Monday, 14 September 2015

More Steinbeck

Cannery Row
   In 2003, I was in Monterey, California.
   I walked around this area where the canning businesses were located in the past.  Steinbeck wrote his novel "Cannery Row" about the characters that lived here during the depression.
   The book was so well accepted, that the area was given the name  Cannery Row and still keeps that name.
   These are the pictures that I took of the John Steinbeck           memorial and the canning company.  I bought a copy of "Cannery Row" here.
 Last year, a new bronze memorial was built in Monterey to honour some of the interesting characters who lived there through the years.  Many of these characters are in the novel "Cannery Row".  Also included on the statue is a group of the local entrepreneurs that worked to revive Cannery Row as a tourist attraction.
 I found these pictures of the bronze memorial on the internet, along with the old statue of John Steinbeck.
Steinbeck is the figure at the top of the new statue.
new Cannery Row memorial
I was wondering about the woman on the new statue to the right of John.  It is not the madam at the bordello because she is a 'heavy' woman and actually is the figure where the foot is pointing.
 I would love to see this statue in person because I am reading "Cannery Row" and am interested to see how the sculptor imagined these characters.
"Cannery Row" by John Steinbeck
  Since I was so disappointed in Steinbeck's novel "Of Mice and Men", I decided to read this novel that has been on my shelf since I visited Cannery Row in 2003. 
I loved this novel!
The characters are fascinating and the writing is excellent!
Mostly it contains vignettes including these great characters:
'Doc' owns the Western Biological Laboratory, which supplies specimens of sea life and critters of all kinds.  His lab is attached to his house and he has every animal you can think of both alive and in bottles: jellyfish, rattlesnakes, frogs, octopus, gila monsters, rats, etc.  The lab smells of formaldehyde as Doc is usually in the process of embalming some sea creature.
He is a fascinating man of culture who introduces opera, classical music, literature and kindness to the area.  He is well-loved, but always seems a little melancholy and everyone wants to do something for him.  The problems begin when they throw a party in his honour.
Dora Flood runs the brothel.  She is a large woman with bright orange hair and flamboyant clothes.
Lee Chong is the Chinese grocer.
Then there is a group of down-and-out men who live together in the run-down fishmeal shack.  Mac is the ringleader.
It's a great cast of characters and I think it will be one of my all-time favourites.  For now, anyway, I love it!
I have also read and loved these other Steinbeck novels:

"The Grapes of Wrath"
"East of Eden"

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