Believing that a good, interesting life is marked by quality, not quantity, John Steinbeck took note of his itchy feet and prepared to travel. He was accompanied by his French poodle, Charley, diplomat and watchdog, across the states of America from Maine to California. Moving through woods and forests, dirt tracks and highways to large cities and wildernesses, Steinbeck observed America and the Americans with a humorous and sometimes sceptical eye. What he sees is a lonely, generous nation too packed with individuals for single judgements. His vision of how the world was changing, however, speaks to us warningly and prophetically through the decades.
©1962 John Steinbeck (P)2011 Hachette Digital
I bought this book on the strength of recommendations in Amazon reviews and because, in my final year at school, I had learned to love John Steinbeck's books on the USA depression. I was not disappointed.
Travels with Charley is, however, quite different from the 'depression' books. The language is still beautiful and the descriptions captivating but this is a wonderfully crafted travelogue by a very observant traveller. The book contains much humour - particularly in his relations with Charley. The pace is fairly gentle with time to learn from the various characters he meets on the road. As you listen it is hard to remember that it was written in the very early 1960s. So many of the comments are still applicable.
Peter Marinker's reading is beautiful and his voice is just right. You feel that he is John Steinbeck!
This is a book to savour and one you certainly wish was longer. I highly recommend it to you.
"Classic travel writing"
What a great combination, John Steinbeck and travelling through America. Subjects on which he is both knowledgeable and passionate about. This is no dry chronicling of a journey, rather a discovery of country and self, interspersed with anecdotes and humor.
Excellently narrated by Peter Marinker.
If you like Steinbecks stuff get this, you'll love it. The way he writes is lovely to hear and you forget it was written so long ago, it's so relevant to now, which I find quite hopeful
"Classic Travel Book"
Two years before he died, John Steinbeck said goodbye to his wife, loaded up his truck & trailer, packed his dog, Charley, and took off on the road to see if the America he had been writing about for years had changed substantially. We listened to this book driving from London to Glasgow and back and it enthralled driver and 4 passengers for 12 hours. Steinbeck captures the idiosyncracies of the American people and places he encounters with great compassion and humour. An engaging account of a time and place in America that no longer exists.
"Time, people, places, memories of life."
We walk run or drive our way through life and we think we have observed...how wrong we are! John Steinbeck captures every moment of a character, every trait thought, desire or aspiration. He is a true wordsmith and this book is no exception to his long list of successful novels and it is understandable how his genius was recognised by his Nobel prize. In his search to be reacquainted with the USA this book will fill the canvas of your mind with the stunning view of people, places and experience.
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