Get on board to savour the United States of America of 1960s on this super exciting road trip with John Steinbeck. Alongside Charley, his four-legged companion, Steinbeck sets out to explore the country from head to toe in his custom made camper truck named Rocinante, after Don Quixote’s horse. What awaits them ahead is a spectacular slideshow of the United States. Starting from Maine in the North, they advance towards Northwest and South and finally back to New York where the journey had its flag off.
Steinbeck ruminates on several issues which concern himself and his country including wastefulness of Americans, racial prejudices, politics and so on. The gradual loss of local dialects and accents owing to the popularity of TV and radio worries Steinbeck who hates the notion of a standard national speech lacking flavours. The idea of rootlessness grabs his chain of thoughts while traversing the vast network of immigrants.
“We are a restless species with a very short history of roots, and those not widely distributed. Perhaps we have overrated roots as a psychic need.”
From taciturnity of New England to race relations in New Orleans, from Redwoods of Oregon to The Great Divide in the Rockies, from countrysides to urban sprawls, Steinbeck paints the portrait of emerging America of the 1960s. For those driven by wanderlust who wish to catch a glimpse of the states, this trip/book would make a great start.
Travels with Charley in search of America // John Steinbeck.