Steinbeck fans discussion

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The Wayward Bus

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message 1: by James (new)

James | 10 comments What are your thoughts on The Wayward Bus?
I find this to be one of Steinbeck's finest works, but it is often overlooked, and seldom discussed?
Love it? Hate it? Don't care?
Share what you think and why.


message 2: by Pandora (new)

Pandora  | 42 comments The thing I remembered the most about The Wayward Bus is I wanted to hit the guy who wrote the endnotes who kept insulting my intelligence. Such as J. Edgar Hoover head of the FBI. No, kidding. However that is not Steinbeck's fault.

The Wayward Bus was not one of my favorite of Steinbeck because it was character study. I perfer books with more of a plot. Thus, my favorites Steinbeck are Grapes of Wrath and The Moon is Down.

I didn't hate The Wayward Bus. Just didn't enjoy it as much as I have other Steinbecks. I can see why though other people could love The Wayward Bus.


message 3: by Aisha (new)

Aisha Manus (cinderella1987) | 22 comments normally I don't like books that lack plot and focus solely on the people but loved this book. he really captured who these people were, made me feel like I knew them all, like family.


message 4: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joannehaley) | 3 comments Yep that's what Steinbeck does & does it so beautifully !


message 5: by Lyn (new)

Lyn | 1 comments I read The Wayward Bus years ago and remember just loving the book. I do believe it is one of his best. You have inspired me to read it again. I remember the characters being so engrossing.


message 6: by Buck (last edited Jul 30, 2016 11:30AM) (new)

Buck (spectru) | 58 comments The Wayward Bus is a little different from a lot of other Steinbeck books, but I guess that's not unusual. He was always doing something a little different. As others have noted above, it is something of a character study, but that's not to say there isn't a story. The theme could be summed up by Henry David Thoreau's famous quote: "The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation."

We get to know most of the characters pretty well, and most of them seem quietly desperate, yearning for something different, anything - anything but this.

The bus is a metaphor for life. The bus breaks down, we live through inconveniences, accommodating others, imposing on others. And the bus goes on its way and takes us away from this, to something new and unknown. We go with hope and fear. We make decisions, right or wrong, and travel on to who knows what - to danger, to safety, to adventure, to failure. The bus gets stuck in a ditch, and it is our opportunity to escape, to leave our responsibilities behind. But life calls us back and we do what we must; but for some, for one maybe, it is the start of something new.

And I wish I could write like Steinbeck, and not this drivel.


message 7: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 58 comments Several years after it was published, Hollywood made a movie of The Wayward Bus with Joan Collins as Alice Chicoy and Jayne Mansfield as Camille Oaks. I didn't recognize the names of the other actors. Netflix of course doesn't have it.


message 8: by Mark (new)

Mark | 35 comments I really enjoyed this book - the characterizations are wonderful. The little story of Rebel Corners, on the first couple of pages is very funny! I must re-read it - one of the gems of Steinbeck which sometimes lies forgotten - thanks for the reminder :)


message 9: by Keith (new)

Keith (keithandrewwilson) | 4 comments This is truly a great study of the characters but also about desire, socioeconomic divide, racial tension, and relationship dynamics amongst other important issues of the era. I also thing this is an important book in relation to the location. Steinbeck does an amazing job of describing the California Central Valley and coastal region and I feel it's important to note that.


message 10: by Buck (new)

Buck (spectru) | 58 comments I had kind of expected The Wayward Bus to be lighthearted, like Cannery Row or Tortilla Flats, but it's not at all.


message 11: by Hal (new)

Hal | 6 comments Authors will use the structure of a journey to symbolize finding "self". As I read Wayward Bus, this is exactly what Steinbeck was doing. Plus I truly loved his opening scene where he described the cafe - you could smell the burnt grease!!!


message 12: by Aisha (new)

Aisha Manus (cinderella1987) | 22 comments I fell in love with this book so much I own a first edition copy... and as someone who never rereads a book (I have so many books to read) seeing all these posts makes me want to pick it up and read it again. I miss reading Steinbeck!


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