Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men

The compelling story of two outsiders striving to find their place in an unforgiving world. Drifters in search of work, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and a dream--a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley, but their hopes are doomed...

Title:Of Mice and Men
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0142000671
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:112 pages

Of Mice and Men Reviews

  • Kemper

    I needed a quick read because I stupidly forgot that the library would be closed yesterday for Veteran's Day. I'd exhausted my current supply, and I needed a short term fix to hold me until I could get some new product today. So I grabbed Of Mice and Men off the bookshelf last night.

    And I'm glad I did because I'd somehow remembered that this was a depressing book. How wrong I was! Oh, sure there were some tense moments like when you think Lennie will accidently hurt Curley's wife in the barn. Wh

    I needed a quick read because I stupidly forgot that the library would be closed yesterday for Veteran's Day. I'd exhausted my current supply, and I needed a short term fix to hold me until I could get some new product today. So I grabbed Of Mice and Men off the bookshelf last night.

    And I'm glad I did because I'd somehow remembered that this was a depressing book. How wrong I was! Oh, sure there were some tense moments like when you think Lennie will accidently hurt Curley's wife in the barn. What a relief when George and Candy come in at the last minute and stop anything bad from happening! And isn't it nice that the scare changes both Curley and his wife so that they have a much better marriage and new appreciation for each other.

    Plus, it leads to the great moment when Curley is so grateful that he fronts George, Lennie and Candy the money to finally buy the ranch of their dreams. Oh, and that last scene with George and Candy on the porch of their new home while Lennie tends the rabbits brought a tear to my eye.

    What's that you say? I got the ending wrong? No, I'm quite certain this is what happened. No! Be quiet! I can't hear you! LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA

  • Paul Bryant

    The title of this novel is only 50% accurate, a very poor effort. Yes, it’s about men, but there’s little or nothing about mice in these pages. Mice enthusiasts will come away disappointed. This got me thinking about other novel titles. You would have to say that such books as

    and

    have very good titles because they are all about a slap, some help, a Gatsby who was really great, a no good granny, a woman who was married to

    The title of this novel is only 50% accurate, a very poor effort. Yes, it’s about men, but there’s little or nothing about mice in these pages. Mice enthusiasts will come away disappointed. This got me thinking about other novel titles. You would have to say that such books as

    and

    have very good titles because they are all about a slap, some help, a Gatsby who was really great, a no good granny, a woman who was married to a guy called Dalloway and a Hamlet. I have no problem with those titles. But you may be poring over the pages of

    for a long fruitless evening to find any mockingbirds coming to any harm at all. Indeed, to coin a phrase, no mockingbirds were harmed during the making of that book. So I rate that title only 5% accurate. And some titles seem to have a word missing, such as Conan Doyle’s

    . Four what? It doesn’t say. Perhaps he completed the book and left the title to the very last minute and died as he was writing it down. Same thing with

    White what? Wallpaper? Hat? Cat? Mouse? Mockingbird? Could be

    for all we know. A poor title. And what about

    ? I think

    or

    is clearly missing from that title. Another grossly misleading title is

    . I can’t be the only reader who was expecting some strong girl on girl action from DH Lawrence but I would have been better off fast-forwarding to the middle part of

    Now that’s what I call

    DH, take note. Another badly chosen title is

    - yes, it is 100% accurate, but at first glance it can look like

    , and surely that is going to put off a lot of potential readers (except for the readers you really don’t want).

    And what about

    ? – call what sleep?

    – sometimes obscure titles can be solved if you understand that the author is referring to Death, so, the Catcher is Death, the Postman is Death, the lawn is Death and the Parrot is Death. Of course, I may have got that wrong. It’s something I read somewhere and it just stuck in my mind.

    Some other titles I would give low ratings to :

    completely baffled me – I know that “screw” is what inmates call prison officers, so I was expecting a story about a concert put on by the staff of a large correctional institution. It was nothing like that.

    according to my system does rate 100% but I still think

    would have been better.

    – actually, I rate this as 90% accurate – there are two guys who are named Kavalier and Clay, and they do have adventures, but they aren’t amazing.

    – this must be a metaphor for “I have given up thinking of a title for my novel”

    – like

    this must be where the author couldn’t think of any title so in this case he left it without one, like the Byrds’ album

    , or

    by Sigur Ros, or several paintings by De Kooning and those other abstract expressionist types; but to call a novel

    is self-defeating, because

    then becomes its name – epic fail, Mr Collins.

    - this is another example of a word missing - possibly "took" or "dragged", I expect that's the sort of thing a violent bear would do I’m surprised the publisher did not catch this error.

  • Shayantani Das

    Breathtaking prose, touching characters and a heart breaking ending. Who said only lengthy novel can make an impact?

