Predating Bill Bryson by a couple of decades (and saying in a single chapter more than Bryson could in a whole book), John Steinbeck looks for America. The book details the time he spent travelling through his country, alone (save for Charley, his dog) and anonymous, no mean feat for a writer of Steinbeck's stature. This anonymity allows him to settle in more easily with other men and find out what is felt at the heart of Americans of the day. He seeks to identify and analyse traits in the national soul, and succeeds to a large extent, finding basic friendship and goodwill in many cases. He is unafraid to criticise other humans when he wishes to, especially when faced with racial prejudice, and this gives the book a convincing structure. He is also unafraid to criticise his country as a whole, therefore making the book more credible to non-USA readers. The book contains some wonderful descriptive passages of his interactions with Charley, lending a humour not visible in his other writings. It is very easy to read, and contains a number of very evocative descriptions of scenery and people. The reader feels he is meeting the people Steinbeck meets, or seeing his sights through his own eyes. A wonderful piece of travel literature, showing the author's usual talent for identifying with his readership.