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Preview — Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
Travels with Charley: In Search of America
To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light—these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.
With Charley, his French ...more
John Steinbeck was not feeling very well before he ...more
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 ...more
On the plus side, he did purchase a pick-up truck and add a camper top to it. His wife did have a poodle named Charley.
It seems like lately I have been reading a lot of books about road trips. This is just fine with me as I love the open road! Getting some perspective on others' experiences on the highway combines road trips with my other favorite hobby . . . reading, of course!
Travels With Charlie is mid 20th century America in the words of one of the most American authors that ever was. Just a truck, a dog, and the open road. It is poetic and beautiful. It is dark and mysterious. It funny and ...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 ...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, ...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 ...more
I was afraid this might be boring, like watching someone else’s home movies (no ...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 ...more
I hopped on board.
This is Steinbeck, but not the Steinbeck of fiction, the one who stands behind his creations and his delicious use of silence and space. This is Steinbeck the man.
Turns out that Steinbeck the man, here recorded for all time, in his late fifties was a bit depressed, recently diagnosed as being on ...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 ...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 ...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...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:
When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch, When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job.I liked the idea that inspired this book: John Steinbeck, great American writer, decides to set off on a cross country exploration of America, a country he became ...more
So how can I not give five stars ...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 ...more
In literary criticism the critic has no choice but to make over the victim of his attention into something the size and shape of himself.
This little volume must rank as one of the great American travel books—though I am not quite sure what that means. Travel literature, by its nature, finds itself in a paradoxical position: to search for truth by becoming briefly acquainted with a wide and disconnected series of experiences. Steinbeck addresses this in his opening salvo: “So it was I decided ...more
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 ...more
In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley ...more