Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men (original 1937; edition 1990)

by John Steinbeck

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
25,89647144 (3.9)1 / 930
Title:Of Mice and Men
Authors:John Steinbeck
Info:The First Edition Library (1990), Edition: Reissue, Hardcover
Collections:Ingram, Your library
Tags:Friendswood 150, Beautiful Books

Work details

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (1937)

  1. 173
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (nu-bibliophile)
  2. 121
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (SkinneeJay)
    SkinneeJay: Both are simple and sad stories. I find the endings pretty similar.
  3. 11
    The Cone-Gatherers by Robin Jenkins (chrisharpe)
  4. 05
    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.
1930s (4)
Read (53)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (445)  French (6)  Spanish (5)  Swedish (3)  Dutch (3)  Norwegian (2)  Italian (2)  Finnish (2)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (471)
Showing 1-5 of 445 (next | show all)

This emotionally stunning book has become a classic for good reason. Steinbeck employs a direct, everyday language, keeping the point at all times, using only scenes which enhance the main moral (or immoral depending how you see it) messages, and while this tale is not fiercely fast-paced, it is always riveting, always important.

Characterization is powerful, yet this is a plot-focused story rather than a character-focused one. The goal is to be realistic about the men and not necessarily to get you to like any of them much. The more sympathetic of the group is the tragic Lennie, who's low IQ and mental incompetence results in him accidentally screwing about everything up. People, typically with low tolerance and quick judgement and blood-thirst, fail to understand the scope of his childlike limitations as he innocently attempts functioning in a depressing, adult world.

George, always the caregiver of Lennie, has average intelligence. Both men work hard to get little in life. They're both stuck within their own mental, class and societal limitations. The book is driven by George's promise to always take care of Lennie, that one day soon they will get their own place, a place with animals and peace. For a time George himself may even believe this, as do many of the men who want to join in their dream. Some are skeptical, some just as joyfully hopeful as Lennie, which is even more depressing.

It seems some hold issues about Curley's wife, that she didn't even have a name, and that she was referred to as the husbands property in a way. She was also shown as being manipulative, sluttish, and dishonest. However, I think Steinbeck did this NOT to disrespect women but to emphasize the story's larger moral message. They were all stuck, for different reasons, in their roles they couldn't climb out of.

On the other side of the coin, the negative aspects of her personality helped Steinbeck also showcase his other point - others messing with Lennie, innocent Lennie, and resulting in tragedy as they interact with him. Besides this, she seemed to me to delight in her power over the men, from verbally lashing three of them, leaving sauntering remarks when leaving that left her in charge. Many view her as just a victim throughout the novel, but I saw her as a woman who rather enjoyed flaunting her sexuality and feminine wiles.

Either way, all were victims in this book in some way, even the bullies. The focus is this, not repression of only one minority.

'Of Mice and Men' is an anti-change book. This is especially interesting since almost all novels embrace change and the wonders, miracles, and plot-forward propelling aspects of it. Here Steinbeck is showing that the American dream was NOT obtainable by everyone, that the speech that all could climb up and have their own home and dreams was not accurate for the lower level working man. Despite hard work, saving what could be saved, and struggle, it could not always be dished out to everyone.

Despite all their attempts, and that they have dreamed their entire lives for the same thing, they could not always get the dream. Some lost hope completely long ago, but other characters had a rekindling of it and tried yet again.

It could at first be argued about George changing with how it ended with Lennie during the last chapter, but with deeper inspection it proved still the same, no change. George kept his promise to always take care of Lennie the best he could, to protect him, despite whatever circumstances life threw his way. He just had to change the method he used to save him.

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
The story is told from the eyes of George and Lennie, our two main characters. George lives and takes care of Lennie and has made a promise that he will care for him forever. Lennie is a very large man-child who doesn't know his own strength. Lennie loves to pet soft things and "loves" the poor little mice he catches to death. He doesn't mean harm; he just doesn't understand things the way others do. George feels saddled by Lennie, forced to watch over him and is perpetually getting him out of situations when he does something "bad," but the two are very close. The other men working the farm remark on their closeness as if it's something unique and special; so many of the farm workers travel solo, relying on themselves, not trusting others. The story of their friendship and sacrifice is truly an incredible one. ( )
  Hayfastutman | Jun 9, 2016 |
Re-read because my teen son is studying it in school and he thinks it's very good. Gosh, we'd never have gotten anything like this back then! You'd think Nevada to be fairly conservative, but I will say this, Carson City schools and libraries are not afraid to put controversial books in the hands of the children. Yay! ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
It's always a refreshing feeling when you read a short novella that is a fully-realised piece of art in itself, rather than just a poor man's novel. Of Mice and Men is all wheat and no chaff, and every scene, every line, every word from page one to the end has relevance for the story's conclusion. And what a conclusion - Steinbeck's ending has that peculiar blend of invoking both despair and hopefulness; the book continues to have an impact on you long after it has been read, and I fully expect that even years from now I will remember every detail of the conclusion and how it made me feel.

It is essentially a story about friendship and the American Dream. In Depression-era America, two men - George and his dim, gentle-giant friend Lennie - are looking for work and trying to save up enough money to buy their own farm, their own slice of heaven which would be our own, an' nobody could can us. If we don't like a guy we can say, 'Get the hell out,' and by God he's got to do it. An' if a fren' come along, why we'd have an extra bunk, and we'd say, 'Why don't you spen' the night?' an' by God he would." (pg. 61). It's a quintessentially American pursuit of that universal human desire for individual freedom, but Steinbeck shows how it often remains just a dream due to various pitfalls. As one character says, "I seen guys nearly crazy with loneliness for [their own] land, but ever' time a whore-house or a blackjack game took what it takes." (pg. 80). For George, his pitfall is Lennie, the dim man-child (who, if this story was written today, would probably be portrayed as having special needs) who constantly (though innocently) sets them back. As George says, if not for the obligation to take care of Lennie, "I could get along so easy and so nice... I could live so easy and maybe have a girl." (pg. 7). But when Lennie offers to unburden him, George can't bear to part with him; their friendship defines them. Steinbeck seems to suggest that true friendship is the most important thing if one is to survive the pitfalls and setbacks, a lesson often forgotten in these times (as true today as it was in 1937) when it seems like "ever'body in the whole damn world is scared [mistrustful] of each other." (pg. 36). Steinbeck, on page 14, says that there are two kinds of people: those who decline from forging strong bonds with others, and consequently "ain't got nothing to look ahead to", and those who connect and give a damn about one another. This particular point is hammered home in Carlson's last words on the final page, reinforcing my point made earlier that none of the words, even those uttered early on, are wasted.

I fully intend to read more of Steinbeck's work, as reading this novella has shown to me a highly capable writer (there is a particularly powerful parallel in this book between the development of the George/Lennie character arc and the Candy/dog arc). It reminded me a bit of Ernest Hemingway's work such as The Old Man and the Sea - not in style or subject matter, as the two writers are rather different in that regard - but in their shared ability to say in a few lines what other writers struggle to convey in entire chapters. Of Mice and Men is a fantastic piece of literature and, given its short length and easy accessibility, I cannot think of a single reason why anyone should pass on reading it." ( )
1 vote MikeFutcher | Jun 3, 2016 |
Love this book though find it emotionally wrenching. This book is how I picture rural America during the Great Depression. ( )
1 vote kale.dyer | Jun 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 445 (next | show all)
To Americans whose eyes are still smarting from the unhappy ending of the Wall Street fairy tale of 1929, John Steinbeck's little dream story will not seem out of line with reality; they may even overlook the fact that it too is a fairy tale. An oxymoronic combination of the tough & tender, Of Mice and Men will appeal to sentimental cynics, cynical sentimentalists.
added by Shortride | editTime (pay site) (Mar 1, 1937)
John Steinbeck is no mere virtuoso in the art of story telling; but he is one. Whether he writes about the amiable outcasts of 'Tortilla Flat" or about the grim strikers of In "Dubious Battle," he tells a story.
There's a simplicity, a directness, a poignancy in the story that gives it a singular power, difficult to define. Steinbeck is a genius and an original.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Feb 1, 1936)

» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Steinbeckprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eggink, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, FletcherIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, FletcherIllustratorsecondary 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: Tortilla Flat/The Red Pony/Of Mice and Men/The Moon Is Down/Cannery Row/The Pearl 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

Has the adaptation

Has as a student's study guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142000671, Paperback)

They are an unlikely pair: George is "small and quick and dark of face"; Lennie, a man of tremendous size, has the mind of a young child. Yet they have formed a "family," clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation. Laborers in California's dusty vegetable fields, they hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own.

When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations of a flirtatious woman, nor predict the consequences of Lennie's unswerving obedience to the things George taught him. "A thriller, a gripping tale . . . that you will not set down until it is finished. Steinbeck has touched the quick." —The New York Times

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:26 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 18 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.9)
0.5 15
1 150
1.5 29
2 429
2.5 74
3 1610
3.5 356
4 2917
4.5 335
5 2351


2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

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.

» Publisher information page


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 106,886,340 books! | Top bar: Always visible