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The Wayward Bus

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  4,605 ratings  ·  261 reviews
Sustained brilliance, complete credibility and vividness . . . striking, dramatic! -- "Saturday Review"
The bus travels the California backroads. Its passengers are the lost and lonely, the good and the greedy, the stupid and the scheming, the beautiful and the vicious. As they ride, their dreams and desires clash, their secret selves are revealed, and they become the face
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Penguin Classics (first published 1947)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
steinbeck pulverizes me. i'm not the type to get choked up by calling-card commercials or whose heart swells with the violins at the end of a sappy movie, but steinbeck has a heart-seeking missile aimed directly at me, and he knows just how to find my emotional center. this has always been my favorite of steinbeck's works, even though it is a shortish one in which very little actually happens. but steinbeck's strength, for me, has always been his characters, and this is one prolonged character s ...more
mark monday
i saw Dusty reading this and asked him what it was all about. he said it was hard to say, it was about life and people and what a countertop looks like and what a place feels like and how people think or not-think. at least i imagine that's what he said, its been a month or so. he also said that Steinbeck was his favorite author. he finished reading the book and then gave it to me. i would say that Dusty is my friend, sure, why not.

The Wayward Bus is about a bunch of people in post-WW 2 america.
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Tony
My favorite present was when I was 15 or 16. A Christmas. There were clothes and things. But my brother wrapped two paperback books for me: The Catcher in the Rye and The Grapes of Wrath. Two days later I was an addict.

I was also a completist. Down went the other Salingers quickly. And Steinbeck? Well, he was God. I had read maybe a dozen or more of his books before Travels with Charley and I had my moment of doubt. What kind of man owns a poodle?

And so there was a hiatus, if you can call forty
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Lindsay
Oct 19, 2008 Lindsay rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you
Recommended to Lindsay by: Meghan Pinson
I should put this under poetry. I should put all Steinbeck under poetry.

One of the unfortunate victims of teaching (and especially student teaching) are the books we seek to read outside of scouring the curriculum day-in and day-out. I started this sorry soul about two months ago, and even though my heart swelled each time I picked it up, I was lucky to get a page in between finishing lesson planning at night and passing out as soon as my head hit the pillow. GAH! And so, out of defiance of gett
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Kim

It's fair to say that John Steinbeck did not write the same book twice, even if he re-explored some of the same themes and used similar (and often archetypal) characters. This novel was published in 1947 and was Steinbeck's second novel since the 1938 publication of The Grapes of Wrath.* The success of that novel made a rod for Steinbeck's back, as throughout of his life (and beyond) readers and critics compared everything he wrote to it.

Well, just to get it out of the way, this is not another
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Кремена Михайлова
Отдавна не бях преживявала удоволствието на класическата американска литература. Дори този роман малко ме изненада. Нито беше като романите с къртовския земеделски труд („Гроздовете на гнева” или „Към един незнаен бог”), нито като онези „луди градски” романи („Улица Консервна”, „Тортила Флет”). Може би по-скоро представлява галерия от образи; ако трябва да сравнявам; в „Небесните пасбища” имаше толкова разнообразни и привидно несвързани помежду си герои.

Сякаш книгата наистина беше като изложба
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Brixton
Oct 2007: As always, a brilliant allegorist, incredibly keen on the simple and the complex, sometimes entirely perverse or wholly innocent, sometimes silly or sensible inner life of people, without ever resorting to the judgment of his characters. As always, pretty landscapes, words I've never seen before (useful ones too!), and a well-drawn portrait of a little place in that little window of time during which the old West became new. Unusual for Steinbeck: an amused narrator, which I quite like ...more
jeremy
as steinbeck wrote the first synopsis of the wayward bus in spanish, he had originally chosen el camión vacilador as the book's title. he writes, "the word vacilador, or the verb vacilar, is not translatable unfortunately, and it's a word we really need in english because to be 'vacilando' means that you're aiming at some place, but you don't care much whether you get there. we don't have such a word in english. wayward has an overtone of illicitness or illegality, based of course on medieval lo ...more
Allan
I'm rarely disappointed by Steinbeck's novels, and this, his next published work after Grapes of Wrath, was no exception.

The narrative follows a bus journey through California taken over a single day by a group of passengers including a company director and his wife and daughter, a travelling salesman, a stripper, a cantankerous old man, as well as two employees of the bus driver, Juan Chicoy. Having already been forced to spend the night in Chicoy's service station following mechanical issues w
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Kristiina
Many people know Steinbeck for the obvious titles like "Of Mice and Men" and "The Grapes of Wrath". However it is in this story that I truly feel in love with this writer. I was instantly drawn to each character, hoping that I could magically be transformed back in time to a broken down bus and it's traveling cargo.

