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Publisher's Summary

In his first novel to follow the publication of his enormous success The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck's vision comes wonderfully to life in this imaginative and unsentimental chronicle of a bus traveling California's back roads, transporting the lost and the lonely, the good and the greedy, the stupid and the scheming, the beautiful and the vicious away from their shattered dreams and, possibly, toward the promise of the future. This edition features an introduction by Gary Scharnhorst.

©1947 John Steinbeck (P)2015 Penguin Audio

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Kelly
  • Colorado Springs
  • 05-08-17

Steinbeck always touches the heart, makes you feel

I am at a complete loss trying to explain John Steinbeck to people; trying to explain why exactly I LOVE him so much! His books are astoundingly beautiful pieces of work written with a quiet simplicity that confuses me. I do know one reason -- and maybe that is the whole of it -- that I love his books. He writes about people who are real, and he writes about them with so much detail and reverence. He gives you the hardest aspects of life, settings that are quiet, storylines that are slow and rich, and people who you know. He tells their stories, which are OUR stories. He loves people and allows them to be angry, to grieve, to love. He allows them to be flawed, and to delve into the things that make them unlikable at times. John Steinbeck takes the worst in people and makes you love them for it. So what is it that he does better than almost anyone else? He makes you feel all the feels.

I saw another reviewer say that he had a "heart-seeking missile" and that phrase blew me away because I feel exactly the same.

This book a bit different than some of his better known works, and yet it is also the same. It doesn't really have much of a beginning or an ending. It is a story of the journey, and not the journey on the bus, but the journey of life.

One other thought I have: Often the books that best tell the tale of the journey of life with all its messiness are sweeping, epic tales, which follow the characters throughout life and sometimes follow generations of characters throughout their lives. But Steinbeck accomplishes the same in stories that often occur in tiny moments of time. This book occurs in a day.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written

A past era brought to life, narrated excellently... Loved it and I will recommend it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A Steinbeck masterpiece below the radar

We are always encouraged to read more popular Steinbeck works. The Wayward Bus is an absolute masterpiece. John Steinbeck was brilliant in his telling of the intertwining human struggles. I felt like I was in the cafe and on the bus. Richard Poe is a narrator with very few peers.

Incredibly enjoyable!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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You will like these people

A vivid narrative as only Steinbeck can deliver. Enjoyed from start to finish . Narration was great!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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masterpiece

I have read viturally everything Steinbeck has written and have always been amazed at his profound ability and insight into human nature. W B should be in every English lit class, because it highlights more than any other, Steinbeck's uncanny ability to understand people and how they think. The story is simple, but made to be amazingly complex once the reader gets to know everyone one on the bus and clearly sees what makes them tick. I know of no other author with equal skill as JS in his ability to understand humans

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great characters and plot development...

...just wish it was a bit longer to connect final dots!! Really enjoyed the imagery and social connotations of the interactions, but would have loved at least another hour or two of story finale.

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Excellent Book

Character development superb and story engaging. Steinbeck gets into every character’s mind and shows humanity for what it is. No apologies. A great read.

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Steinbeck is the best

My favorite author. Cormac is a close second. LOVE the struggle between the sexes. Classic author timeless narrator...simply perfect

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Surprise

I thought I read all of Steinbeck's works, and loved them the first, second and third time. Then I stumbled on The Wayward Bus. What a blessing. Not the Grapes of Wrath, but then nothing is. But such rich characters, carefully built, one layer at a time. And timely! Immigrants all, from one layer of society into another, by accident. None of them would choose to be on that bus, the only thing they share in common is a desire to be off the bus and on their way to another more welcoming place.
Steinbeck is the classic observer, none better since Dickens. A rare, rare author writing about others, unlike the current crop who only write about themselves, or invent other worlds they would rather live in. A ride on this bus in the California rain might do them good before they write again.
All aboard. Hop in.

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Great simple story about normal people

This was great. it is a very simple story, with very simple situations, the greatness of it comes through the profound development of the characters.

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  • uhhuhlex
  • 02-04-16

A novel with lots of tension and a varied cast

Initially I wasn't as keen on this as I have been other Steinbeck works. However, it was a slow burner. When I took the time to think about it, I really liked how the narrative point of view shifted. While most of the characters aren't necessarily 'likeable', they are at least relate-able.

What I liked most about this novel was how it shows how humans use themselves to play against and off one-another. This is most obvious in the relations between the sexes here - a great tension underlies the whole novel - but also between different types of men and women. It does take a while to get underway, but by the time you reach the scene of the finale, some of the facades fall away and it is at times disturbing how cruel people are to each other, and how near to breaking we all are.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful