Sunday, February 28, 2010

29 - The Wayward Bus; John Steinbeck








The Wayward Bus; John Steinbeck

I'm so glad I finally read The Wayward Bus, as it did not disappoint.  The entire story takes place over a two day period in post WWII (1947). A group of very different people board a bus driven by 50 something, Juan Chicoy, Juan and his wife Alice operate a small luncheonette at Rebels Corners. Juan also is a mechanic, and drives a bus from Rebels Corners to San Juan de la Cruz. Juan is bored with his life and routine, and on this particular trip, heavy rains and an unsafe bridge, has Juan taking an alternate dirt road route. The passengers end up stranded, when the bus becomes stuck in the mud, and Juan tells the group he plans to walk to get help.

Now what really frames the central story is the relationships of all of the characters. Each of characters, in one way or another, are unhappy with their life : bored, love issues, frustrations, addictions etc. There is a pimple-faced teenager with raging hormones, a beautiful but promiscuous young woman, a dysfunctional but conservative husband and wife and their college daughter, a shy insecure waitress who dreams of being an actress and writes letters to Clark Gable, and a few others as well.  Will these individuals recognize that they need to make changes in order to improve their lives?

The Wayward Bus, gave great insight into what life was like for every day people in the 1940s. A terrific character driven novel in which I suspect that many readers might find at least one of these passengers someone they could relate to.  It's not a happy story, but it is one that should hold your interest and make you think. RECOMMENDED (4.5/5 stars)

Have you read this book? If so what did you think?

19 comments:

  1. I remember reading this...vaguely, when I was encouraged to do so a while back. I enjoyed it a lot, and I think it's one that I should really read again...now that I'm perhaps old enough to appreciate it :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really need to read more John Steinbeck! I've only read two of his works - East of Eden and Of Mice and Men - and I really enjoyed both of them. We have some of his short novels here, though not this one (at least I don't think so!). Thanks for reminding me!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for posting this excellent review - which makes very interesting reading. i have not read this book, but it has been on my radar for a while for various reasons and you have motivated me to get started! i am particuarly interested in what you say about the atmosphere of the 1940s - this is an especially interesting period for me - in particular the post war years - so thanks, recommendation will be taken up!

    Thanks for sharing and lovely blog.

    Hannah

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have not read much Steinbeck, but hope to remedy that soon. The Wayward Bus sounds like a great place to start.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It sounds fantastic. I have only read Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck, but I shall add this to my list. I like the sound of the way you glimpse their own issues - almost voyeurism.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is one Steinbeck I haven't read, and your review has me thinking I need to change that soon!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I haven't read this one... and yesterday I came across another Steinbeck I hadn't even heard of. I think it is a sign. John is calling to me...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love Steinbeck but I've not heard of this one. Thanks for reviewing it. I need to check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for a great review. It sounds like a book I'd enjoy...added to my "to read" list. Thanks. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Steinbeck is my favorite author.

    I tell everyone to read East of Eden. I think it is his best.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I took a semester-long course in college on Steinbeck and thought I had read everything he had written. This one is a new one to me so thanks for pointing it out so I can add it to my list.

    ReplyDelete
  12. HHmmmmm, Well I love John Steinbeck but I have not read this one! I can't say as I have even heard of it.
    I will have to look and see if I can get it off of paperbackswap.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I definitely need to read some Steinbeck!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am unfamiliar with this one. I'll add it to my list.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I need to read more Steinbeck and I think I might be starting with this one. I love plots that are really character driven and this one sounds to be just like that.

    ReplyDelete
  16. For some weird reason, this plot reminded me of LOST, with all its characters having some problem. I so want to read Steinbeck, that's another author I am scared of trying!

    ReplyDelete
  17. You've sold me on this one! The only Steinbeck I've read is The Pastures of Heaven, which I really enjoyed.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

    ReplyDelete
  18. John Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors, and I remember really enjoying this one when I read it. Don't remember much about it, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I just finished my first novel by Steinbeck (East of Eden) and loved the heck out of it! I am planning on reading a lot more of his work, so I was really pleased to read your review and hear that it was such a good read for you. Thanks so much for reviewing this one, I am now eagerly looking forward to it!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.