Cannery Row is a novel by American author John Steinbeck. It is set during the Great Depression in Monterey, California, on a street lined with sardine canneries that is known as Cannery Row. The story revolves around the people living there: Lee Chong, the local grocer; Doc, a marine biologist; and Mack, the leader of a group of derelict people.
The actual location Steinbeck was writing about, Ocean View Avenue in Monterey, was later renamed "Cannery Row" in honor of the book.
Cannery Row has a simple premise: Mack and his friends are to do something nice for their friend Doc, who has been good to them without asking for reward. Mack hits on the idea that they should throw a thank-you party, and the entire community quickly becomes involved. Unfortunately, the party rages out of control, and Doc's lab and home are ruined—and so is Doc's mood. In an effort to return to Doc's good graces, Mack and the boys decide to throw another party—but make it work this time. A procession of linked vignettes describes the denizens' lives on Cannery Row. These constitute subplots that unfold concurrently with the main plot.
Steinbeck revisited these characters and this milieu nine years later in his novel Sweet Thursday.
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