I highly recommend this book, especially if you haven't read much Steinbeck. This is the perfect book to get started with.
Suzy
An enjoyable read, but...a non-ending. (Is that a spoiler?) Steinbeck's great descriptions and characters are here. The characters are flawed but sympathetic, with the possible exception of one who is perhaps all good, but nothing really comes of that. There's no real losers or winners, just a bunch of people that go through an experience together that alters them all, at least momentarily. It is like tossing up a jar of marbles: In the end, some fall back into the jar, some land somewhere else ...more
Ben
I don't care at all about what the bus represents.

It might shine as a dumpy emblem of the American journey to either the realization or implosion of our future plans. But the story strikes me more as the common American journey not necessarily from childhood to manhood, like the universal Buldingsroman, but rather the solitary transformation to self-realization from what to who. After all, what can these characters do with a Virgil like Juan Chicroy? The prototypical guide never wavers, never f
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Bookmaniac70
Прекрасен, прекрасен Стайнбек! Той взима всеки един от героите си, нежно го поставя на дланта си и го разглежда от всички страни под микроскоп, регистрирайки недоловимите вътрешни движения- всяко трепване,всяка мисъл,всяка капчица пот, срам, похот, завист, омраза,честност, любов...Един автобус, един шофьор, шепа пътници, едно заведение в нищото.. Толкова пълнокръвни образи и как майсторски предава невидимите нишки между тях!
Susan
Juan Chicoy and his wife, Alice, run a little lunchroom at Rebel Corners, where the sleek Greyhound bus stops. Juan also drives a patched-up old bus, nothing like a Greyhound, on a local, connecting route that the Greyhound riders need to continue their journeys. WWII is over now, and people have places to go, things to see. And they are not at all happy when the bus is delayed because of a mechanical problem and may be further delayed because of storms.

The passengers are a cross-section of huma
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Natalie
got this at the steinbeck museum in salinas, the museum gave me a renewed interest in steinbeck and his california and his way of recording the worlds of the people he met. This book was more than I expected in every way, racier, incredibly well set, with the charcters interacting in ways it would have been difficult to imagine on your own but understandably with steinbeck's hand at the tiller.
Shane
I wrote a novel once about a group of passengers on a bus and found it a good vehicle (pardon the pun) to pack a mix of human emotions, shake them up and allow for some (but not all) resolution and learning in the end. The journey provides movement, the juxtaposition of passengers in the close confines of the bus allows for an in-your-face scrutiny of their character and inter-relationships, and the introduction of external threat exposes their vulnerabilities and strengths. And so it is with Th ...more
Juliana
I loved this book. Around midnight last night, I was torn between reading the last few chapters despite my 6 a.m. alarm that was set or saving a treat for myself in the morning. I ended up saving the book as a treat, but I had trouble falling asleep with the characters still dancing in my head.

The book starts slowly and builds as the characters are more fully drawn out. The plot of the story is simple on the outside, but infinetely complex as you look inside each character. I was glad that I had
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Patricia Wayne
One thing I love about Steinbeck is his ability to take an incredibly simple situation, within a very limited setting (both in respect to place and time) and elaborate upon the many complexities of character among those he has placed within the setting. The characters in The Wayward Bus are infinitely simple, but at the same time have a limitless complexity that's elaborated in Steinbeck's descriptions of their inner thoughts and personal histories that define who they are.

These personal charac
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Marialyce
John Steinbeck is a master when it comes to his presentation of character and setting. He had the innate ability to mix the two and produce writing that is compelling in its simplicity, but ever so enriching in its focus.

In this novel, he manages to turn a bus ride into an in depth character study of people caught in the confines of a bus together. From Juan, the man who so wants to escape, to the Pritchards so bogged down by their everyday manipulations of one another, Steinbeck creates clear
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Anna
«Заблудившийся автобус» - это небольшое произведение с темой, которая меня очень цепляет. А именно — путешествия и случайные встречи абсолютно разных людей в одном месте.

Итак, мы видим небольшую придорожную закусочную, рядом с которой стоит большой старый автобус. Хуан и Алиса — владельцы этого добра. И вот в закусочную, а потом и в автобус попадают несколько абсолютно разных персонажей: красотка, мающаяся из-за своей внешности, и девушка-бледная-моль, которая мечтает о любви голливудской звезд
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Becky
For my third Steinbeck, I chose The Wayward Bus. This is an interesting--though not particularly charming--story of disgruntled individuals brought together by a seemingly-never-ending bus ride. While the book technically revolves around a bus ride, the focus of the story is more on the waywardness of the people. How each of Steinbeck's characters are unhappy each in their own way. The book examines humanity--up, close, and a bit too personal. Each character is distinct in that they all have the ...more
Sue
I've recently been reminded of how much I used to like John Steinbeck's writing through my Goodreads friend Guy, and realised I hadn't read all his books. The wayward bus was recommended by Guy and it is really good. I'd forgotten just how well Steinbeck gets under the skin of his characters. None of the assorted group of travellers is very appealing and this book reminded me of the hardness of character that poverty (of means and soul) cultivates. Mr Trask reminds me of Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt ...more
David
This is a story about small town people told with Steinbeck's great insight and talent. It's easy to read, and deserves a wider audience.
Stuart Kimball
'The Wayward Bus' is John Steinbeck's way of taking the reader on a journey deep into the soul of each of the characters in this book. Another quick but totally absorbing read, we are brought into each characters struggles and dreams. The story is timeless in that the reader will identify with several of the characters , and come away knowing that we have joined in with the passengers on this wayward bus we call life as we continue our journey's around the sun.
Piperitapitta
***1/2

Uno Steinbeck e una storia inconsueti, se si tralascia La Santa rossa che per�� risale agli esordi dell'autore, apparentemente meno impegnata, non ci sono questa volta i braccianti e le lotte sindacali a fare da protagonisti, sostenuta da una insolita vena brillante.
Un viaggio in corriera da una localit�� all'altra della California - Los Angeles, il Messico e l'immancabile Valle del Salinas fanno da quinta abituale a tutti i romanzi di Steinbeck - �� il pretesto per mettere a confronto un
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Piperitapitta
***1/2

Uno Steinbeck e una storia inconsueti, se si tralascia La Santa rossa che per�� risale agli esordi dell'autore, apparentemente meno impegnata, non ci sono questa volta i braccianti e le lotte sindacali a fare da protagonisti, sostenuta da una insolita vena brillante.
Un viaggio in corriera da una localit�� all'altra della California - Los Angeles, il Messico e l'immancabile Valle del Salinas fanno da quinta abituale a tutti i romanzi di Steinbeck - �� il pretesto per mettere a confronto un
...more
Christine
It's Steinbeck. The writing is intent and attentive and adds up to more than the sum of the parts. The characters are drawn in their small moments and large weaknesses in such a frighteningly clear-eyed way that it makes me feel exposed and self-conscious by association. Steinbeck dissects humanity and shows our common desires, but also our small moments of grace and human connection that can occasionally lift the bleakness of other lives, out of all proportion or intent. This is a book of chara ...more
Meredith Cenzer
More playful than Steinbeck is normally.
Elliott
Human truth distilled into a novel by one of the form's most masterful practioners. Newsweek called it "one of Steinbeck's best books." I call it one of the best books period. But don't take my word for it. Take the word of goodreads.com #1 best reviewer, the incomparable mlle. brissette:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
Danm
This book didn't interest me at first. In fact, after 20 pages, I put it down. I think that's because I was so impressed with Travels with Charley and this was too descriptive for me. However, I took a day off and came back to it with new attitude -- I was going to allow Steinbeck paint the scene and get into it, and I was going to approach the story as if watching an episode of Mel's Diner (story begins in a diner).

This approach was very effective, and I really got to know the characters. But
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Footnotes that destroy a good book 4 46 Jul 24, 2014 10:48AM  
  • The Long Dream
  • Intruder in the Dust
  • Thuggin In Miami (The Family Is Made : Part 1)
  • The Color of Night
  • Dodsworth
  • The Road Through the Wall
  • The Torrents of Spring
  • The Lonely Hunter: A Biography of Carson McCullers
  • Good Day to Die
  • Blood on the Forge
  • Private Demons: The Life of Shirley Jackson
  • The Longest Journey
  • Jean Rhys: The Complete Novels (Voyage in the Dark, Quartet, After Leaving Mr Mackenzie, Good Morning, Midnight, Wide Sargasso Sea)
  • Cousin Pons
  • The Magic Journey
  • John Steinbeck, Writer
585
John Steinbeck III was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939 and the novella Of Mice and Men, published in 1937. In all, he wrote twenty-five books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and several collections of short stories.

In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley
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More about John Steinbeck...
Of Mice and Men The Grapes of Wrath East of Eden The Pearl Cannery Row

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“Her father was frightened by a strange bed or a foreign language or a political party he didn't belong to. Her father truly believed that the Democratic party was a subversive organization whose design would destroy the United States and put it in the hands of bearded communists.” 2 likes
“The walls, where there was room, were well decorated with calendars and posters showing bright, improbable girls with pumped-up breasts and no hips - blondes, brunettes and redheads, but always with this bust development, so that a visitor of another species might judge from the preoccupation of artist and audience that the seat of procreation lay in the mammaries. Alice Chicoy...who worked among the shining girls, was wide-hipped and sag-chested and she walked well back on her heels...She was not in the least jealous of the calendar girls and the Coca-Cola girls. She had never seen anyone like them, and she didn't think anyone ever had.” 1 likes
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