Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck

sweetthursday  lindaj  Review by:  Linda

Title:  Sweet Thursday

Author:  John Steinbeck

Collection:  Adult Fiction

John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American writer. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939), East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). As the author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories, Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

The novel Sweet Thursday is the sequel to Cannery Row, and is set in the period after World War II.  Doc, who is based on Steinbeck’s good friend Ed Ricketts, returns to Cannery Row after serving overseas and tries to pick up where he left off.  His lab has been neglected and is virtually destroyed. Doc is struck by the thought that maybe there is more to life than science.  Some of his old friends from Cannery Row along with new characters do their best to help him, often with disastrous results.  Doc meets a nice girl and their relationship has its ups and downs throughout the rest of the novel.  This is a love story disguised as a lesson on humanity….or maybe it is the other way around.  Steinbeck really has a way with words, and this book proves it.  He can take a mundane event like a dog walking down the street and turn it into a religious experience!

I liked the fact that there were notes included with this edition.  The notes came in handy and helped understand the mood of the post war era.  For most of the country the economy was booming, but this area depended on harvesting sardines, and these little fishies were almost gone.  Some of the notes were quite amusing….I wonder if J.K.Rowling knows that ‘muggles’ is a slang term for marijuana!  It is interesting to see how Steinbeck was influenced by so many artists, musicians and philosophers.

If you like to learn while you are being entertained, then I recommend you read Sweet Thursday.

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