Of Mice and Men Paperback
Part of the Penguin Modern Classics series
Drifters in search of work, George and his childlike friend Lennie, have nothing in the world except the clothes on their back - and a dream that one day they will have some land of their own.
Eventually they find work on a ranch in California's Salinas Valley, but their hopes are dashed as Lennie - struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy - becomes a victim of his own strength.
Tackling universal themes of friendship and shared vision, and giving a voice to America's lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men remains Steinbeck's most popular work, achieving success as a novel, Broadway play and three acclaimed films.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 144 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 07/09/2000
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780141185101
Showing 1 - 5 of 6 reviews.
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Review by soylentgreen23
What more can be said about this classic tale of friendship and dreams that go unrealised, that hasn't been said already? It is truly one of the classics of American literature, and is as close as any other to being The Great American Novel.
Review by Greatrakes
This is a very slim book. It's small, even for a novella. If it had been any longer I'm sure I would have tired of its stylised form, and especially got tired of Lennie and his damn rabbits. It reads like a play (which I believe was the idea) and I think it works well as a play, the scene is set at the start of each chapter and the characters drift in and out. I didn't think that it made a terrible good novel, for the same reason. In a novel, I don't want the curtain to come down every few pages so that someone can change the backcloth and re-arrange the furniture. This was my first Steinbeck, I will definitely read more, as I believe all are different.
Review by writestuff
John Steinbeck's classic novel, Of Mice and Men, is one of three novels he wrote exploring the California agricultural labor phenomenon of the 1930s (the other two were The Grapes of Wrath and In Dubious Battle). In this novel, Steinbeck focuses on the friendship between two men - George and Lennie - and their shared dream of owning land and a home of their own. The story is simple and occurs over the span of three short days on a Salinas Valley ranch where the two men have found work as farm hands. Thematically, Steinbeck explores the idea of dreams and how plans may go awry through forces beyond one's control. Given the time in which the novel was written, his handling of the mentally handicapped Lennie is tender and compassionate. Steinbeck describes setting beautifully, and wraps it around the characters whose personalities emerge through their dialogue and relationships with each other. There is enough foreshadowing to predict the novel's tragic end.Highly Recommended.
Review by neiljohnford
It's interesting how I struggled to tag this book (always interesting trying to classify fiction). When I thought about it - what is this book actually about? It's brilliantly written. The use of adjective is sparse - which I really like (not as sparse as Hemmingway but at least every word earns its keep). What was the moral though? Don't flirt? Don't keep your new bride on a farm full of working men? Don't help out people? Ok - so the last one was a bit faceteous but, my point is there are loads of morals that you could take from this because so many of the characters are at fault in some way. In another way, you can understand why the characters are at fault and forgive them. No one can really blame Lennie as he doesn't poses the self awareness to be morally responsible for his actions. Curley's wife is bored and lonely and maybe doesn't understand the potential consequences of her actions so you can't really blame her either (was it me or was she always just referred to as "Curley's wife"). Curley's a bastard but he sort of gets what's coming to him and you can't really blame him for the final outcome. If anyone is to blame, it's George, the most likeable character, because he is aware of the potential trouble that Curley's wife might cause and also of Lennies past actions. You can't really blame George though as he looks after Lennie out of kindness and he does everything he can to keep him away from Curley and his wife. Maybe that's Steinbeck's point. That sometimes the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I think there's a counterpoint between Candy's assertion that he should have been the one to kill his dog (that he shouldn't have let a stranger do it) and the final act of the book - what does this echo in the story tell us about the authors beliefs? I'm a bit uneasy about some of the possible messages from this book but without reading more Steinbeck it would be wrong of me to speculate on the authors motives. This was a really good read and it made me think - which is all you can ask. I'll be looking out for the other two in this trilogy.
Review by BookMarkMe
Per minute of reading time, this short novella packs more friendship, pathos, tragedy and myriad other human emotions in it’s predominantly dialogue driven pages than anything I have read.At 43 I have read this fresh for the first time, just a couple of hours of my time, has left me profoundly moved. Perhaps the death of a dream for one friend, but not for the one lying dead.
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