In America, Travels with John Steinbeck
18 March 2015
In America, Travels with John Steinbeck – Geert Mak
I have not read John Steinbeck, I’m not sure that as a bookseller this leaves me somehow deficient, but in my defence ‘Of Mice and Men’ is sitting on my - to be read soonish - pile. I was also recently reminded, by an old school friend, that we had to study him in class, which might shed some light on my schooling experience as I still haven’t read him.
This book is much less a biography of Steinbeck than a travelogue through America’s heartland. Mak uses Steinbeck’s own journey described in ‘Travels with Charlie’ to chart America’s social and political journey from the 1950’s and 60’s to today. Greet Mak is a Dutch journalist and as such his outsider view is quiet refreshing. He peppers the book with both stories of Steinbeck’s journey, the history of the towns and cities he passes through along with a broader history of the country itself. As well as insightful analysis of what has become of the worlds largest economy based on the experiences of the people he meets.
This is a really enjoyable read – The story of a man a journey, a town a city and a country – well worth diving into.