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Old 08-28-2009, 11:59 PM   #1
daffy4u
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Stalking John Steinbeck

Well, just sort of stalking him since he is no longer with us.

I've been reading "East of Eden" for the past few weeks and I'm loving it. It's been a slow read for me because I've been very busy with work and when I had some days off I kept it a slow read because I wanted to savor the story (I need it to be longer ). I've learned I have a preference for author's who write stories that take place in locations where I live (or lived) or have visited. I read a lot of Michael Connelly, Dean Koontz, Jan Burke and now I'm adding Steinbeck!

Anyway, I was working this week in Central California and decided to make a side trip for a couple of days to "Stalk John Steinbeck". Today, I spent about 3 1/2 hours at the National Steinbeck Museum in his hometown of Salinas, CA.

One section of the museum is dedicated to "East of Eden" (others cover "Of Mice and Men", "Cannery Row", "The Red Pony", "The Grapes of Wrath" and more ). There were photographs of Steinbeck's family as well as some of the Hamilton family. Sam Hamilton does not look anything like I pictured him in my mind (in my head he was more like a thinner Santa Clause). They also showed a short clip from the 1955 film version of the book starring James Dean. The clip alone made me not ever want to see the film. So many things were so wrong... the twins ages, who said what, when and where... it drove me nuts (ix-nay with the artistic license-ay).

Lots of pictures and maps of Salinas back then and some of the buildings still exist so, it's easier to imagine the book characters travels around town.

After, I left the Museum I drove back to Monterey to Cannery Row. I've been there several times when visiting the Monterey Aquarium but this time I tried to set the look of it in my mind so that when I read "Cannery Row" I can visualize it better. I also paid more attention to all the buildings with Steinbeck's name or picture on them which I had never noticed before.

That's my stalking adventure. Have any of you ever stalked an author or setting of a book? If so, please share because I need a new object for my stalking prowess.
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Last edited by daffy4u; 08-29-2009 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:20 AM   #2
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Thanks for that, Daffy. I read a lot of Steinbeck when I was in school, and have visited Salinas, Monterey and other Steinbeck locales in California, but I didn't know about the Steinbeck Museum. I'll make a point of visiting it next time I'm over there.

The idea of "stalking" an author is quite popular, and of course there are also local author-related tours in many cities. Here in Edinburgh, Ian Rankin fans have an Inspector Rebus tour. I believe there's a Dashiel Hammet tour in San Francisco, which I'd like to do one day.

By the way, I just read Travels with Charley for the first time. If you haven't read it yet, I think you'll enjoy it.
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:55 AM   #3
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By the way, I just read Travels with Charley for the first time. If you haven't read it yet, I think you'll enjoy it.
It's on my list! And thanks for the stalking leads.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:02 AM   #4
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The idea of "stalking" an author is quite popular, and of course there are also local author-related tours in many cities. Here in Edinburgh, Ian Rankin fans have an Inspector Rebus tour. I believe there's a Dashiel Hammet tour in San Francisco, which I'd like to do one day.
The "Inspector Morse" tours in Oxford are extremely good. I thoroughly recommend them, but you have to book in advance, because they always sells out.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:46 AM   #5
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I've been curious about the James Herriot (James Alfred Wight) tours in Yorkshire. I can only imagine (and fear) that they experienced a crush of tourists in the '80's and '90's. Does anyone know if that's true and what it is like today? I might be interested myself some day but not if I'm in a thong throng.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:47 PM   #6
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The "Inspector Morse" tours in Oxford are extremely good. I thoroughly recommend them, but you have to book in advance, because they always sells out.
Yes, that's another one I plan to take one day. I think someone told me that Colin Dexter occasionally shows up on them -- or I might have dreamed that.

Thanks for the tip about booking in advance.
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