Updated: Oct 8, 2020
by John Steinbeck
I have not read Steinbeck for some time and this was a refreshing change from my recent reading. Some of observations on the human condition are so perspective and yet, written in such an easy, accessible style that you have to pause to digest and realise exactly how profound Steinbeck's writing is. I enjoyed the short chapter format of the book. Some of the chapters, especially in the earlier part of the book, almost stood alone as stories in themselves. Having read Cannery Row quite a while ago, I was concerned that I would not be able to connect with this, which is essentially a sequel, but you do not need to have read it and, if like me, you read it a long time ago, 'Sweet Thursday' does nudge you gently into remembrance.
The negatives for me were that I found it a bit dense and slow-moving in places, it could have done with being a little bit more distilled especially towards the end but the chapters where nothing too much happens do build layer upon layer of characterisation and I have finished the book feeling as if I live in Cannery Row and know it, and the inhabitants, like the back of my hand.