Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen in Prime Shop now
Customer Review

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Travel Along!, 22 May 2003
This review is from: Travels with Charley: In Search of America (Paperback)
“Travels with Charlie” is the delightful narrative by a master story teller of his 1962 journey across America with his pet poodle, Charlie. Feeling a need to become reacquainted with America, Steinbeck purchased a custom made mobile home which he outfitted, by his own admission, to excess, before setting out on his travels. Although warned that his fame and familiarity would prevent him from maintaining his anonymity, Steinbeck was able to meet America at its own level. From sea to sea he was recognized only by friends and relatives. This anonymity permitted him to drift in and out of American society, tasting and testing, interacting and remembering. From New England to California and back to New York, we are admitted to his conversations with taciturn Yankees and French-Canadian migrant agricultural workers. Traveling west, we read of border guards, the representatives of the government bureaucracy, state specific highway designations and Steinbeck’s observations of topography. His roadside visit with an actor and his entertainment by rich friends in Texas provide a sharp contrast in outlooks and behavior of different Americans. During his return to his hometown of Salinas, California, Steinbeck learns the truth that “you can’t go back home again.” Home has changed, his friends have changed, and Steinbeck had changed. It is sad, but true.
Steinbeck dreaded the South but knew that he could not be avoided. Traveling in 1962, Steinbeck saw some of the dramatic events of the Civil Rights movement while he sampled the prevailing racial attitudes of Southerners of the day.
At the start, Steinbeck was looking to become reacquainted with America. I was hoping that the would finish with some wise conclusions gleaned from his experience. He did conclude that Americans were more united as Americans than they were divided as residents of different regions. He is amazed to find the degree to which diverse immigrant groups have amalgamated into a new nationality in less than two centuries. I passed this on to a distant cousin in France with whom I have been discussing themes in American and French history. Beyond this, we are left to draw our own conclusions from the facts reported.
I wonder how many of the people to whom Steinbeck referred have read and recognized themselves in this book. How many of us, who did not meet Steinbeck, see ourselves or our acquaintances reflected in its pages?
This a a hard book to put down, so don’t try. Pick it up, free your mind and enjoy “Travels with Charlie.”
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details

Item

Reviewer

James Gallen
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

Top Reviewer Ranking: 891