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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
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Of Mice and Men (original 1937; edition 1990)

by John Steinbeck

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
26,02047743 (3.9)1 / 959
Member:immaculatechaos
Title:Of Mice and Men
Authors:John Steinbeck
Info:The First Edition Library (1990), Edition: Reissue, Hardcover
Collections:Ingram, Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Friendswood 150, Beautiful Books

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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. 10
    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)
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George and Lennie are reflected as migrant workers through life and dream of a better future. The work is hard. Drag from farm to farm, from harvest to harvest. The tall and burly, but mentally retarded Lennie combines a comradely friendship with the skilful and clever George who constantly looks after Lennie. At the campfire he tells Lennie how difficult he finds it to have to constantly take care of him. But serving as Lennie, only to move on, George takes back everything he'd rather stay with Lennie. He noted that migrant workers as he and Lennie are among the loneliest people without family, without a home, the hew their savings right back on the head. But with Lennie he wants to invest his earnings one day in a piece of land, with house, cows, pigs, chickens and rabbits.
They find work on the farm of Curley and soon realize that this will only bring trouble. There they meet Slim and Crooks, but even both accept Lennie they can not turn him away from his fate.
I was very touched by this story. ( )
1 vote Ameise1 | Jul 16, 2016 |
This is probably a good book for discussion, but ultimately, I didn't like it. I struggled a lot to find motivation to even finish this book even with its short length. I didn't like the ending, nor the prevalent negativity throughout the story. I understand that this was written during the Great Depression, so in context it makes sense, but I wasn't in the mood for it. Maybe if the book had taken longer to develop the characters I would have cared about them more, but I doubt it. Not a book for me. ( )
  Kassilem | Jul 6, 2016 |
I had a rocky start with Steinbeck, so I picked up this book with trepidation. I felt a bit like Mikey from the old Life cereal commercials – I'll try it, but I'm not gonna like it. Just like Mikey, I did like it. I discovered that listening to Gary Sinise read makes Steinbeck a lot more palatable for me. Being an avid viewer of Bugs Bunny cartoons in my youth also helped with this one. Thanks to The Abominable Snow Rabbit, I had a pretty good idea where this one was heading. The abundance of cultural references to this novel make it a must-read for students of American literature. I should read a print edition at least once so that I can pause to ponder specific passages, and refer back to earlier passages to examine connections to later ones. ( )
  cbl_tn | Jul 3, 2016 |
Of Mice and Men is a tale of friendship between two men, George Milton and Lennie Small. It's set against the backdrop of the United States during the depression of the 1930s. George and Lennie are headed for California to look for work and, hopefully, the elusive American Dream. Along the way, something tragic happens.

This is another classic novel, often read in high school, that really gains significance for the reader once they are old enough to understand the issues Steinbeck was examining. The book addresses the real hopes and dreams of working-class America and raises the lives of the poor and dispossessed to a higher, symbolic level.

Of Mice and Men is a tale of friendship that triumphs over the odds. The novel is also extremely telling about the society in which it is set, examining many of the prejudices at the time. In addition to racism and bigotry towards the unfamiliar, it also deals with poverty, loneliness and friendship. This is a short, but powerful classic that is a wonderful example of a book that you that you will not put down until it is finished. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 3, 2016 |

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 |
Showing 1-5 of 449 (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

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A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green.
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(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.
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

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4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185104, 0141023570, 014103842X, 0241952484

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