  • Nataliya

    Well, somehow I've managed to read close to 800 books by now, and none of those had been

    . That has been remedied now, and I'm feeling

    . So yeah.

    I was relatively 'unspoiled' and still knew what happened in the end. I just did not know how or why, but figured out those pretty quickly into the book

    Well, somehow I've managed to read close to 800 books by now, and none of those had been

    . That has been remedied now, and I'm feeling

    . So yeah.

    I was relatively 'unspoiled' and still knew what happened in the end. I just did not know how or why, but figured out those pretty quickly into the book

    I think that says something about the masterful writing - where the story takes over so much that you keep reading despite the clear sense of where it is going, without having to rely on suspense or twists - instead, going forward just on the impact of the story itself

    I used to work with Special Education kids some time ago. And I have seen first-hand what Steinbeck describes in

    -

    . The children we took care of - some of which topped my 5'3'' frame by a foot or so and outweighed me by a good hundred pounds (but despite that a few times I had to physically put myself on between them and a smaller child) - had, unlike Lennie, the society that is determined to protect them. They were luckier than poor George's charge. But I could not help but picture some of them, who have forever secured spots in my heart, in place of Lennie Small, feeling nothing but dread and sadness.

    And it was soul-crushing.

    I think the impact of this story was that it did not have me taking sides. I felt bad for Lennie. I felt awful for Curley's wife who does not even have a NAME in this story. I felt sad for George and what he had to do. And I felt bad for the whole bunch of men who had names and stories, and a woman who got one but not the other.

    And that's where this book lost stars for me.

    the unwilling almost-antagonist/victim of this story.

    It seemed that she was the one getting the blame, not as much the crazy volatile husband of hers. After all, she

    for trouble, didn't she? At least that's the nagging feeling I got from this story, from the way her character was handled, from the way it was repeatedly stated that a

    like her meant trouble for a man. Blame-the-victim mentality does not sit well with me, and I can't help but think that Steinbeck did that.

    .

    This book is definitely a classic with a profound impact on the reader,

    . It deserves the fame and recognition that it has enjoyed for quite a few years.

    (it would have been 4.5 stars, but for the literary treatment of Curley's wife).

  • Bookdragon Sean

    I remember reading this at school at being completely uninterested in the story. I remember the teacher droning on about basic plot allegories before we read each section; she would tell us what certain things “meant” before we had even seen them. She would explain how this portrays a vital part of American culture and a vital element of human nature. All in all we were told what to see in the book before we even began reading.

    Perhaps she should have just let us read it first, and see what we t

    I remember reading this at school at being completely uninterested in the story. I remember the teacher droning on about basic plot allegories before we read each section; she would tell us what certain things “meant” before we had even seen them. She would explain how this portrays a vital part of American culture and a vital element of human nature. All in all we were told what to see in the book before we even began reading.

    Perhaps she should have just let us read it first, and see what we took from it before being told how to read it. I hated it at the time. I hated being told that passages meant certain things when clearly criticism is just speculation. This wasn’t effective teaching: it was being told how to think. She should have prized open our minds and made us engage with it more. When I approached it again years later I did so with more of an open mind, I was determined to find more in the book than I’d been taught to see.

    And I did. Lenny and George naively dream of the farm; they dream of a retreat where they can reside in friendship without having to answer to any master. They wouldn’t have to go to work; they can simply work for themselves. Running their own farm would mean that they are self-sustainable. They could grow crops for themselves and choose when they laboured: they would be free. Well George wants this. Lenny just wants a few rabbits to pet. The attractiveness of the dream draws in Candy, who is very old and very lonely. He doesn’t want to end up like his dog: put down because of his years. He wants someone to protect him and care for him in his advanced years. The three become united by this shared dream but it is nothing but fancy.

    Indeed, the American dream doesn’t exist in this book. Only harsh cold reality awaits the protagonists. Crooks, for all his cruel and understandable bitterness, was right in the end. The farm is just a dream. It is evocative of the loneliness within the human soul, and how we will always long for the impossible. It’s impossible because there is no sunset over the rainbow. Life doesn’t quite work like that. People don’t always get what they want. The world is a cruel unforgiving place here. This is embodied by Lenny; he is vulnerable and emotionally weak. He is completely unaware of the vicious strength he possesses. He never truly understands the situation. He almost walks through the world blind. The world he sees is different to that of everyone else’s.

    So this is a story about the outsiders, about the unloved and misunderstood. This a story about those that long for an alternative to the drudgery of standard human existence, but have their expectations cut short. This is a story about how we judge people based upon their appearance and how we label them unjustly. This is a story that Mary Shelley would have loved, a story where a character with an innocent heart is destroyed by the world he should have been accepted by.


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