Travels with Charley in Search of America
A quest across America, from the northernmost tip of Maine to California's Monterey Peninsula
To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the tress, to see the colors and the lightthese were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.
With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. And he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, on a particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and on the unexpected kindness of strangers that is also a very real part of our national identity.
"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
"Profound, sympathetic, often angry . . . an honest, moving book by one of our great writers." — The San Francisco Examiner
"The eager, sensuous pages in which he writes about what he found and whom he encountered frame a picture of our human nature in the twentieth century which will not soon be surpassed." — The Atlantic Monthy