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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
29,32553454 (3.9)1 / 1124
  1. 174
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (nu-bibliophile)
  2. 122
    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.
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George and Lennie are hiking to a ranch where they will soon work. Lennie is big and muscular but has a mental disability and relies on George to help him. They take a break at a river and George notices a dead rat in Lennie's pocket. They argue over it for a bit and then talk about owning a ranch. The next day, they arrive at the ranch and meet candy, a cooky, old man who takes care of the bunkhouse. They meet the boss and his son, Curley who dislikes Lennie because of his strength. Then they meet his wife, who Lennie develops a crush on. George talks to Slim, who agrees to give Lennie a puppy. Later, Curley and Lennie get into a fight and Lennie breaks Curley's hand, which he apologizes for immediately. The next day, Lennie gets the puppy and accidentally kills it. He hides it as Curley's wife walks in. She talks about her unhappy marriage and he talks about the puppy. He breaks her neck when stroking her hair and freaks out. George has to kill Lennie and lies to the other men about it being self-defense.
I thought this book was interesting. It surprised me when Lennie died since I thought he and Curley's wife would get married. George was a responsible character who I felt pretty bad for, he did have to kill a close friend after all. This book was a lot more pessimisticc than I thought it would be, but it was a good read nonetheless. If you have a rainy weekend with nothing to do, then this would be a great way to kill time, as it is relatively short. I would recommend this book. 9/10 ( )
  CarolinaT.G1 | Mar 24, 2019 |
I can appreciate it and understand it, but at the end of the day it's still depressing. ( )
  melissa_faith | Mar 16, 2019 |
Impressively, I managed to earn an English degree without ever reading this book. Today, I remedied this, and perhaps more impressively, I entered this horrible story unspoiled.

Yes, I said horrible. Yes, I give it four stars. And I might nudge it up to five later, after I've processed it.

Writing classes can (and probably some do) use this little book to teach ... well, a whole list of techniques. How to wield omniscient point of view with the emotional resonance of deep point of view. How to withhold backstory (in this case forever). How to compose audible dialogue in which every character's voice is different.

Most notably, Steinbeck teaches here how to construct a story in which every last thing is inevitable yet none of them is predictable. The foreshadowing of Lennie's death is heavy. Steinbeck wants us to see it coming--or more accurately, to feel it coming. But he doesn't want us to guess the particulars, so we don't (at least I didn't). This book is a storm cloud that begins to grow on the first page, piles higher and higher onto itself until the single streak of electricity, the single crack of thunder, and then the book is over and the reader is left in numb, buzzing shock. This is what I've been reading toward all this time. Of course it is. Why didn't I know it would be George? Wait, maybe I did.

I hate this story for being true. I want a different outcome even as I see that any other end would be a lie. This is life. Horrible and twisted and unjust. Right choices seem wrong and wrong choices seem right. Ours is a muddy world and we are broken, dirty souls, and as always, Steinbeck faces this reality, assaults his readers with it, and doesn't blink.

Dang it. Okay. Five stars. ( )
1 vote AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
I like the way that George looks out and tried to protect Lennie. He is the brains of the duo and tells Lennie on many occasions, especially when trying to get new work. Lennie is a hard working man, but due to his cognitive disabiility he would have been institutionalized if it was not for George. But, Lennie has a tendency to not realize how strong he is, especially when petting mice and other animals. Even though George has told him many times, to be lighter to the touch. ( )
  Mlfjeld | Feb 8, 2019 |
I very much like Steinbeck's writing. There are some beautiful scenes here, and the characters are interesting. But it doesn't add up to all that much. I wasn't disappointed. It is a great novella. But "East of Eden" adds up to more. ( )
  breic | Jan 23, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 504 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steinbeck, Johnprimary 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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


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.

» see all 26 descriptions

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Average: (3.9)
0.5 15
1 178
1.5 30
2 493
2.5 79
3 1832
3.5 374
4 3291
4.5 349
5 2683

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

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