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Sweet Thursday

(Cannery Row #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  13,033 ratings  ·  879 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 4.09  · 
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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
Recommends it for: Good-hearted optimists
Recommended to Dolors by: Henry Avila
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
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
Jason Koivu
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, comedy
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
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
Joe Valdez
Sep 13, 2014 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
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
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
A good companion piece to CANNERY ROW. I enjoyed this book.
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.
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
Jun 23, 2007 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
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.
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.
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.

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.
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!
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!
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
Mar 17, 2013 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
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
Aug 01, 2012 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
Primero Fin
Nov 24, 2012 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
Apr 06, 2009 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
"There are people who will say that this whole account is a lie, but a thing isn't necessarily a lie even if it didn't necessarily happen." (54)
I loved Cannery Row, and thought I'd finally read Sweet Thursday, which is set in the same place and returns—after the war—to some of the same characters. I didn't think it was as good as the first sketch of the Row, but the swashbuckling group created by Steinbeck, plus/minus a couple of souls, was still entertaining and endearing.
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this follow-up book to Cannery Row, we return to Monterey, California after the end of World War II - the cast comprises some old and some new characters: Mack and his boys are still there and Doc has returned from his wartime duties to reopen his marine animal business; the former Chinese grocery store is now being run by a Mexican called 'Joseph & Mary'(?!) and the brothel is being run by Fauna, new girl in town is Suzy who initially works for Fauna but attracts the attention of Doc. Indeed ...more
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans Of CANNERY ROW
Recommended to Googz 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
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
His writing is deceptively simple; but it puts you right into the environment that he has created, it is full of social commentary, sly humor, and something indefinable that I might call a joy in life.
Doc, educated and erudite, is soul sick. From the depths of his emotions the word "lonely" keeps bubbling up.
Suzy is new in town and arrives pretty much with nothing. She tries working as a prostitute but she isn't good at it and doesn't like it. The Madam of the house thinks Suzy and Doc belong t
This was a fun read. 3.5 stars
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Did anyone read this without reading Cannery Row? 14 131 Aug 25, 2014 07:47PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Book cover for hardback edition of Sweet Thursday please (DONE) 3 21 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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