Fauna, the latest madam at the Bear Flag brothel, Doc, still there for everyone else but feeling strangely sad himself, and Suzy, the new hustler in town who might just be the girl to save him.
"Sweet Thursday" reads as a post-war continuation of "Cannery Row". Set on the Californian coast, amongst the junk heaps and flop houses of Monterey, the book brings to life the denizens of a netherworld of laughter and tears - from fauna who runs the local brothel, to Hazel, a bum whose mother must have wanted a daughter.
Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. His complete works will be available in Penguin Modern Classics.
Perhaps Cannery Row was not top Steinbeck, but I loved it, and the characters live today as vividly as when I first met them in his pages, ten years ago. So it is sheer joy to meet them again at least a goodly number of them- flotsam and jetsam of humanity, perhaps, but lovable and mad and loyal and cockeyed. And then there's Doc, the war behind him and nothing in front, for the laboratory, over which he had presided with dignity, has gone to pot under the indifferent mismanagement of Old Jingleballicks, and the drive of a ambition simply isn't there. The cannery is closed down, for good; the boys live on in the Palace Flophouse, though their "landlord", Lee, is no longer there; and Fauna (once Flora) still runs the Bear Flag Cafe, in place of her dead sister, Dora. Once again there's humor and pathos, check by jowl, in the characters which link the succession of incidents together. And this time there's a problem-studded romance, as Suzy, who was no good as a hustler, was destined by friends as mate to bring Doc back to normal. The boys planned another party for him- more disastrous than the first- and feeble-witted Hazel somehow managed to do the right thing the wrong way to straighten it out...Scheduled for musical comedy production in 1955. But meantime- welcome back to Cannery Row. (Kirkus Reviews)
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