A relatively short and very readable book about a few people stuck at a bus station between San Francisco and Los Angeles in post world war II America. Due to some mechanical trouble with the bus, they're stuck for the night together with the bus driver, his wife and a couple of their servants. In the morning, they manage to continue their journey through bad weather and a detour around a shaky bridge.

Like many books written a while ago, it can be probably appreciated best in a historic context. However, even if you aren't familiar with that period (which is likely for readers in 2010, and for me as well), you can't help falling for Steinbeck's amazing skills in presenting his characters. Each one is unique, with an interesting story, depicted well enough in just a few pages to allow a connection with the reader. In character development, Steinbeck is an unsurpassed master, at least from my point of view.

While probably not one of my favorite Steinbeck works, it's certainly a good one - a recommended read.