In the din and stink that is Cannery Row a colourful blend of misfits - gamblers, whores, drunks, bums, and artists - survive side by side in a jumble of adventure and mischief. Lee Chong, the astute owner of the fantastically well-stocked grocery store, is also the proprietor of the Palace Flophouse that Mack and his troupe of good-natured 'boys' call home. Dora, of the flaming orange hair and taste for Nile green dresses, runs the brothel with clockwork efficiency. Doc, who owns the laboratory, is the fount of all generosity and wisdom. Everybody wants to do something nice for Doc: the trouble is, he always ends up paying. Packed with invention and joie de vivre, Cannery Row is Steinbeck's high-spirited tribute to his native California.