Thursday, 9 March 2017

Sweet Thursday - John Steinbeck

Last year (Wednesday 10 August 2016, so that you can find it on my date index if you want to read it), I spoke about John Steinbeck's Cannery Row, an American classic and a book new to me. Oh! I loved it all - the prose, the larger than life characters, and Steinbeck's style.

And now I can tell you about it's companion volume, Sweet Thursday.  Another short novel, this is set just after the end of  WW2.  The Canneries are closed, fish stock depleted totally, but down on the row life goes on.  Doc is back from his war, feeling a little different about life now and faced with a big clear up job in  his laboratory - the pal he left in charge having scooted.  The Bear Flag brothel has a new madam;  Lee Chong's grocery shop is now under the ownership of a Mexican, Chong having sailed off into the sunset on his boat purchased with the sale proceeds of the shop and any other holdings.  And Mack?  Mack is still there, resident in charge at the Palace Flophouse along with all the other down-and outs.

Mack who still wants to help Doc even though every time he tries to do so things go horribly wrong and Fauna, the Bear Flag madam,  comes up with a plan for Doc.  He's lonely but  won't admit it.  Suzy, a new recruit to the brothel is not really much good at whoring, and in Fauna's view, is prime material for a wife for Doc.  What could possibly go wrong?