You probably haven't heard of this Steinbeck. I know I hadn't. Published in 1947, it's considered one of his "minor" novels. I can see why. It starts out great, but gradually loses steam, even as the tension is supposed to be building.
It's basically a book of character studies, and Steinbeck tosses 'em all in a sack like a bunch of bulldogs to see what will happen. The sack is a little country store and a rickety old bus that makes a daily run between the Central Valley of California and the coast, and a rising river with an iffy bridge.
The characters are the store owner/bus driver (Juan the Manly Mexican) and his wife (Alice the Secret Boozehound), their two employees (Pimples the Horny Teenager and Norma the Homely Waitress) and a collection of passengers: the Traveling Salesman, the Businessman with his Migraine Wife and Rebellious Daughter in tow, the World-Weary Dame, the Crotchety Old Bastard.
The set-up was good, but I kept waiting for something, anything to happen, and by the time anything did, I was already skimming and thinking to myself, "Either they all live or they all die. But I just don't care anymore."
What I should be wearing: the shirt at left.
I have done zero, zip, nada all day. I did not go skiing. I did not work on my bookcase cleanup. I did not even walk the demon beast.
I napped. I read. I read and napped. The demon beast seemed content with this (she napped on top of me). I feel like I've eaten too much candy, but I'm kind of glad I did it. I've been feeling sleep-deprived lately, and work is always go-go-go.
Tomorrow I'll be productive. Yeah. Tomorrow.