Travels With Charley in Search of America

Travels With Charley in Search of America

Book - 2013
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An intimate journey across America, as told by one of its most beloved writers

To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light--these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.

With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. Along the way he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, the particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and the unexpected kindness of strangers.
Publisher: Highbridge Co., 2013.
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781101530979
1101530979
Branch Call Number: eAudio
Additional Contributors: Axis 360 (Firm)

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JCLHopeH Feb 13, 2014

Author John Steinbeck was 58 when he set out to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years. With his elderly French poodle, Charley, he embarked on a quest across America, from the northermost tip of Maine to California's Monterey Peninsula. Traveling the interstates and t... Read More »

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... Read More »

harmsh writes "Get a different glimpse of John Steinbeck as he details his journey to the corners of the United States, experiencing 1960s America first-hand with his French poodle as his constant companion. Steinbeck's wit shines, and his honest reflections about his acquaintances are just ... Read More »

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JCLHopeH Apr 12, 2013

Get a different glimpse of John Steinbeck as he details his journey to the corners of the United States, experiencing 1960s America first-hand with his French poodle as his constant companion. Steinbeck's wit shines, and his honest reflections about his acquaintances are just as satisfying. Thi... Read More »


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j
jquick99
Aug 11, 2019

Bummed to find out this is a work of fiction.
I had started this book and after reading his escapades in saving his boat during the hurricane, I did some research to find out if the book is fiction/fantasy. It is. Frankly, I didn’t have an interest in reading made up stories.

b
Bookworm1562
Mar 16, 2019

"Travels with Charlie" gives the reader an inside look at Steinbeck. He's a remarkable man and writer. He had me laughing so many times in this short novel. I was sorry to see it come to an end.

o
orange_lobster_23
Apr 11, 2018

I re-visited this book with a more appreciative eye after a book club discussion. The book is more a travelling retrospective of two aging companions (Charley and his dog) as well as a
retrospective for me , looking back at America optimism and possibility of the '60's.
The Franco-American encounters and drinking songs were particularly nostalgic.

w
wyenotgo
Sep 16, 2017

This is a far different Steinbeck from the fellow who wrote "The Grapes of Wrath". Not a travelogue but a nostalgic retrospective on what America meant to him. And in its final pages, a lament when he found himself face-to-face with the agony of America finally beginning, painfully, bitterly, terrifyingly to deal with its heritage of shattered race relations.
The book was written in 1961, at the time of the Kennedy inauguration. As such, it depicts an America that had long been the envy of all the world (even the Soviets, through gritted teeth) and yet it was already a nation at war with itself, unable to come to terms with the lofty ideals expressed in its own founding documents. So what can we say about this book today, when much of America has turned its back on its early dreams? How does it tally with the sickening truth of America's failure to live up to those impossibly optimistic aspirations, a time when civil discourse has become impossible and no one knows any more what is truth? When what individuals choose to believe (or claim to believe) is all that matters and if facts presented do not suit one's purpose, alternative facts will do?
What journey might Steinbeck, or anyone else of his era undertake today "in search of America"?

p
patcarstensen
Jul 02, 2017

Unlike a lot of travel books, he doesn't write about the end of the trip when he was just finishing driving and no longer enjoying traveling. The writing about the South is so immediate.

r
Rowswell
Nov 01, 2016

I recently read this book as I was contemplating a cross-country trip, something I have done many times over the past 40 years. I thought I'd read it on the road as I was planning on driving the same route Seattle to Ohio (long story, but I ended up reading it while flying & deferred the road trip to the spring).

After 55+ years the story still resonates & especially his description of the yearning for adventure at the opening of the book & then at the end of the book how he no longer absorbed anything he saw as he only wanted to get home.

While (hopefully) the negative experiences in the South would no longer be encountered, much of the trip and storyline would be familiar to a modern traveller.

Well written, as Steinbeck always is, the book serves to illustrate the saying "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" - "the more things change, the more it's the same thing".

This is a book for anyone with wanderlust. It will help reinforce that urge, or help recall memories of trips gone by.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

Part travelogue and part rant, Travels with Charley is a very conversational piece. It is strengthened by Steinbeck’s wit and insight. No matter what he is talking about, Steinbeck is able to pull his readers in and make them interested.

m
msemos
Jul 25, 2015

not great writing but I like it. his description of a school integration in Louisiana was wonderful. I am not sure that he ever found the American spirit, maybe there is none.

t
teemsum
May 31, 2015

A must-read for any age.

m
mahlysah
Apr 16, 2014

left off on page 158 Montana.

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