Printing History
First published in the United States of America by Viking Press Inc. 1954
Published in Penguin Books 1979
Reissued in Penguin Books 1986
Copyright John Steinbeck, 1954
Copyright renewed Elaine A. Steinbeck, Thom Steinbeck, and John Steinbeck IV, 1982

Main Characters
1Doc owner/operator of Western Biological Laboratory
Old Jingleballicks friend of Doc's
Lee Chong former owner of Heavenly Flower gorcery
Joseph and Mary  Rivas new owner of the grocery
Mack elder of the Palace Flophouse
Gay man whose wife used to beat him
Whitey No. 1 bartender at La Ida
Whitey No. 2 WWII Marine, Bronze Star winner
Eddie understudy bartender at La Ida
Wide Ida owner of the Café La Ida
Dora Flood former owner of the Bear Flag
Fauna (née Flora) Dora's older sister, new owner
Henri painter, boat builder
Hazel Palace regular
2Father Murphy set Joseph and Mary straight
Mildred Bugle 13-year-old in Los Angeles
Espaldas Mojadas Joseph and Mary's dance band
3unnamed girl goes with Doc to La Jolla
5Joe Blaikey Monterey constable
Suzy new girl at the Bear Flag
Ella waitress at the Golden Poppy Restaurant
7Cacahuete ('peanut') Joseph and Mary's nephew
8Mr. Deems Pacific Grove roque courts donor
9Agnes Bear Flag girl
Mabel Bear Flag girl
Becky Bear Flag girl
10unnamed Seer lives in pines 100 yards up
11Lefty Grove pitcher (Athletics, Red Sox), 1925-41
12Joe Elegant pale young cook at the Bear Flag
18Helen Bear Flag girl
Wisteria Bear Flag girl
Jiggs and Maggie a newspaper comic strip
23Sonny Boy has a Greek restaurant on the wharf
27Johnny Carriaga Alberto's son, to be used for Cupid at the party
32James Petrillo head of the musicians' union
37Horace Dormody physician
38Miss Graves fourth grade teacher in Pacific Grove
Mayor Christy Mayor of Pacific Grove

cities and places in Sweet Thursday

sketch of Cannery Row sites
based on text descriptions -- see the Cannery Row page for details

Logo for "Doc" Ricketts' first lab
165 Fountain Avenue, Pacific Grove (1923)
moved to 740 Ocean View Avenue, Monterey (1928)
renumbered then renamed 800 Cannery Row (1958)

Actual Cannery Row Locations
This map is based on one in an excellent book:
    Maxine Knox and Mary Rodriquez
    Steinbeck Street: Cannery Row
    San Rafael CA: Presidio Press, 1980, p 34-5.
The authors include many more sites than these, with extensive notes and photographs, including instructions for a very informative walking tour. In addition there are thorough treatments of the origins and early days of the canneries, and of the various ways to serve sardines.

Book Blurb — Penguin 1986
"This is comedy—bawdy, sentimental,
and good fun."—The Atlantic Monthly
In Monterey, on the California coast, Sweet Thursday is what they call the day after Lousy Wednesday, which is one of those days that is just naturally bad. Returning to the scene of Cannery Row, the weedy lots and junk heaps and flophouses of Monterey, John Steinbeck once more brings to life the denizens of a netherworld of laughter and tears—from Fauna, new headmistress of the local brothel, to Hazel, a bum whose mother must have wanted a daughter.

"Sweet Thursday is an emphatic and clear-cut statement of Steinbeck's greatest single theme: the common bonds of humanity and love which make goodness and happiness possible."

