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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men (original 1937; edition 1993)

by John Steinbeck

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24,12542245 (3.9)1 / 822
Title:Of Mice and Men
Authors:John Steinbeck
Info:Penguin Books (1993), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 112 pages
Collections:Your library

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Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (1937)

  1. 162
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (nu-bibliophile)
  2. 111
    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. 12
    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (sturlington)
  5. 03
    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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Showing 1-5 of 397 (next | show all)
This book sometimes makes me cry. I love the characters of George and Lennie. It is so tragic what George feels that he has to do in the end. ( )
  RBeene | Mar 17, 2015 |
my first Steinbeck. a modern classic oft- referred to with hushed tones… that may be hyperbolic but the name of Steinbeck is often dropped like a bomb in the midst of literary discussions like it’s supposed to be a profound experience.

what i found was a fable. a modern fable; a compelling little vignette of life.
like most of these kinds of “classics,” they must be seen within their historical context to truly be understood as classics. to compare them side by side with some other writings/writers means that they will pale and fail.

however, written in 1937, this tale of lower class itinerant workers and their troubles would have been enlightening and provocative to most people used to reading about upper classes, royalty, and the society-wide struggles of those going to wars. Of Mice and Men centers on the everyday life of those people who tended the agricultural fields. people for whom no “real” drama or poignancy of life could exist, according to the stereotyping pop culture of the time. using people like George and Lennie to relate a tale of tragedy which means something to itself -that is, nothing greater than themselves is harkened to like war or politics or religion- meant that they, too, lived lives of purpose and feeling and substance. it was a break with the Great Man theory of history.

within the first couple of pages, i realized that this must be where the big, dumb lummox type in the Bugs Bunny cartoons came from: “duh, gee, George…”, “which way did he go, which way did he go,” and most definitely, “i will love him and squeeze him and cuddle him and call him George.” that last ultimately ending up as a modern line in Finding Nemo. i am no Steinbeck scholar and so know nothing of the actual impact of this work but maybe people did not truly get it...

the story itself is meaningful and thought-provoking on its own. similar but different levels of meaning play out against themselves and shadow and foreshadow parts of the story. the killing of Candy’s hounds fulfills such a role. the story, too, asks bigger questions and does not presume to tell us anything as great literature is supposed to do.

nevertheless, i give it 3 stars only because i was not engaged with nor did i truly enjoy reading this short story. Steinbeck’s writing (ie his prose) is clear and well done but not eloquent or a pleasure to read for me. it simply is a tool by which he conveyed to us a picture. simple but not beautiful. ( )
  keebrook | Mar 10, 2015 |
Rereading, John Steinbeck’s short novel, Of Mice and Men, is like revisiting a master at work. The opening scene presents the two characters in an idyllic backdrop of nature beside the Salinas River: George, a simple migrant worker, with his protégé, Lennie, strong and built like a bull, but with the mind of a four year old. This is a privileged glimpse of the two simple characters as they relax and talk of their dream of buying a small house on an acre of land with their earnings on a job they’re going to in the Salinas Valley. The characterization is powerful; within a page or two of dialogue, George and Lennie become full-fleshed characters ready to confront the real dog eat dog world at the ranch. Steinbeck gives us a harsh portrait where the mentally and physically challenged are bullied and exploited; where women are sexual objects, and tough love is a way of life. The weak and sickly are cast aside in this world—survival of the fittest is the way to go.
Plot and imagery are tightly woven as the characters lead us to the inevitable ending. Just as Candy, the elderly workhand, regrets not having the courage to do the right thing by his dying dog, George must take a similar stand with Lennie.
A touching story told in a masterful voice.
  Murielle_Cyr | Mar 9, 2015 |
I like the internal conflict of George (one of the main caracter) all through the story and the loneliness as a feeling is very well felt amongst those men. The writing technic is very good. ( )
  CorinneT | Mar 9, 2015 |
Steinbeck's book is set during the period of The Great Depression, prior to WWII. It is a tale of friendship and the unintended consequences which occur when that friendship is put to the test by a "flirty" woman. Also depicts the dreams and desires of people from meager circumstances and their drive to obtain the "American Dream" particularly in the face of class differences. A reflection of man's quest for roots and society's unacceptence.
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  cm37107 | Mar 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 397 (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 (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Steinbeckprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eggink, ClaraTranslatorsecondary 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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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
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:50 -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)

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Average: (3.9)
0.5 15
1 136
1.5 29
2 393
2.5 73
3 1468
3.5 347
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4.5 320
5 2143


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

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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185104, 0141023570, 014103842X, 0241952484

The Library of America

An edition of this book was published by The Library of America.

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An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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