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

Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
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's review
Aug 30, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: book-ring, non-fiction, pulitzer-author

Seems to me that many of us Americans have the itch to get on the open road and see our beautiful country - perhaps overlooking its flaws. After reading Travels with Charlie, I got the distinct feeling that Steinbeck intended this trip to be one of learning about the beauty of the country, and instead -- somewhere between the taciturn waitress in Maine, the memories of his now-unrecognizable home town in California and the blatant racism of the South, he became discouraged and practically hightailed it home, cutting short his exploration. The book is in no way depressing, to the contrary, it is insightful, funny and profound; the kind of book that sticks to your ribs and encourages you to recommend it.

He is ahead of his time: when looking at a submarine he says: "And now submarines are armed with mass murder, our silly, only way of deterring mass murder." He talks about our mounting piles of garbage which surround our cities and ponders the basis for racism.

Several bookcrossers (I wish I could remember their names) recommended this book to me. I can't thank them enough because I just loved it.
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