Books & Meetings

Next books:

1/ Cannery Row by John Steinbeck,  together with
2/ Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck

Meeting at Jean’s on Monday March 2nd 7.30 pm

1/ Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

One of the BBC’s ‘100 Novels That Shaped Our World’

‘Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.’

Meet the gamblers, whores, drunks, bums and artists of Cannery Row in Monterey, California, during the Great Depression. They want to throw a party for their friend Doc, so Mack and the boys set about, in their own inimitable way, recruiting everyone in the neighbourhood to the cause. But along the way they can’t help but get involved in a little mischief and misadventure. It wouldn’t be Cannery Row if it was otherwise, now would it?

Packed with a ramshackle joi de vivre, Cannery Row is Steinback’s high-spirited tribute to his native California.

‘Uninhibited, bawdy, compassionate, inquisitive, deeply intelligent’ Daily Telegraph

https://www.waterstones.com/book/cannery-row/john-steinbeck/susan-shillinglaw/9780141185088

2/ Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck

In Monterey, on the California Coast, Sweet Thursday is what they call the day after Lousy Wednesday – one of those days that’s just bad from the start. But Sweet Thursday is sunny and clear, a day when anything can happen. Returning to the scene of Cannery Row, Steinbeck brilliantly creates its bawdy, high-spirited world of bums, drunks and hookers, telling the story of what happened to everyone after the war. There are colourful characters old and new, all united by love, laughter and tears: Fauna, the latest madam at the Bear Flag brothel, Doc, still there for everyone else but feeling strangely sad himself, and Suzy, the new hustler in town who might just be the girl to save him.

https://www.waterstones.com/book/sweet-thursday/john-steinbeck/9780141185521

The book after that:

The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler

“Skilfully combining a searching examination of European corruption with a pulsating quest to uncover the eponymous enigma, The Mask of Dimitrios is the finest of Ambler’s seminal inter-war espionage thrillers. A cast of perfectly delineated grotesques glide through an addictive storyline saturated in moral ambiguity and faded glamour.

English crime novelist Charles Latimer is travelling in Istanbul when he makes the acquaintance of Turkish police inspector Colonel Haki. It is from him that he first hears of the mysterious Dimitrios – an infamous master criminal, long wanted by the law, whose body has just been fished out of the Bosphorus. Fascinated by the story, Latimer decides to retrace Dimitrios’ steps across Europe to gather material for a new book. But, as he gradually discovers more about his subject’s shadowy history, fascination tips over into obsession. And, in entering Dimitrios’ criminal underworld, Latimer realizes that his own life may be on the line.

‘Not Le Carre, not Deighton, not Ludlum have surpassed the intelligence, authenticity or engrossing storytelling that established The Mask of Dimitrios as the best of its kind.’ – The Times

‘If you want to experience the feel of the Continent in the 1930s, you will find few better guides’ – Robert Harris”

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-mask-of-dimitrios/eric-ambler/9780141190334

For more information about the book club and the books:

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