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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

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Rebb
  • CA, United States
  • 12-15-11

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Suzn F
  • Fletcher, VT, US
  • 06-21-11

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.

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

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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.<br/>Thanks Mr. Steinbeck!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Gary Sinise is fantastic!

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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • psnorb
  • Northwest Chicago Suburb, United States
  • 06-26-15

Wonderful Window into the United States of 1959.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, very well written. Mr. Steinbeck is someone I can identify with. Fiercely independent with a strong interest in the outdoors.

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

Swimming into the bay to save his boat during a storm. His emotional ties with his dog. The harsh reality of racism in the southern states in 1959.

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

no. This is well read.

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

I laughed a few times in the beginning. The book ends on a serious note.

Any additional comments?

This is a well written book that is worth the credit and the time. I believe that you will definitely learn from the experience. Enjoy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Laurie
  • KALAMAZOO, MI, United States
  • 03-05-12

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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles
  • Providence, RI, United States
  • 02-27-12

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • karen
  • Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 08-25-13

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!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A really good choice for an in-between book!

If you're looking for some lighter fare while you rest from your latest thriller, this book should fit the bill. Steinbeck hits the road with his faithful companion Charley, looking to reconnect with America and the people within it, and as you'd expect from this renowned author, the story is painted with a very descriptive brush, letting your imagination place you right there in the front seat with the two of them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Gary Sinise does an amazing job!

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful