Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Travels with Charley - Book Review

A little over fifty years ago, author John Steinbeck sets out on a journey across the United States with his faithful dog Charley. As he views the incredible and changing landscape of the continent, Steinbeck offers details and insights into the people he meets and places he sees in his book Travels with Charley in Search of America: (Centennial Edition).

I am a fan of Steinbeck, who is a trained observer and is also wise in his interpretations of the places, people and situations he encounters on his trip. He has a delightful way of writing and I found myself reading a great many passages aloud to my husband.

His descriptions of his time in Deer Isle, Maine had me instantly craving lobster and checking flight pricing to Maine. My husband, who was born in Wisconsin, loved the glowing reports of his birth state. We both dreamed of moving to Montana. I felt the rebuke and the truth in the story of the very compassionate but evil looking man from Oregon. I reminisced on my own short but pleasurable trip to Carmel, California. I chuckled at his insights into Texas and the unique and devoted people that inhabit that land. And I ached at the racial struggle Steinbeck encountered in the deep south.

Steinbeck took me along for his journey. His writing is so beautiful and descriptive that I felt I was sharing the seat with his loyal but aging friend Charley. His sentiments ring so true and honest that they are still relevant fifty some years after his adventures.

I am so ready for a road trip. Too bad the gas prices make it impossible right now.

No comments: