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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men (1937)

by John Steinbeck

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
31,07555454 (3.9)1 / 1148
In depression-era California, two migrant workers dream of better days on a spread of their own until an act of unintentional violence leads to tragic consequences.
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    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (SkinneeJay)
    SkinneeJay: Both are simple and sad stories. I find the endings pretty similar.
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    I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: Both these books are perfectly structured, all the plot parts fitting so seamlessly together that not even a knife blade could slip between them. The endings to each are as inevitable as the end of the world.
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If there is a benefit to lockdown, it’s been having the time to branch out and read books that I might not have time to during ‘normal life’. I generally want something that I’m going to like or find interesting – there isn’t time for risky choices. I’ve been hearing a lot about John Steinbeck from various people so I decided to try one of his shorter works to see if I enjoyed it. (Apparently buying this book in the same transaction as the new Christina Lauren is odd, but I stand by my diverse reads). You know what? I did enjoy it and I plan on cleaning out a few shops of their Steinbeck novels.

Of Mice and Men isn’t particularly long, but it punches way above its weight. It’s incredibly evocative of another time and another place. You can feel the sun on the backs of the characters and see the stream and mountains in the distance. It’s clear that the time of the novel is not ours and that adds a sense of nostalgia (possibly heightened in this time of stay home). It’s easy to read and easy to picture the characters. The novel also has a sense of foreboding in that all may not turn out as the main characters hope…

George and Lennie are two men making their way to a ranch with the aim of making some money and buying their own little farm. The caveat is that Lennie needs to stay out of trouble. On meeting Lennie, the reader can’t help but wonder what George is talking about. Lennie is a big guy with a lot of strength, but he is gentle. He just wants to touch nice things, like mice and pretty dresses. George guides him (some might say bullies him) through life, as Lennie isn’t too bright and needs frequent direction in what to do and what not to do. It’s a unique relationship, but one built on friendship. George looks after Lennie, and Lennie trusts George completely.

Once the pair get to the ranch, they meet the like-minded Candy, who shares their dream of a place to live. Here, there are also a number of marginalised characters reflecting the time period. Curley’s wife doesn’t get a name and she’s described as trouble by the other men. She’s bored and lonely. Crooks lives in a shed on his own because of the colour of his skin and is bitter about the way he’s been treated by others. The only one to make a connection with these characters is Lennie, who is also on the outer of society. It’s hard not to like or empathise with Lennie, as he doesn’t understand his strength or the implications. And the ending? If you don’t know it, prepare to be shocked. Then prepare to think of how it could have ended instead. Who is right and who is wrong? Steinbeck knows how to twist the knife after creating such memorable characters in this short novel. That’s why I’m going back for more of his work – he’s got the power to break the reader’s heart.

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | May 16, 2020 |
Great book that reads well from start to finish-read it. ( )
  Oldsbooksrule | May 15, 2020 |
I don’t suppose it could have ended any other way. Simply written, in the voices and language of the day. A sad tale of a gentle misfit who just couldn’t help himself. ( )
  Fliss88 | Apr 21, 2020 |
Eh, it was alright. I enjoyed it for what it was, but not super high on my list of 'classics.' ( )
  bhiggs | Apr 7, 2020 |
Read this donkeys years ago at school. Can still remember elements of the tale, which just goes to prove how timeless it was. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 522 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steinbeck, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ece, AyşeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggink, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Linturi, JoukoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mari, MicheleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, FletcherIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanders, BrianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shillinglaw, SusanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinise, GaryNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Cannery Row | Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

In Dubious Battle | Of Mice and Men | The Pastures of Heaven | To a God Unknown | Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

The Short Novels of John Steinbeck by John Steinbeck

The Steinbeck Centennial Collection (Boxed Set) by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men | Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

Cannery Row | Grapes of Wrath | Of Mice and Men | Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

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First words
A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The tragic story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in California, USA.
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Average: (3.9)
0.5 15
1 192
1.5 30
2 530
2.5 82
3 1936
3.5 380
4 3461
4.5 356
5 2834

Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185104, 0141023570, 014103842X, 0241952484

HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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