A stunning evocation of America on the eve of a tumultuous decade—and a moving elegy for more innocent times.
In September 1960, John Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley, embarked on a journey across America, from small towns to growing cities to glorious wilderness oases. Travels with Charley 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 cycles 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.
“Pure delight, a pungent potpourri of places and people interspersed with bittersweet essays on everything from the emotional difficulties of growing old to the reasons why giant sequoias arouse such awe.” (The New York Times Book Review)
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Love Steinbeck and particularily this book.
Enjoyed the Journey
For me, yes. I started the print version a year ago and got about half way through. When I saw there was an audio, I bought it and listened to it each day on my short commute. I took my time with it and felt like I was along for the ride.
There were many memorable moments. Difficult to select only one. When he met the man who lived in a mobile home and how it gave me a different perspective on folks that choose mobile homes over permanent homes.
I appreciated how Gary Sinise brought the story and characters to life. It felt very real to me.
What I did feel with this book is a sense of reflection. I am a writer, an observer, a traveler of the mind, so it prompted me to reflect on my own experiences and the people I run into in my local travels. It was a very human book, relevant now, just as much as when it was written.
Charley added something special to the story. I felt myself smiling a lot, letting out a few laughs, and reflecting a bit.