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Dr. Audry Lynch, a Steinbeck scholar, has gathered together twenty reminiscences from people who knew John Steinbeck personally. The interviews cover three periods in Steinbeck's life in California: his childhood in Salinas, his life as a fun-loving crony of Ed "Doc" Ricketts in Cannery Row, and his residence in Los Gatos as an established writer. They show a life lived fully, and a man who knew how to live. These portraits don't sugar-coat or beatify the man John Steinbeck. They are honest and frank views of a person who could be described as an odd boy, a hell-raiser, a drinker and womanizer, and a proud reclusive celebrity. Nevertheless all the people interviewed remember the man fondly, and the composite portrait that comes across is of a brilliant, talented artist and fun-loving loyal friend.

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