Travels with Charley: In Search of America


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Steinbeck's last full-length work is an exploration of the country he had become famous for writing about. Suspecting that he might have lost touch with America, his subject for the previous 20 years, he set out at the age of 60 on a 10,000-mile journey of rediscovery, travelling from coast to coast and back again in a specially converted pick-up truck, with only his dog, Charley, for company. This travel book describes his search for the American identity.

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bradley c

Jan 27, 2016

Interesting travel

Steinbeck makes you feel like you are riding along in his camper.
His encounters with people he meets on the road are so real to life, you can feel the interactions.
What a story teller.
Wherever he goes, you would like to have his outspokenness when he meets someone.
All the stories are outstanding, but the one when he picks up the young person, who then describes his hatred towards blacks is timeless. When Steinbeck, stops the camper, and lets him out on the road, you want want to cheer Steinbeck for getting rid of such a jerk. Truly Steinbeck is totally American and one of a kind.

David S

Aug 29, 2015

Great Read

A tale only Steinbeck could spin. A MUST read for anyone interested in a well written documentation of Americana in the early '60s.


Jul 18, 2013


This is the sweetest book I've read in a long time.
It's certainly a must read for anyone who loves people and dogs.


Aug 15, 2007

Biblical Simplicities

In Travels with Charley, John Steinbeck manages to be wise about so many things: Americans and the American landscape, being male, aging, hunting, the national impulse to "go" (that is, wanderlust and mobility), migratory workers (the subject of his great novel Grapes of Wrath), New Englanders' taciturn character, the madness of nuclear terror.

Like Hemingway, Steinbeck had achieved mastery over what he knew, but his prose style lacks the artifice of a Faulkner or Hemingway. He is more easily engaging and accessible. If some Eastern critics were dismissive of his "Biblical simplicities," to quote Norman Mailer, the following question might be asked: Need all 20th century American novelists be as tortured as those two self-conscious stylists? Besides, my guess is that John Steinbeck would've made a more companionable tour guide than either Papa, F. Scott or Big Daddy Faulkner. His book proves it. A wonderful and prescient journey into the heart of a lost America.

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