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Travels with Charley in Search of America (original 1962; edition 1980)

by John Steinbeck

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5,103106877 (4.02)1 / 329
Member:kristinevandusen
Title:Travels with Charley in Search of America
Authors:John Steinbeck
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Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:read in high school

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Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck (1962)

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English (103)  Spanish (2)  All languages (105)
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
(8.6)
  mshampson | Oct 19, 2014 |
well....THAT was disappointing. at moments, it reminded me (but in poorer style) to the social commentary sidebars steinbeck took in The Grapes of Wrath, but in 'travels with charley' they seemed clunky and dry. i was hoping for a bit more of stein beck's personality in reading this book. while there were glimpses of him, i feel as though he held himself back from being overly personal. the bits of steinbeck that were revealed were not alays likeable - so that is a challenge to my steinbeck love. plus there's the whole 'wteinbeck is a big fat liar' issue': the controversy surrounding the book, and stein beck's (and his publisher's) lack of honesty and truthfulness about 'charley'. i began reading Dogging Steinbeck: How I Went in Search of John Steinbeck's America, Found My Own America, and Exposed the Truth about 'Travels with Charley', by Bill Steigerwald last night. mostly to try and gain a better understanding o stein beck's project. so that's a bit weird, isn't it? reading a contemporary investigative journalist to gain a clearer picture of a journey/writing project that took place 50 years ago. but there you go. i have been wondering if my small bit of knowledge of the issues with 'charley' tainted my enjoyment of the read, and i don't think so. i was ready and open to enjoy travelling around the USA with john and charley...but was left thinking 'how soon can i get out of this truck?' (the truck, mind you, is totally cool!!)

OH! i would also like to call bullshit: COME ON! who goes out into a bay, DURING A DEVASTATING HURRICANE, to re-secure a boat and then swims (SWIMS!!!) back to shore?? NO ONE - that's who. bullshit, john steinbeck. bullshit! sorry!!

anyway -- i am feeling a bit bummed after reading 'travels with charley' ( )
  DawsonOakes | Sep 25, 2014 |
Fantastic road adventure book. He hits it spot on with finding yourself by traveling through America without a destination in mind. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
A nice, meandering, tale of murrica. ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
A nice, meandering, tale of murrica. ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
Steinbeck’s book-length account of his journey, “Travels With Charley: In Search of America,” published in 1962, was generally well reviewed and became a best-seller. It remains in print, regarded by some as a classic of American travel writing. Almost from the beginning, though, a few readers pointed out that many of the conversations in the book had a stagey, wooden quality, not unlike the dialogue in Steinbeck’s fiction.

Early on in the book, for example, Steinbeck has a New England farmer talking in folksy terms about Nikita S. Khrushchev’s shoe-pounding (or -brandishing, depending on whom you ask) speech at the United Nations weeks before Khrushchev actually visited the United Nations. A particularly unlikely encounter occurs at a campsite near Alice, N.D., where a Shakespearean actor, mistaking Steinbeck for a fellow thespian, greets him with a sweeping bow, saying, “I see you are of the profession,” and then proceeds to talk about John Gielgud.

Even Steinbeck’s son John said he was convinced that his father never talked to many of the people he wrote about, and added, “He just sat in his camper and wrote all that [expletive].”
 

» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steinbeck, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parini, JayIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinise, GaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
This book is dedicated to
HAROLD GUINZBURG
with respect born of an association and
affection that just growed.
-JOHN STEINBECK
First words
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.
Quotations
No newspaper had printed the words these women shouted. It was indicated that they were indelicate, some even said obscene...But now I heard the words, bestial and filthy and degenerate. In a long and unprotected life I have seen and heard the vomitings of demoniac humans before. Why then did these screams fill me with a shocked and sickened sorrow?
For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?
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. Nothing has worked.
Who has not known a journey to be over and dead before the traveler returns? The reverse is also true: many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142000701, Paperback)

In September 1960, John Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley, embarked on a journey across America. A picaresque tale, this chronicle of their trip meanders through scenic backroads and speeds along anonymous superhighways, moving from small towns to growing cities to glorious wilderness oases. Travels with Charley in Search of America is animated by Steinbeck’s attention to the specific details of the natural world and his sense of how the lives of people are intimately connected to the rhythms of nature—to weather, geography, the cycle of the seasons. His keen ear for the transactions among people is evident, too, as he records the interests and obsessions that preoccupy the Americans he encounters along the way.

Travels with Charley in Search of America, originally published in 1962, provides an intimate and personal look at one of America’s most beloved writers in the later years of his life—a self-portrait of a man who never wrote an explicit autobiography. It was written during a time of upheaval and racial tension in the South—which Steinbeck witnessed firsthand—and is a stunning evocation of America on the eve of a tumultuous decade.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:28 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Steinbeck records his emotions and experiences during a journey of rediscovery in his native land.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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