Books: The Bowery of Monterey

CANNERY ROW—John Steinbeck—Viking ($2).

The Monterey, Calif. of John Steinbeck's imagination is the easiest-going community in American literature. It is inhabited by gentle, poetic Filipinos, Mexicans, sardine fishermen, artists, writers, big-hearted prostitutes and understanding bums. Rain seems never to fall there; mice & men are equally children of nature and for the most part get along well together. This Monterey somewhat resembles Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, but things generally work out better for Steinbeck's people than they did for Anderson's, and Steinbeck's characters drink more—a curious elixir which has the magical property of leaving no hangover.

Snails and Sanskrit. Cannery Row is the...

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