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Travels with Charley in Search of America | [John Steinbeck]

Travels with Charley in Search of America

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (307 )
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4.5 (267 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 06-21-11
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 06-21-11 Member Since 2005

    I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?

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    "On the Road Adventure"

    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.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne&Gil Surry, VA, United States 02-06-12
    Jeanne&Gil Surry, VA, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great listen for a Road Trip"
    If you could sum up Travels with Charley in Search of America in three words, what would they be?

    Steinbeck's gift to travelers.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Travels with Charley in Search of America?

    When Charley got well.


    Which character – as performed by Gary Sinise – was your favorite?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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).

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie KALAMAZOO, MI, United States 03-05-12
    Laurie KALAMAZOO, MI, United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2007

    lafftur

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    "A very enjoyable ride"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Providence, RI, United States 02-27-12
    Charles Providence, RI, United States 02-27-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Love Steinbeck and particularily this book."

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebb CA, United States 12-15-11
    Rebb CA, United States 12-15-11
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    "Enjoyed the Journey"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Travels with Charley in Search of America to be better than the print version?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Travels with Charley in Search of America?

    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.


    What about Gary Sinise’s performance did you like?

    I appreciated how Gary Sinise brought the story and characters to life. It felt very real to me.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Charley added something special to the story. I felt myself smiling a lot, letting out a few laughs, and reflecting a bit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 08-25-13
    karen Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 08-25-13

    Eclectic tastes. Love anything thought provoking. Especially if its blended with some from of humour.

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    "Steinbeck travels"
    If you could sum up Travels with Charley in Search of America in three words, what would they be?

    Epic in a small kind way


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Steinbeck. Bears his soul in loving America and particularly the common person


    What does Gary Sinise bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He is just a superb reader. Really brings out all the characters!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes. When Mr Steinbeck was talking about killing the coyotes.


    Any additional comments?

    His comments on the loss of regional languages resulting from TV was right on and quite sad actually!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rejena Douglas, WY, United States 06-16-13
    Rejena Douglas, WY, United States 06-16-13 Member Since 2009

    Books make work bearable until work becomes writing and reading books.

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    "Needed a Vacation took one with Charlie"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Want to give this audible as my Summer Read to all my friends. Gotta figure out how to do that.


    What about Gary Sinise’s performance did you like?

    really great.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    An old favorite that needed revisited since I was in need of a vacation and can't get out of work.


    Any additional comments?

    Travels with Charlie is a dreamstate that brings me home and takes me away all at the same time.
    Thanks Mr. Steinbeck!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gary ENGLEWOOD, FL, United States 01-14-13
    gary ENGLEWOOD, FL, United States 01-14-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Telling view of America in the '60s"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Palatine, IL, United States 08-20-12
    Sharon Palatine, IL, United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Amazing history and personal."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Very well written and read. It was recommended by an eighty year old friend. Fanastic choice.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Travels with Charley in Search of America?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Gary Sinise’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I had not. He was amazing. I have always loved his performances and his read was just as fantastic. Would love more.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wanted too...not possible with time.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wceagle2 Walnut Creek, CA, United States 04-24-12
    wceagle2 Walnut Creek, CA, United States 04-24-12 Member Since 2009
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    "My dog, Rufus, is ready, let's pack!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Travels with Charley in Search of America to be better than the print version?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rocinante, because the mighty machine provided the adventure.


    Have you listened to any of Gary Sinise’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Gary has a great voice and provides colorful reflection on the author's words.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Steinbeck starting out and finding his stuff scattered all over Rocinante. Out of choas came order?


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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