When life isn’t repetitive for the characters in Cannery Row, it is brutish, short, and/or filled with arbitrary misfortunes for which there is no one really to legitimately blame. You know, kind of like life. Most have no idea how to deal with it, so they mostly don’t. Yet they still manage to find happiness in companionship, simple living, and embracing who they are at heart. Cannery Row is an important parable that highlights how, though the System doesn’t give a damn about the common man nor does an indifferent universe give a damn about mankind, we all do still have each other. So we might as well cherish what we have and enjoy the ride while it lasts.
A quick read, and it gave me a great sense of the feeling of the real Cannery Row in Monterey, where I bought and read the book.
Oh yeah, and I guess it won the Nobel Prize for Literature or something.