The New Republic

Chapter Summary
Steinbeck's chapter headings are italicized.
1What Happened in Between — Doc's lab abandoned by Old Jingleballicks. Mack describes the rest: Lee Chong sold his store and went sailing in the South Seas, Gay killed in the war, Whitey learned harmonica, Whitey No. 2 showed up, Eddie stayed with La Ida, Dora died, Fauna took the Bear Flag, Henri sold his boat and left, Hazel went to UC on the GI Bill but got tossed out, Mack tried Geiger counters and romance.
2The Troubled Life of Joseph and Mary — his early criminal life, Father Murphy gets him a job at the LA Plaza where he grew marijuana (exposed by Mildred Bugle), police get him a bus ticket to San Luis Obispo, his wetback business, the Espaldas Mojadas
3Hooptedoodle (1) — Doc experiences the deep discontent of middle age and life's purposes; he goes to La Jolla with a girl and picks up 28 baby octupi; the girl leaves and Doc decides to study octopus emotions
4There Would Be No Game — Doc teaches Joseph and Mary chess, and that cheating is impossible in it.
5Enter Suzy — Suzy arrives on a Greyhound, goes to the Golden Poppy then Fauna's. Fauna sets her up, sends her to Penney's
6The Creative Cross — Doc buys yellow pads and pencils and writes "OBSERVATIONS AND SPECULATIONS."
7Tinder Is as Tinder Does — Joseph and Mary discuss Suzy with Fauna. Susy drops into the grocery. She and Joseph and Mary evaluate each other. She meets Doc.
8The Great Roque War — The nature of Pacific Grove, its roque courts, division into Blue and Green teams, Mr. Deems plays God, effigy day 30 Jul
9Whom the Gods Love They Drive Nuts — A meeting at the Palace to discuss Doc's depression. Fauna's horoscoping says Hazel will be President. Mack asks her to rig a reading for Doc.
10There's a Hole in Reality through which We Can Look if We Wish — A seer invites Doc to dinner in the pines. "I don't know why they don't put you in jail. It's a crime to be happy without equipment." {71} The crazy seer watches the sunset.
11Hazel's Brooding — Hazel pushes Mack to do something about Doc. They toast Hazel and Lefty Grove. Mack suggests Doc needs a wife.
12Flower in a Crannied Wall — Suzy and Joe Elegant discuss the mass, his novel, brownies and tea.
13Parallels Must Be Related — Wide Ida tries to comfort Doc, who is getting nowhere with his troubles.
14Lousy Wednesday — "Some days are born ugly." When Wide Ida complains of taxes, Mack wonders who owns the Palace, and what to do about it.
15The Playing Fields of Harrow — The Bear Flag's Ready Room. What happened to the Malloys. A finishing school session. The gold stars. Mack and the boys invite Fauna and the girls. Suzy takes a Joe Elegant cake to Doc.
16The Little Flowers of Saint Mack — Doc works on starfish embryo slides. Mack discusses Joseph and Mary with Doc. Mack's theory of medicine: to stay healthy, stay broke.
17Suzy Binds the Cheese — Suzy brings the cake. He criticizes her business, she his. She says everybody's laughing behind his back about his paper. He forgets starfish.
18A Pause in the Day's Occupation — The Ready Room. Helen and Wisteria doing sixty days for a fight. Salinas' Rattlesnake Club visits the Bear Flag. Fauna and the girls discuss Suzy's future with Doc, cast her horoscope (23 Feb). Fauna and Suzy talk. Suzy goes to Docs, tells him to write his paper. Mack's three reasons to marry a hustler.
19Sweet Thursday (1) — Mack finds out what the Patrón knows (and doesn't) about ownership of the Palace. He proposes raffling it with two-dollar tickets to buy Doc a microscope.
20Sweet Thursday (2) — Fauna brings beer to Doc who's cooking sausages with chocolate on them. She asks him to make a pitch at Suzy, like she was a lady.
21Sweet Thursday Was One Hell of a Day — Wild ticket selling. Mack asks Doc his birthday; he picks 4 July. Suzy, who's been asked out by Doc, gets advice from Fauna. The girls and the boys meet at the Palace. Fauna reads Doc's birthdate as marriage certain.
22The Arming — Fauna prepares Suzy. Tons of stuff to learn. Doc shows up, then runs back to the lab to dress better.
