Thursday, June 08, 2006

I even read books

I just finished John Steinbeck's Travel's With Charley, the closest thing to a novel that I have read since high school. I find myself lacking critical appraisal of the work other than neanderthal notions such as "I liked it" or "Yes, that is very true." The most I can give in response to reading it are observations, a fact that is altogether appropriate to such a book. While I was reading it it seemed like a travelogue without a narrative thread. You could have almost taken one section and moved it to another place in the book without any problem aside from geographic discontinuity. As I read through the last chapter though it became apparent that there was something building in the book. While the incidents external to him are almost interchangable, it is the way he feels about travel that takes a definite course as he crosses the country and comes home. This is where the "Yes, that is very true" part comes into play. I enjoyed his disclaimers about the objectivity of his experiences being tainted by one thing or another, be they prior knowledge or pressing needs to travel quickly. I'd like to take the trip myself someday. It will be different from his, or course, but he already made that point in the book. I wonder what kind of startling similarities I would find...


Post a Comment

<< Home