Travels with Charley

Travels with Charley is a non-fiction book by John Steinbeck about his travels across America. Indeed it is titled “In search of America”.

He is not a man who messes around. When he decided to go travelling he wrote to the truck company and design him a special truck. They did. When his boat was in danger he jumped into the stormy water and swam out to it. It was a time when men were real men, women were real women, and everyone suffered because of gender inequality.

He does not go alone however. He takes his dog, Charley, who is as much a part of the story as Steinbeck himself. He begins by driving across the northern states (Steinbeck, not Charley, who does none of the driving) and then comes down the west coast and back across.

It is an interesting story. Steinbeck writes about his experiences in the colourful and descriptive way you would expect.

It is not, however, a description of Americana. Probably because, as Steinbeck points out, summing it up would be impossible. However, it is more a collection of anecdotes in sequence than a description of the areas he passes through.

It also all gets a bit horrible near the end when he visits the southern states and runs into a lot of racists. He quickly falls out with them. Thankfully he is then on the road again heading back to New York.

Travels with Charley



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This entry was posted on Friday, July 3rd, 2015 at 10:37 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.