Really, John Steinbeck!?!
Your actual travels-with-Charley experience wasn’t juicy enough in itself, so you made stuff up?
And you thought we wouldn’t find out you lied, lied, lied to all of us all these years?
(Actually, though, yeah. He Almost Got Away With It.)
(OK, so that’s Seth and Amy going after Blago. But you get the idea.)
Now… some of these literary unmaskings (I’m looking at you, James Frey and Greg Mortenson) have not really caused me any particular personal pain. Yes, it sucks that they’ve been lying to readers, and that ticks me off. But I didn’t take it personally because I never read their—ahem—novels.
But this Steinbeck business… this stings. I have loved Travels with Charley lo these many years and now I’m told I’ve been loving a lie.
So what we got here is One Honked-Off Reader Person.
And apparently this means I’ve been lying, too, because I’ve been saying for years that I like Steinbeck’s nonfiction better than his fiction.
Turns out: It’s all the same.