Not Steinbeck's most enduring work, but a vivid, readable snapshot of America in 1960 nonetheless. Steinbeck's prose is well-crafted, and his editorial voice is present without being overwhelming.
Unfortunately for the work, it just so happens to fall in between two very formative periods of American history, but not quite exist in either. If the book had been written 10 years earlier, it would have been all about the post-war economic prosperity, and if it was 10 years later, it would have been about the counterculture movement. There's hints of both here, but it is a strange snapshot of an intermediary time, and the reader is left somewhat adrift as a consequence.