''Cannery Row'' is a 1945 novel by Creator/JohnSteinbeck.
The central premise is simple enough: in Monterey, California's Cannery Row neighborhood during TheGreatDepression, a group of men decide to throw a party for their friend Doc, a marine biologist who has a laboratory in the neighborhood. Interspersed within the story are little vignettes about the inhabitants of Cannery Row and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Nine years later, Steinbeck wrote a sequel, ''Sweet Thursday'', which returned to a post-WWII Cannery Row. It featured most of the same characters, added a few new ones, and had Doc find romance in the form of a young woman named Suzy.
Creator/RodgersAndHammerstein produced a musical ''Pipe Dream'' based on both books (in fact, Steinbeck wrote ''Sweet Thursday'' while working on the stage treatment) in 1955. It was not a success.
A [[FilmOfTheBook movie version]] of ''Cannery Row'' was released in 1982, starring Nick Nolte and Debra Winger, and it borrowed elements from both novels.
!!''Cannery Row'' features examples of:
* AsianStoreOwner: Lee Chong, who operates the local grocery, and who stocks pretty much everything and anything in his store.
* GetRichQuickScheme: Mack and the boys think of ways to finance Doc's party. The one they settle on does work [[ItMakesSenseInContext till the frogs escape]].
* HaveAGayOldTime: One of the guys at the Palace Flophouse is named Gay.
* MissKitty: Dora Flood, the madam who runs the Bear Flag Restaurant. Her sister Fauna takes over the Bear Flag in ''Sweet Thursday''.
* SceneryPorn: And how! Steinbeck's descriptions of the Row, the forests, and the tide pools are the literary epitome of this trope. You can almost smell the fishy odor of the canneries.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: [[spoiler:The dead girl that Doc finds in the tide pool]] is never mentioned again. Presumably, the man that Doc met on the beach reported [[spoiler:the body]] to the police, but we never find out who she was or how she got out there.
** And don't forget the Mysterious Chinaman.