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Publisher's Summary

In his first novel to follow the publication of his enormous success The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck's vision comes wonderfully to life in this imaginative and unsentimental chronicle of a bus traveling California's back roads, transporting the lost and the lonely, the good and the greedy, the stupid and the scheming, the beautiful and the vicious away from their shattered dreams and, possibly, toward the promise of the future. This edition features an introduction by Gary Scharnhorst.

©1947 John Steinbeck (P)2015 Penguin Audio

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  • uhhuhlex
  • 04-02-2016

A novel with lots of tension and a varied cast

Initially I wasn't as keen on this as I have been other Steinbeck works. However, it was a slow burner. When I took the time to think about it, I really liked how the narrative point of view shifted. While most of the characters aren't necessarily 'likeable', they are at least relate-able.

What I liked most about this novel was how it shows how humans use themselves to play against and off one-another. This is most obvious in the relations between the sexes here - a great tension underlies the whole novel - but also between different types of men and women. It does take a while to get underway, but by the time you reach the scene of the finale, some of the facades fall away and it is at times disturbing how cruel people are to each other, and how near to breaking we all are.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful