Ryan Milbrath's Reviews > Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
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's review
Aug 09, 11

Ahh Steinbeck how enjoy you and your writing style even when public education has sought to destroy any student's intrinsic motivation to just simply read your works. Up until now, I had read mostly Steinbeck's fictional work. Though, it's funny to see the same narrative style and insightful-at times aloof-commentary he uses in his fictional works in this travel diary.

As always, Steinbecks descriptions of landscape and scenery make me at times actually feel, smell, and taste his environment from the comfort of Madison, WI. Again, Steinbeck's insightful commentary and his quest to know and find the meaning of America leave more questions than answers. I rather enjoy this, because it gives the work an observatory theme rather than preaching undercurrent found in other works.

What fascinated me most with this book was the relationship between Steinbeck and his dog. I found myself cheering on Steinbeck when he criticized those dog-owners who treat their dogs like non-intelligent objects through baby-talk and the like. I love dogs, but believe that they are creatures worthy of dignity. Thus, I appreciated Steinbeck's insightful-often ironic descriptions of his dog's behavior. This book isn't for everyone. Some might find it slow and plodding. Boring. But for those who enjoy the sublime and feel the call of the open road, I'd suggest picking it up.

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