In the 1930s Monterey, California, was home to a lively intellectual community revolving around three legendary friends: Ed Ricketts, John Steinbeck and Joseph Campbell. Steinbeck immortalized Monterey's bohemian spirit in Cannery Row, but the area's true lifeblood was Steinbeck's best friend and mentor, Ed Ricketts.Today's he's usually remembered as "Doc"-the beer-drinking philosopher who presides over the "whores, pimps, gamblers and sons of bitches" of Cannery Row-but Ricketts was actually a trailblazing ecologist. His books Between Pacific Tides and Sea of Cortez (co-authored with Steinbeck) are still considered classics. And he and Steinbeck were completing a third book on coastal British Columbia at the time of Ricketts' sudden death in 1948.This is a fascinating portrait of a symbiotic friendship based on a love of the natural world. It is also the story of how an outcast scientist shaped the worldview of one of the towering figures of American literature.