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 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.
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.
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!
Middle-aged, married dad of two, living in Northern Burbs of Chicago. Hard Sci Fi addict, and lover of great storytelling. Almost all of my reading is now in audio format.
I like the idea of a nationwide road trip, and I like that Steinbeck finds meaning in the people he interacts with and the mundane situations in which he finds himself.
That said, I think he forgets that the undertaking as a whole really is rather mundane. I think with the exception of his travels through the South, he plays up drama that isn't there, and hints to danger and fear when there really isn't any reason for it. Let's be clear, in 1961 he custom ordered a 3/4 ton GMC pickup, outfitted it with a custom-ordered camper, and drove it around the US with his dog. I know it was over 50 years ago, but seriously, how dramatic can it be? He was basically an early member of the old-man-in-an-RV social group.
Again, that said, his observations of the racial unrest in the Deep South at the time were really quite dramatic, and probably had a genuine potential for danger.
It's ok, but not profound.
Eclectic tastes. Love anything thought provoking. Especially if its blended with some from of humour.
Epic in a small kind way
Steinbeck. Bears his soul in loving America and particularly the common person
He is just a superb reader. Really brings out all the characters!
Yes. When Mr Steinbeck was talking about killing the coyotes.
His comments on the loss of regional languages resulting from TV was right on and quite sad actually!
This book is a postcard from the past, a fascinating snapshot of life in America in the early 1960s. Steinbeck's writing is lovely, but Sinese makes it absolutely come alive. His portrayal of the different characters that Steinbeck meets is impressive - hard to believe that he is the only one narrating the book. But the best part is the totally authentic voice of Steinbeck himself. I felt like I was there with the man himself - and Charley. Beautifully performed!
it is like listening to soft music so you can be interrupted and then continue to listen and not miss much even though much of a chapter is passed.
A perfect audiobook for a road trip and a great voyage back in time to an America my parents knew but that I never experienced.
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