Friday, January 15, 2016

Travels With Charley

From Goodreads:
An intimate journey across and in search of America, as told by one of its most beloved writers, in a deluxe centennial edition

In September 1960, John Steinbeck embarked on a journey across America. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country, with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. To reassure himself, he set out on a voyage of rediscovery of the American identity, accompanied by a distinguished French poodle named Charley; and riding in a three-quarter-ton pickup truck named Rocinante.

His course took him through almost forty states: northward from Long Island to Maine; through the Midwest to Chicago; onward by way of Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana (with which he fell in love), and Idaho to Seattle, south to San Francisco and his birthplace, Salinas; eastward through the Mojave, New Mexico, Arizona, to the vast hospitality of Texas, to New Orleans and a shocking drama of desegregation; finally, on the last leg, through Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey to New York.

Travels with Charley in Search of America is an intimate 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. Written during a time of upheaval and racial tension in the South—which Steinbeck witnessed firsthand—Travels with Charley is a stunning evocation of America on the eve of a tumultuous decade.

For the record-- I don't really  review books.  I don't feel qualified, BUT I do love to talk about them and like to feel part of the book blogging world.

From Me:
I wish!  I wish!  I wish I  had kept a notebook and written down quotes as I listened to this audio version of Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley."

I love books of essays.  I love when people write about their 'searches' and this is what Steinbeck did.  He traveled the US in a big circle and wrote about the people and places he encountered.
I would LOVE to do that.
I want to be a traveler, NOT a tourist
I wish I had the words to describe how intimate (yes, I stole the word from Goodreads review) Steinbeck's writing is in this book.  He set out to find out what American's are like today... I'm not sure any of us could ever get a true answer to that, but his observations of different people and regions was very insightful.  I'm not sure if he was disappointed in what he saw/found or not.  Perhaps I'll have to re-read--but that would be okay... I loved the book!
I also loved how he made Charley a 'real' character in the stories.  He played a very important part in the book, in the travels, in Steinbeck's life.

I listened on audio and Gary Sinese did a great job of narration.


bermudaonion said...

This sounds fantastic! I wish I were a better observer of people.

Katherine P said...

I need to read or listen to this one! I love Steinbeck and this is one of my Grandmother's favorite books and I get my very best recommendations from her. I love the idea of doing an audio for this one. It sounds like a story that would work well being told versus read. I'm not an observant person but I do appreciate those that are!

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