In 1962 author John Steinbeck had scores of highly acclaimed novels behind him, had just won the Nobel Prize in literature, and was living comfortably in Maine along with his wife and Charley, a large French poodle of considerable age. Steinbeck began to feel the call of the open road again as he did from time to time so he planned a trip that would prove to be his last. With a minimum of preparations he hooked a trailer to his car, packed it with boxes of supplies, kissed his wife goodbye, and whistled for Charley. As he consulted the maps in his car while still sitting in his driveway, he had no idea he had less than six years of life left. The pair followed the eastern seaboard down to Florida and then turned for the west coast and California. The pair faced many troubles along the way and reaped many benefits as well. When Charley becomes ill the reader can easily feel the depth of Steinbeck’s compassion for him, pet owners in particular. The author through his gift for writing gives a wonderful insight into the America of his past and his perception of the short-fallings and gains of the America of his present. As a young man he had traversed the country many times as a bum walking and riding freight trains.
This is a timeless tale of a man and his companion on a quest and it speaks for itself. One of the great American authors, John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California in 1902 to an agricultural valley on the Pacific coast. In 1919 he enrolled in Stanford University and majored in literature and writing. He wrote many novels including The Cup of Gold, The Pastures of Heaven, To a God Unknown, The Long Valley, Of Mice and Men, The Red Pony, The Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl and East of Eden. He died in 1968. John Stienbeck will forever hold a place in the halls of classic American literature.