My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Mr. Steinbeck’s intention of his travel with Charley, his old poodle, in Rocinante, a noble camping truck named after Don Quixote’s horse, was two folds: first, his innate wanderlust had grown bigger as his age advanced. He defied the senility of mind and body as a man who could still be a manly husband to his wife and function as an able-bodied man in society; second, Mr. Steinbeck wanted to see America as he had known on a personal level and to ascertain what could define true American identity and character. What he experienced in his own eyes across the land was part rhapsody of begone days he used to remember and part treatise on American national characteristics. Mr. Steinbeck was indeed a Don Quixote in his pursuit of finding America as portrayed in his novels and as remembered in his memory. But most of all, Mr. Steinbeck was a quintessential American writer in his tough-guy demeanor tinged in the narrative who had a deep affection for his country despite its foibles and imperfections.