As many other reviews stated this story written by anyone else would probably be pointless and boring but Steinbeck has such an amazing, descriptive way of writing that the most mundane of characters becomes fascinating. The situations and the scenery are so descriptive that you feel you are right there. I don't understand why this novel is not as popular as many of his others. This story actually had some humor in it, also.
One of my favorites after the monumental East of Eden. The association between the unforgiving landscape and the relationships in between passengers is almost a play in my mind. Characters are spot-on and if you go there still today, you might find yourself caught in the same trap. Disclaimer: English is only my second language, but I live here and ride these lost roads all the time. -- Eric
This is one of Steinbeck's hidden treasures. This book is all about the characters and their interactions. Steinbeck is truly an artist when it comes to characters and how he dives in and makes you understand them.
The Wayward Bus was for a long time one of the forgotten of Steinbeck's books, but it is beginning to make a resurgence due to its modern motifs and colorful characters.
Steinbeck's use of language, character and conflict in a span of a single day makes this book one of his most daring of his work. In a way, it is a foray into the inner consciousness& conflicts of a post-war consumerized America. He captures theme's of melancholy,repression and narcissism that ring more and more in current literature mapping out the West's cultural shift over the past 50 years.
But mostly, the characters stick and the writing reaches the mantle that Steinbeck has set for himself in his earlier classics.
Steinbeck's "Wayward Bus" is a conduit of genuine character development amongst ten different personalities who unfortunately, and due to the driver's speculation of his own personal life's state of affairs, deliberately get mired down in a remote, mud-bogged mountain road in post WWII California.
It was quite skillful of Steinbeck to have this busload of individuals break down in the mud...therefore portraying and revealing the dirty, dishonest and fraudulent behavior of the personalities aboard.
A proficient, out of the ordinary read...sure to please.
Each of John Steinbeck's books offers a flavor of its own. The Wayward Bus is John Steinbeck at his best - the characters are convincingly flawed and the method that each copes with this travel situation in interaction with each other is the central focus of this book. Problem: It was rather brief and I would have liked it to continue. Perhaps this is the best indication of a good read -- you haven't had enough when you reach the end.
This short book is a story based on human interaction and thought. Although the people are ordinary they are profoundly interesting and complex. Although the story is ordinary the book is fascinating and the prose brilliant. Read it and you will understand why Mr. Steinbeck is a literary genius. East of Eden #1. The Wayward Bus#2.