A stunning evocation of America on the eve of a tumultuous decade—and a moving elegy for more innocent times.
In September 1960, John Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley, embarked on a journey across America, from small towns to growing cities to glorious wilderness oases. Travels with Charley is animated by Steinbeck’s attention to the specific details of the natural world and his sense of how the lives of people are intimately connected to the rhythms of nature—to weather, geography, the cycles of the seasons. His keen ear for the transactions among people is evident, too, as he records the interests and obsessions that preoccupy the Americans he encounters along the way.
©1962 John Steinbeck (P)2011 Penguin
“Pure delight, a pungent potpourri of places and people interspersed with bittersweet essays on everything from the emotional difficulties of growing old to the reasons why giant sequoias arouse such awe.” (The New York Times Book Review)
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
A middle aged man and his dog go on an adventure. They leave their comfortable life to meet people and see parts of America unknown. This memoir is sweet and touching, Mr. Steinbeck clearly loves people and his special dog Charley. I had to give an extra star to this book for the authors spot-on (no pun intended ) description of Charley, his standard poodle. I dare say they are all alike, and yet we who own and care for Standards think each of ours is so very unique.
A nice read, a kind man and his pup meet people and reflect. I liked this book quite a lot.
There is something about Gary Sinise's voice that is perfect for Steinbeck. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio version of one of my favorite books.
Steinbeck's gift to travelers.
When Charley got well.
Steinbeck. A friend who knew John Steinbeck say that Gary Sinise sounds just like him with the same inflections. Sinise did a superb job on this narration, perhaps one of the best audio books I've listened too from a narration standpoint.
The story is read unabridged and runs 20 plus hours. It need to be savored over several days driving time (preferably while on a road trip.
This was John Steinbeck's last work (some two years after his Nobel Prize) and I suspect he knew he was dying. This is not classic Steinbeck, but rather an insight into the man himself. We should all have a companion as tolerant as Charley (his poodle).
I had read it years ago and now listened to it. I will listed again in the future. There is so much in the book.
For me, yes. I started the print version a year ago and got about half way through. When I saw there was an audio, I bought it and listened to it each day on my short commute. I took my time with it and felt like I was along for the ride.
There were many memorable moments. Difficult to select only one. When he met the man who lived in a mobile home and how it gave me a different perspective on folks that choose mobile homes over permanent homes.
I appreciated how Gary Sinise brought the story and characters to life. It felt very real to me.
What I did feel with this book is a sense of reflection. I am a writer, an observer, a traveler of the mind, so it prompted me to reflect on my own experiences and the people I run into in my local travels. It was a very human book, relevant now, just as much as when it was written.
Charley added something special to the story. I felt myself smiling a lot, letting out a few laughs, and reflecting a bit.
Books make work bearable until work becomes writing and reading books.
Absolutely. Want to give this audible as my Summer Read to all my friends. Gotta figure out how to do that.
An old favorite that needed revisited since I was in need of a vacation and can't get out of work.
Travels with Charlie is a dreamstate that brings me home and takes me away all at the same time.
Thanks Mr. Steinbeck!
Steinbeck (for me) is truly the last, great American author. Steinbeck puts the Reader right in the passenger seat. He is filled with so many cogent insights & epitaphs about America . . . an America we find out hasn't changed all that much.
Very well written and read. It was recommended by an eighty year old friend. Fanastic choice.
The chapter which covered the desegragation with schools. It still amazes me of the ignorance not to many yeas ago, and still now with some people. It was very disturbing.
I had not. He was amazing. I have always loved his performances and his read was just as fantastic. Would love more.
I wanted too...not possible with time.
Worth "reading"... Story captures your wunderlust in the first few minutes. Steinbeck lives on Long Island, but longs to visit the USA and its people. Charlie, his poodle, is the perfect, silent traveling companion. The people Steinbeck meets along the way provide the adventure.If you're ever in Salinas, you have to visit the National Steinbeck Center. Rocinante was on exhibit the last time I was there. It was Steinbeck's vessel for his journey of a lifetime.
Rocinante, because the mighty machine provided the adventure.
Gary has a great voice and provides colorful reflection on the author's words.
Steinbeck starting out and finding his stuff scattered all over Rocinante. Out of choas came order?
First of all I should say that I drove around the country alone in a Van approximately 1970. I think this book was one of the reasons I did it. I was approximately 23 years old at the time. It was Just like he says in the book:
you don't take the trip, the trip takes you.
I have now reread it at the age of 66. At this time in my life it was pleasant, albeit somewhat rambling, containing some humor, some profound insights, some lighter insightful comments and some parts that made the book longer without adding value at least to me.
I think not. There is really no story to it. While some of the observations are interesting, his trip happened a long time ago and much seems dated. Having said this my number one piece of advice for young people who are single is to save up a little money and drive around the country, or at least out west (I live in Ohio) so they can have their own experience of this type. However, I am not sure a 23 year old today would read this book and get filled with desire to save a few bucks and drive their car alone around the country. Perhaps If I run into a recently retired friend who is hinting about doing something like this I can suggest he read this book.
for me, yes. for the average reader, no
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