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Old 02-07-2014, 03:33 PM   #1
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Travels with Charley

I recently read a complimentary review of this book even though the reviewer said the book was written when John Steinbeck was a "grumpy old man". I can only assume the reviewer was about 30 years old. It is an excellent read that can be appreciated by Airstreamers of any age.

Steinbeck based the book on his solitary 11 week cross country journey in the fall of 1960(the last decade of his life). It was taken from the journal he kept and reportedly from letters he wrote his wife. It was originally published in 1962 under Travels with Charley in Search of America.

Now, he took the trip in what we would today call a pickup camper; but, I have to believe if he were around and doing it today, it would have been in an Airstream Interstate.

While there are any number of facets to this book, I also think it capturesthe essence of why many of us like to "ramble".

Have others read this? What did you think?
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:58 PM   #2
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I gave both of my boys that book when they left home so they would understand how to see everything around them and Steinbeck, grumpy or not, in that trip really saw and captured an America that was soon to change more and more. Steinbeck's narrative on that book cinched my decision to be a journalist and guided my appreciation of story telling for the past 45 years.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:42 PM   #3
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I liked it. Also liked Of Mice and Men, and there was another one...was it The Pearl?? Not sure. He also did The Grapes of Wrath. Great writer.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:50 PM   #4
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I give this book to new Airstreamers for their trailer library Leave it in the trailer, use as emergency reading if you ever forget your book and have to wait out a rain storm...
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:19 PM   #5
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I read that book while still in High School. And over the years I consumed a number of travel and adventure books, as I worked and traveled all over the world. A couple years ago at the Alumapalooza, I purchased a similar book by Gregory Zeigler “Travels With Max.” “In Search of Steinbeck’s America Fifty Years Later.”
Gregory writes about his travels around the country together with his dog Max and his Airstream Bambi. It’s worth reading.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:27 PM   #6
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I read Charley on our last Airstream trip. It was a great read. Steinbeck has such a unique writing style. I thought Charley was better the Grapes.

David
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:52 PM   #7
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Great book by a great American writer. The actual camper (Rocinante) is on display at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas California -- a must-visit for Steinbeck fans. Link: Welcome Home :: National Steinbeck Center
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:06 PM   #8
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I'm reading while on my own discovery of America.
In fact I call my blog Travels with Geordie in homage.

Currently on the beach on San Padre Island Texas.



Peter and Geordie

Travels with Geordie
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:46 PM   #9
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The John Steinbeck museum is in Salinas, Ca. and apparently is home to the camper used by the author. It has been suggested that the novel was ghost written in part rather than a full accounting of Mr. Steinbeck's actual experiences. Nonetheless, it was an excellent novel !
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:52 PM   #10
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The novel might have been written by Steinbeck, but looking back now it probably should not be classified as non-fiction.

This guy does a bit of research and tries to follow Steinbeck's trail. Interesting read but the dude got a bit too political and ruined most of the book. Amazon.com: Dogging Steinbeck: How I went in search of John Steinbeck's America, found my own America, and exposed the truth about 'Travels With Charley' eBook: Bill Steigerwald: Kindle Store
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:03 AM   #11
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the dogging steinbeck dude

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmaah View Post
The novel might have been written by Steinbeck, but looking back now it probably should not be classified as non-fiction.

This guy does a bit of research and tries to follow Steinbeck's trail. Interesting read but the dude got a bit too political and ruined most of the book. Amazon.com: Dogging Steinbeck: How I went in search of John Steinbeck's America, found my own America, and exposed the truth about 'Travels With Charley' eBook: Bill Steigerwald: Kindle Store

Thanks for the plug on my book -- and for buying it. Sorry I got too political for you. But since I am an ex-newspaper op-ed columnist, and a stanch libertarian journalsist (a rare thing), and since my book was my travel story about my adventures on the road with Steinbeck (himself a very political dude), my politics had to be in my book -- just as Steinbeck's partisan New Deal/Democrat politics are in his book. Politics is/are found in most nonfiction (which is what my book is and his book wasn't). But it's rarely libertarian politics.

bill steigerwald
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:39 AM   #12
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Good that you brought this up. It prompted me to recheck the library's eholdings -- and to send in a recommendation to buy. I had checked this before, but my recommendation list was already full at the time. Seems like they limit patrons to 10 or so recommendations.


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Old 02-08-2014, 10:42 AM   #13
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Sorry I got too political for you.
OK maybe not "ruined". I just wasn't expecting that slant. Overall I really enjoyed your book. Probably more than the original. After reading Travels with Charlie, especially towards the end it appeared a little fake to me and went looking for reviews then stumbled upon your book.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:56 PM   #14
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Travels with Max

Thanks JStanley for the suggestion to read Gregory Zeigler's book. Next stop, Amazon, to see if I can buy a down load of it for my e-reader.

As an aside, these posts remind me of a reason I like to stop in often on Air Forums. Airstream owners are interesting people. Of course, the ready, available advice and tips are great(most the time it is even accurate-Ha).
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