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About This Item
Advance copy, an uncorrected galley proof, bound in plain, unprinted tannish wrappers, printed on rectos only, a very scarce advanced state of this minor, or not so minor, Steinbeck masterpiece whose themes of death and loneliness are masked by its surface layer of humor, all the more rare in that this is an Author Presentation Copy, Inscribed by Steinbeck to the best man at his second marriage, Howard O. Hunter, who was the Works Progress Administration (WPA) commissioner in the early 1940s under the FDR administration, Steinbeck and his second wife, Gwen Conger, were married March 29, 1943, just 11 days after receiving his final divorce decree from his first wife, Carol, Steinbeck has Inscribed the first preliminary as follows, "For Howard/who really/belongs in/Cannery Row/John Steinbeck/last night in New York 1944," this galley lacks all the preliminaries found in the 1945 published version such as half titles, title page, copyright page, dedication page, etc., although not specifically cited in Goldstone & Payne, there is a notation under G&P A22a that "a copy of the unrevised galley proofs is in the Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas," see Morrow 172 (that copy with a yellow label on front giving publication date and price that is not on this copy--the Morrow copy was not signed or inscribed), now housed in a beautiful custom clamshell case with leather spine, laid in loosely is a letter of provenance from Ellen Leonard who was given this proof by Hunter's wife, Edna. This was bound for in-house use by Viking and not for sale, thus it was never meant to be in great condition even when new, spine ends are chipped, there is offsetting from printed pages onto the previous verso, some pages are becoming dis-bound.
Cannery Row is the waterfront street in the New Monterey section of Monterey, California, USA. It is the site of a number of now-defunct sardine canning factories. The street name, formerly a nickname for Ocean View Avenue, became official in January 1958 to honor John Steinbeck and his famous novel Cannery Row.
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After 25 years since the last time I read this book, its like being back on Cannery row all over again- the smells, the sounds, they joys and sorrow of the characters.
In this work, Steinbeck put forth some of his finest writing. On the surface, the language and the story seem simple but only deceptively so. There are many subtleties and nuances that lend so much flavor and a sense of presence to this fine work.
This is definitely one of my most favorite books. Highly recommended!
Although John Steinbeck wrote many great works of American literature Cannery Row is my favourite by far. This short tale of the inhabitants of a stretch of industrial property on the coast of California is a rich little comic gem that Steinbeck lifts briefly into the Summer sun so that we might glimpse a society different from, but not entirely unlike, our own.Though it's not socially revolutionary like The Grapes of Wrath, nor the genesis of a Hollywood blockbuster like East of Eden, it is told with such precision and with such affection and respect for its ragtag cast of characters that the reader feels privileged to have met them.Mack and the boys are not bums and drunkards but "gentlemen and philosophers united by a common dislike of a steady job and a mutual feeling for the pleasures of living according to their lights" and Doc, the main character, is "half-Christ and and half-satyr" as he collects his marine and terrestrial fauna for sale to scientific laboratories while unofficially ministering to the sick puppies, lost children and unhappy souls on the Row.You must be somewhat slipshod in your own morals to like this book, it's not for the ramrod stiff among us. As Lewis Gannet wrote: "It does not rank cleanliness next to godliness, and its everyday vocabulary takes four-letter words in its Elizabethan stride". And there are whores, but you must be able to see them as sisters and daughters with dreams of their own, and better places to be in time.And so I invite you, after the busy canneries shut their doors in the late afternoon. Come out with the boys to sit on the rusty pipes in the vacant lot, watch as the girl's emerge from Dora's "for a bit of sun if there is any", cross the street to Lee Chong's for a couple of quarts of beer and take them over to Western Biological to see if Doc is in.
I loved the book, it brings the reader back to a simpler time when the world wasn't participating in the throes of a 40 yard dash.
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James M. Dourgarian, Bookman
Any item returnable for any reason within 7 days, if prior notice is given and the same item is returned in the same condition as sent. Payment in U.S. dollars only. In general, postage is $4 for the first item and $1 each thereafter. International orders should inquire.
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- Copyright page
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- title page
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