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Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

Travels with Charley (original 1962; edition 1977)

by John Steinbeck

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,713158924 (4.02)1 / 436
The chronicle of Steinbeck's journey across America with his dog Charley.
Title:Travels with Charley
Authors:John Steinbeck
Info:Bantam Books (1977), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:adult, nonfiction, travel

Work details

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

  1. 40
    The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America by Bill Bryson (John_Vaughan)
  2. 20
    The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck (John_Vaughan)
  3. 11
    Tagebuch, später (edition suhrkamp) by Andrzej Stasiuk (Philosofiction)
  4. 00
    No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. Le Guin (andomck)
    andomck: Non fiction from these novelists where their pets play a large role. Also, UKL has an essay in her book about knowing Steinbeck in real life
  5. 11
    Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat-Moon (usnmm2)
  6. 11
    Coast to Coast by Jan Morris (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: Two authors with different backgrounds but both books filled with love of travel and America.
  7. 00
    Of Men and Their Making by John Steinbeck (Booksloth)

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English (157)  Spanish (1)  All languages (158)
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
I read this a few months ago and enjoyed it so much that I thought I'd read it again. ( )
  parloteo | Dec 21, 2019 |
nice, easy reading, nothing stressful, just a bit of a road trip with dog. Gets a bit of a holier-than-thou because 'I like travelling and the rest of you don't' in patches. Bit old man shouts at clouds ( )
  fred_mouse | Jul 20, 2019 |
Interesting firsthand look at 1960s America, but at times, it seemed like Steinbeck was just writing for himself. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Jun 29, 2019 |
A rich old curmudgeon with a reputation of speaking for the common man realizes he has not been out amongst the hoi polloi in a while, so he sets out in a little camper with his poodle to rediscover the soul of America. Steinbeck strings together some sightseeing, rants, and colorful road trip characters into a mostly entertaining and often humorous travelogue.

Some of the sections seemed unlikely or too good to be true, so upon finishing the book, I was not surprised to find that researchers have found that Steinbeck fictionalized chunks of the book.

What did surprise me was how little things seemed to have changed in nearly 60 years as Steinbeck writes about a divisive political election, migrant workers, urban sprawl, the crazy reputation of Texas, and racism among other topics. ( )
  villemezbrown | May 16, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 157 (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 (79 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steinbeck, JohnAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bianciardi, LucianoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herman, Rein F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parini, JayIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sampietro, LuigiEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinise, GaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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with respect born of an association and
affection that just growed.
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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.
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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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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