23One Night of Love — Doc takes Suzy to Sonny Boy's for dinner. Fauna made the arrangements. They have martinis made with chartreuse instead of vermouth, eat their horoscopes (fish and crab), drink champagne and brandy. Then the dunes.
24Waiting Friday — Fauna talks to Doc, then a long talk with Suzy about her future. Sends her to San Francisco to buy a suit.
25Old Jingleballicks — Suzy cleans up Doc's lab. Old Jay arrives unannounced, eats the juice from Suzy's stew. Doc goes for beer and brings back the Patrón. Old Jay muses on overpopulation and teaches the Patrón how to cheat at chess.
26The Developing Storm — Fauna suggests a masquerade party: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
27O Frabjous Day! — Fauna gets Mabel's "show white" dress for Suzy. Mack, Eddie and Whitey No. 2 get Johnny ready to spring Doc's raffle ticket. Hazel wants to go as Prince Charming. Old Jay explains why he's a philanthropist and a freeloader.
28Where Alfred the Sacred River Ran — Mack and the boys will be trees. Fauna a witch. Wide Ida's girls are dwarfs. Joseph and Mary is Dracula. When Cacahuete's trumpet announces the party Jay and Doc are arguing. Doc gets $380 from the raffle and wins the Palace, too. Turns out Chong had left it to the boys. Fauna and the girls arrive to the Wedding March. Suzy runs out.
29Oh, Woe, Woe, Woe! — The Row is in shock. Suzy comes to the Golden Poppy, tells Ella and Joe she's going to stay and work there. She moves into the boiler. She and Fauna talk some more
30A President Is Born — Hazel feels the burden of his impending presidency. When Mack lies there withrdrawn, Hazel decides "I'll have to do her myself."
31The Thorny Path of Greatness — Hazel sits under the black cypress tree and decides to listen.
32Hazel's Quest — Hazel listens to Joe Elegant on symbolism, Fauna on Suzy, Joseph and Mary on his hopes for Suzy, Suzy on mind-your-business, Doc on himself and Suzy. Hazel tells Doc about Joseph and Mary.
33The Distant Drum — Doc analyses himself, goes to the boiler and fights with the Patrón. They drink.
34The Deep-Dish Set-Down — Joe Elegant, after working on The Pi Root of Oedipus, notices flowers in a museum jar by the boiler. Everyone sees Suzy go to the Bear Flag for a bath. Fauna sends Doc a note: "She ain't going to work today."
35Il N'y pas de mouches sur la grandmère — Doc cleans himself forcefully. Listens to Bach. "If you are not defeated, you win!" He sees Suzy, they talk, he goes back to the lab. He gives Hazel money to buy candy for Seer, who's been arrested by Blaikey. Gets a telegram saying he's an institution and Old Jay can fund him.
36Lama Sabachthani? — Hazel learns from the Seer that he must do anything to help Doc. He picks up a bat, then later lies under the tree and weeps.
37Little Chapter — Dr. Dormody confirms Doc's arm is broken by some kind of club.
38Hooptedoodle (2), or The Pacific Grove Butterly Festival — The butterflies don't come, Miss Graves loses her voice, Mayor Christy gets caught with a blonde in a hotel fire in King City and leaves town -- such things show that Cannery Row's troubles aren't so serious.
39Sweet Thursday Revisited — Miss Graves' voice returns with the Monarchs, Judge Albertson frees the Seer, everyone hears about Doc. The eight-inch telescope arrives. Suzy offers to help Doc in La Jolla - "I ain't put together with spit."
40I'm Sure We Should All Be as Happy as Kings — Suzy learns to drive in the Palace Flophouse. With everyone out to watch, Mack presents the telescope. Suzy and Doc drive away toward La Jolla.

Notes and Links
Amazon Books: Sweet Thursday
Life and Times of "Doc" Ed Ricketts
Edward F. Ricketts Underwater Park
Butterfly Parade, Pacific Grove
"Cannery Row" and "Sweet Thursday" Photo Essay
Monarch Butterflies
Pacific Grove, California
John Steinbeck's Pacific Grove - the self-guided tour
photo of Jewell Park (site of the Roque War)
photo of Hopkins Marine Station
photo of Point Pinos Lighthouse

Stephan Steinbeck