to their feisty drinking at the Palace Flophouse and Fauna and the girls recover their usual business at the Bear Flag. Companionship and good cheer, camaraderie and the right dose of picaresque reign over the marginalized neighborhood in Monterey, and the familiar pulse of tragicomedy takes hold of the comforted reader.

There is only a discordant note in Steinbeck’s symphony that dulls the otherwise colo
Aug 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan of sequels. Often I find that I'm disappointed in them, so I always tread with caution. Having read Cannery Row, I was in indecision whether to proceed with Sweet Thursday or not. But the impression some characters made on me was too strong to resist that irrespective of my caution, I was pulled into the continuation of their story. I needn't explain further the end result. My rating speaks for that.

Unlike in Cannery Row, there is a defined plot here. And it is centered on Doc. He
Sweet Thursday: Cannery Row Redux

The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.-Happy Thought, from a Child's Garden of Verse, Robert Louis Steverson

If you love the works of John Steinbeck as I do, it does not matter whether the critics have labeled one of his novels among his major novels. Even a "minor" Steinbeck is a joy to pick up and read. Even re-read. Recently I reveled in Cannery Row. Originally published in 1947, Steinbeck set the novel in the w
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A book that is a love story on three levels.

We have the love that Mack, Hazel and the gang feel for Doc, their friend and mentor. They want to set him up with a home, a girl and a microscope (don't ask), and almost but not quite get it right.

We have the slow burn love affair between Suzy and Doc. From totally different backgrounds, repelled and attracted in equal measure, but always set to get together in the end.

Most of all we have the love that Steinbeck clearly has for Cannery Row and it's m
Jason Koivu
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy, fiction
I was in Monterey quite recently and even visited the Steinbeck house in Salinas, so I thought it would be a damn good time to read another Steinbeck. As per usual, it was a really good read and as per usual, I was right. But then again, it's always a good time to read Steinbeck!

Having said that, I do worry every time I read one of his books, because all the character's always die and it will always be sad. The amount of hyperbole in that previous sentence is nothing to the level of my forgetful
John Hatley
Aug 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent sequel to Cannery Row and an excellent reminder of John Steinbeck's great sense of humour! ...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
Feb 25, 2012 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
Debbie Zapata
Jul 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 21print
July 24, 3pm ~~ Review asap.

July 26, 9am ~~ I have been reading Steinbeck this year as part of a group project. I have discovered many titles I had never heard of, and this is one of them. I saw it listed in the back of my copy of The Moon Is Down, and off I went to my favorite online used book seller.

Sweet Thursday is a return to Cannery Row. We get to see how life is there after the war; who is still around, who has moved on, what changes have been made both on the surface and deep inside the
Jun 23, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: penguin-classics
I liked this quite a bit more than Cannery Row. I always enjoy Steinbeck's writing, but Sweet Thursday had a much stronger center to the story the Cannery Row. I liked the characters better and cared a lot more about what happened to them. ...more
Oct 26, 2007 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
John Martin
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps it's not rated as John Steinbeck's best books - but it's my favourite. Whenever someone tells me they enjoyed Cannery Row, I say: read Sweet Thursday; it's better. Steinbeck invented such wonderful characters and breathed life into them. ...more
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, american
Fantastic read! No time to write a proper review for the present, but I will get there eventually.
Jul 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
This was a charming novel. It's been too long since I read Cannery Row, though, and I wasn't as connected to the characters as I would have liked. I need to read them back to back in a few years. ...more
Jenny Bunting
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
I loved this book... it is a sweet follow-up sequel to Cannery Row. I was hooked at the intro when the review of "Cannery Row" is told from the perspective of one of the vagabonds. It is much more sweet and cheerful than the first book, but it resonated.

This book felt a little bit like Mark Twain in its adventurous nature. Lots of funny material. Very enjoyable read!
Joshua Thompson
Jul 05, 2022 rated it it was amazing
A truly delightful read. Just like Cannery Row, the cast of colorful characters is amongst Steinbeck's best. Paired with Cannery Row, I consider these two volumes the most underrated works of Steinbeck's. ...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
Aug 12, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
This is the sequel to Steinbeck’s Cannery Row (1945), the events it describes set only a few years later but the book itself not written until 1954. Also, whereas the original is structured almost like a set of connected short stories, Sweet Thursday is just a straight novel.
     After serving in the US Army during the Second World War, Doc returns to the Row to find things have changed. Although many of the old faces are still around (Mack and the boys for instance), others have disappeared and
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read Cannery Row earlier this year (in almost ideal circumstances, I might add) and enjoyed it immensely -- more than I have enjoyed any other Steinbeck novel (and Steinbeck is a hero of mine) -- I was excited to jump into the sequel.

And Sweet Thursday is good, very good, excellent in fact, but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I enjoyed Cannery Row. There might be many reasons for this, reasons that maybe have little to do with the book itself. I don't know.

But I don't want this brief r
Nov 16, 2015 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! ...more
Sweet Thursday is the sequel to Cannery Row and I must say that I liked it even better than its predecessor. Set several years after Cannery Row, Sweet Thursday takes place right after World War II, and as Cannery Row did, this book follows the lives of the colorful characters inhabiting the same neighborhood in Monterey, California.

Some of the inhabitants we got to know in Cannery Row have moved on: Gay died in WWII, Dora died in her sleep, and Lee Chong bought a schooner and headed to the Sou
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
These quotes are some of the reasons I like Steinbeck so much. He is "so human" and compassionate and he understands human nature better than anyone.

"Nobody don’t give a particular damn about Suzy one way or the other. It’s hard to get them thinking about you because they’re too busy thinking about themselves. There’s two, three, copper-bottom ways to get their attention: Talk about them. If you see something nice or good or pretty, tell them. Don’t make it a fake though. Don’t fight nobody unle
Sarah Booth
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think I read this book eons ago in my early 20s, but it wasn’t that familiar to me so it’s possible I only intended to or I only read Cannery Row.
This book has an element of the fantastic to it, but that doesn’t take away from its comedy, sweetness and charm. There were laugh out loud moments in the story and it was a pleasure to read.
Many of the crew from Cannery Row returned after the war minus a few who were either died, were killed in the war, or moved away. The market was sold by Lee Ch
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
It’s a crackpot little satire with a whole lot of love.
Jun 01, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Just wonderful. A joy. Steinbeck’s writing is so wise and funny. I actually prefer this swirl to Cannery Row. It’s got more of a story to it. And of course, wonderful characters.
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Never too Late to...: 2021 June: Cannery Row/Sweet Thursday 21 34 Aug 09, 2021 02:40AM  
Did anyone read this without reading Cannery Row? 14 160 Aug 25, 2014 07:47PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Book cover for hardback edition of Sweet Thursday please (DONE) 3 22 Sep 01, 2013 09:27AM  
Goodreads Librari...: 0-606-28646-2 (DONE) 3 14 Sep 01, 2013 09:26AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Page number 2 21 Sep 11, 2012 02:38PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Cannery Row (2 books)
  • Cannery Row (Cannery Row, #1)

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