Summer 1945 • Vol. VII No. 3 Book Reviews |

Brief Comment: Cannery Row

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. Viking. $2.00. Cannery Row is a section of Steinbeck’s Monterey, like Tortilla Flats. The life there seems as quaint, though its population is not foreign-born; it is made up of sincere souls who have fled West with their natural innocence to escape the blight of civilization. Critics have done well by this little book, and advisedly. It is funny, and a perfect episode or two are thrown in for good measure though they are not involved in the main action; the story of the ambitious gopher for example. Mark Twain when his gift was strong upon him would not stop his story at the end but go on and give another turn to it as a lesson to inferior humorists. There is not on file much analysis of humorous effect in fiction. A note might be entered here. Bret Harte’s Western stories were “literary”— that is, the author reported them himself, and his way of doing it was half the fun. It was stilted and euphemistic, ludicrously disproportionate to

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Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. Viking. $2.00. Cannery Row is a section of Steinbeck’s Monterey, like Tortilla Flats. The life there seems as quaint, though its population is not foreign-born; […]

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