Hearing descriptive writing of the characters Steinbeck encounters.
Charley, the poodle
I was hoping for more detail about American life in the sixties. Steinbeck does touch on aspects of this time, but I was hoping for more. It is a straight account of Steinbeck's trek across the country, and it is good, but it's not a story story as you may expect. It goes a little long about Charley, Steinbeck's poodle, however, it is certainly worth a listen. For me, the ending is hilarious, and I found myself laughing about it several times for weeks after my listen. (I won't say here though!)
I would recommend this to someone who wants a light, entertaining story, but you better not analyze it too much, or you may be disappointed, it's kind of like those made for TV movies a particular greeting card company puts out every year.
The book was an interesting take on a depression era circus, however some of the dialogue sounds too modern, yet it gets the point across, the least interesting fodder is the drawn out love affair.
Jacob 93 is more suspenseful, until the last several chapters when you know where we're going with it.
Someone told me it was made into a movie, I may see it to see how the book was translated to film.
I felt the story starts off well, but seems as though it drags in the middle somewhat and becomes predictable. I did find myself listening to the end; however, just to find out what would happen, which shows it has some merit, but I found the use of so many parallelisms irritating: Here are some examples: SPOILER ALERT:Protagonist took care of Rosie the elephant/ Rosemary the nurse takes care of protagonist, we get it. Jeesh, that in itself isn't too bad, but then we go on with:Jake 23 who leaves his knife at the pillow of the enemy husband of his love affair; the similar thing David did to Solomon to show he could of killed him but didn't, we get it. And we never hear the reaction from the enemy husband either, which based on our prior experience with this guy who roughs people up for drinking a bottle of gin, I can't imagine what he'd do if he woke to find a knife beside his head, but okay. Parallelism of Jake liquor harming Camel, protagonist's name is Jake, he takes care of the animals, we get it. Parallelism of (another spoiler alert) the protagonist running off to the circus when he's young, and again when he's old, and while we're at it, wouldn't the modern circus guy be charged with abduction if he gets caught? Would he really take that chance?It's just too much, too obvious for me, and as the reader I feel as though I'm being used. (But I did read it to the end). Some other beefs: I got the impression that the ending was longer and the author was told to "cut it down." And I find it hard to believe that these circus folk would ingratiate themselves to this 23 year old punk, even though he was a veterinarian. I just had a difficult time seeing the ringleader/animal leader inviting the protagonist into dinners with his wife, being that he's a jealous dude, but hey, I guess it could happen. My biggest letdown was not finding out why the lawyer couldn't have watered the elephants in his day, there was no real explanation on that one, and to tell you the truth, I felt betrayed that it was never explained how Jake93 knew the old lawyer was lying!
Relations between people
The powerful characters.
Not sure, good narrator though.
A revealing of the human heart.
Colorful characters that show how relationships in families either flourish or falter. It shows the trajic consequences of the behavior of one man, and how that behavior transcends to the next generation. A lot of symbolism in this book also, demonstrating the sin nature in all of us.
I can't say much else, other than as in all Steinbeck's books, they reveal the human condition, and are equally good as a history lesson too. I liked it very much.
Steinbeck's descriptive writing. He has chapters in this book where he describes the attitudes or situation of not those in the story, but the happenings around those in the story. I felt as if I were experiencing the times of the 1930's. The realism is incredible.
This is good as a history lesson too.
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