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

by John Steinbeck

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5,175112865 (4.02)1 / 344
Member:kristinevandusen
Title:Travels with Charley in Search of America
Authors:John Steinbeck
Info:Penguin Books (1980), Paperback, 288 pages
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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Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
Enjoyable and unsettling. The first half of the trip was a joy to travel along with Mr. Steinbeck. The last half a pain in the ass and disagreeable as he never skirted from the social issues shoved in his face in 1960. I have read some accounts that prove this book was fiction, but I don't care. I also read that Steinbeck was dying. Again, I do not care. This was a great book, and is still applicable to the times we live in today. But it takes courage and a bit of tolerance to read this accounting of America by John Steinbeck. Not much has changed except for it getting worsened by the hands of its inhabitants. Too bad we couldn't erase some of our so-called progress and the promises it made. But it is what it is, and it is mine for the time I might have left to enjoy it. ( )
  MSarki | Jan 24, 2015 |
Wonderful. ( )
  ratastrophe | Jan 22, 2015 |
What a writer-- an honest observer and a tolerant man, ready to listen and to understand instead of to judge. The exception proves the rule there-- he does become angry when necessary. Thought provoking, OK it's now dated too, but it shows how much mores have changed in the 50+ years since it was written, which is also thought provoking. ( )
  ehousewright | Jan 13, 2015 |
Not my style of book, but definitely a must read for Steinbeck fans. ( )
  rockinghorsedreams | Nov 13, 2014 |
this was our county wide read for 2014, so even though I have read it before, I decided to read it again, and enjoyed it again ( )
  rolyat | Nov 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (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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