Travels With Charley is almost 50 years old. It has its slow parts and silly parts and dumb parts. It contains obvious filler and fiction, but in many ways it is still a wonderful, quirky, and entertaining book. It contains flashes of Steinbeck’s great writing, humor, and cranky character, and it appeals to readers of all ages. That’s why it’s an American classic and still popular around the world.
OK, it looks as if Steinbeck was doing a lot of fictionalizing here, but it is also worth noting that Travels With Charley is a very good book, however fictional it may be, and Steinbeck was a very good writer. It is also worth noting that Steinbeck is one of those authors who inspires loyalty.