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Preview — Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck
Travels with Charley in Search of America
At age fifty-eight, John Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley, embarked on a journey across America. This chronicle of their trip meanders from small towns to growing cities to glorious wilderness oases. Still evocative and awe-inspiring after f ...more
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and i know that is a totally obvious statement, but if i want to read a story about a man traveling across america and describing his findings, it is going to be a man with a varied vocabulary, a keen eye for detail, and some powers of interpreting his experiences. john, i am listening...
this is my first nonfiction from steinbeck, and i am impressed with how conversational it reads. he has a real skill in making his experiences near-visible to the r ...more
John Steinbeck was not feeling very well before he decide ...more
"For many years I have traveled in many parts of the world. In America I live in New York, or dip into Chicago, or San Francisco. But New York is no more America than Paris is France or London is England. Thus I disco ...more
In 1960, when John Steinbeck was 58 years old, ill with the heart disease which was to kill him eight years later and rather discontented with life, he decided to embark on a road trip around the United States in a fitted-out pick-up truck, accompanied by his standard French poodle, Charley. Steinbeck’s plan was to re-connect with the America which had informed his fiction and to assess how much it had changed over the years.
This book is the result of that trip: part memoir, part travelogue, pa ...more
During the mid-century period, discovering America and/or oneself through the medium of the road-trip came into vogue. While other prominent authors, such as Kerouac and Thompson, were publishing their own, more heralded versions, I prefer Steinbeck's. It lacks the hedonism of the others and I love him for that. And furthermore, these journals often get offtrac ...more
But I have a wicked streak of wanderlust in me, too, and Steinbeck really caught me at a good time. It was Summertime, and I was already in a daydream-y mood. That mood lasted all through the book.
I managed to get through the whole trip with the cranky writer, and he was act ...more
Part of my Steinbeck indifference was obviously influenced by my teenage attitude. At 15 there were other things I'd much rather have been doing than reading novels about the great depression. Also, I had that "what does this have to do with me" attitude I saw so frequently while trying to tea ...more
So how can I not give five stars t ...more
And check out the awesome Rocinante (named after Don Quixote's horse), a custom-made camper truck that carried them around America:
This is the route they took that I'd love to retrace someday:
While I was reading it, I found it interesting, insightful, humorous and sad. Now that is a wide range of emotions captured in a small book.
A question that always arises is: how much of this is true and how much is imagined? There is a simple answer to this. Steinbeck points out that no two people will see the same event with the same eyes. What you see depends upon who you are. This is what Steinbeck saw and expe ...more
What can I say? I'll admit to an hesitancy to pick up Travels With Charley: In Search of America, it being non-fiction and my Steinbeck reading record being at 3 books read, 3 books loved, after all, a disappointment could be over the horizon. To my joy, Travels With Charley: ...more
His 10,000 mile journey takes him on a circular route around the country, starting in the north east, he travels across to the Pacific, down to California, along to Texas and the deep south and back up to New York. On his trip he w ...more
Steinbeck's account begins at his home on Long Island, New York. Getting on in years, he realizes he's been writing about a count ...more
The story is written with humor, but with a profound sadness to it (perhaps due to Mr. Steinbeck's declining health) and whether the novel is truly fact or just fiction is unimportant to me as I found it an insightful and entertaini...more
That’s it. Goal Met. Challenge conquered. I do not need to read any other book this year. I am satiated.
You know how I have that groupie mentality? Yeah, well… Ilovejohnsteinbecksomuchit’skillingme.
“It happened to so many of my friends. The lecture ends, “Slow down. You’re not as young as you once were.” And I had seen so many begin to pack their lives in cotton wool, smother their impulses, hood their passions, and gradually retire from their manhood into a kind of spiritual and physical semi ...more
Sou parcial quanto a praticamente tudo o que se pode ler neste livro: Steinbeck, América, viagens, cães, cidades pequenas, estradas intermináveis, carros, conversas com desconhecidos... E podia continuar. Já fiz uma pequena ideia de tudo isso, vivi, respirei e amei o ar puro do Montana, deixando no canto da memória Nova Iorque e tudo mais - tal como Steinbeck o havia feito em 1960. A liberdade daquel ...more
A slow start but finished strong, this is a wonderful snapshot of America in the 1960s through the eyes of a famous author and his cantankerous dog.
I did mildly lose interest in the beginning and was wondering its focus until it got to the section in California. That's where I really invested in the story and understood its powerful and influence. I wish it was as strong as the last 60-70 pages throughout but it was what it is. I loved what it said about home and change and find its mu ...more
And I did. It's 1962 and Steinbeck has decided he's out of touch with his own country so he's going to go on a road trip in a camper van, taking his dog, C ...more
In this ...more
Travels with Charley: In Search of America and East of Eden have made me reassess my lukewarm feelings about John Steinbeck’s writing. I’ll make it a point now to read more of his novels. As an adolescent, I read The Pearl, The Red Pony, Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath. I found them true but deeply depressing, so I had little desire to revisit Steinbeck’s works. It’s not as though I’m averse to somber novels; one of my favorite authors is Thomas Hardy, and I look forward to rereading at ...more
Nel 1961 John Steinbeck decide di compiere un viaggio attraverso gli Stati Uniti perché ritiene di essersi allontanato dalle persone, dagli americani e uno scrittore questo, non se lo può permettere.
E' un libro per gli irrequieti, gli amanti di Chatwin e di Kerouac e per tutti gli animi vagabondi:
Vedevo nei loro occhi qualche cosa che avrei rivisto tante volte in ogni parte del paese... un desiderio roven ...more
This non-fiction 'memoir' of sorts made me laugh (many times) and also delved into some very serious and sensitive subject matter - given that it was a journey across America in the turbulent year of 1960 gives you an idea of what I am talking about. Along lighter lines, imagine buying/renting a self-contained sturdy vehicle, packing it up (overloading it as JS admits, causing a tire blowout w ...more
At 58, John Steinbeck has been told by his doctor to "slow down" which to him meant the onset of a slow decline. In response he decides to gather his poodle, Charley, and go on a road trip across the United States. Seeing the U.S., in 1960, through Steinbeck's eyes was a delight and an image of a world long gone. I don't think you could embark on such a trip now, in 2014, where people are leery of strangers. I think that's part of the magic of this book- it is filled with nostalgia.
I am a fan of ...more
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In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley ...more