Light-hearted political satire is perhaps not what one expects from Steinbeck, but this was a late work and the late works can be characterised as attempting not to be what one expects from Steinbeck...yet the style seems all Steinbeck.
Witty and funny at first, more typically melancholic in the middle the reader is left guessing whether it will end in tragedy or not until very near the end - though my guess was correct.
Throughout there are more or less subtle and amusing observations at they way countries are ruled, the way corporations are ruled and what happens to people who are thrust into positions of power against their will.
The characters are drawn clearly and I quickly held them in affection just as i now hold this book in affection. A quirky but successful experiment from Steinbeck.