That's pretty much how the plot rolls in John Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat. The paisanos in Tortilla Flat fit well in the popular Guys Just Want to Have Fun canon, including The Three Musketeers, The Three Stooges, The Dukes of Hazzard, Harold and Kumar, and The Trailer Park Boys. Steinbeck relied on the King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table legend, arguably the genesis of that canon. Although the guys have many great adventures, they spend part of the time discussing their own brand of morality and deciding upon acts of chivalry. How these acts are accomplished is what gets them in trouble but at least their hearts are in the right place.
I grew to love these guys, which is weird since I couldn't stand The Three Musketeers. Danny opens his home to anyone who needs a place to stay. Pilon is the philosopher of the gang, often rationalizing his actions in the name of the greater good. As the story progresses, the group grows larger, but the men see each other as great friends. They're always there for one another in their own peculiar ways. They may be poor but they are rich in friendship. Their antics are silly and entertaining. Unexplainable, mystical occurrences happen to them from time to time giving the story that mythic quality. I could tell that Steinbeck had great affection for his characters.
In the end, I was glad to have read Tortilla Flat, even though I had my doubts at the beginning. The reader can take it at face value as a comical story or one with a deeper meaning of friendship while struggling with poverty and hardship. It's no East of Eden but it is entertaining.
Recommended for Steinbeck lovers.