Thursday, June 6, 2013

{Back to the Classics 2013 Challenge Review) Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

ISBN #: 978-0749717100
Page Count: 112
Copyright: September 1, 1993
Publisher: Penguin Books

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

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.

Kathy's Review:
(Reprinted with Kathy's permission from her personal blog, Grown Up Book Reports)

This is my second time reading this book but it may as well have been my first. All I remembered about Of Mice and Men was that Lennie liked to pet bunnies and there was that one Saturday Night Live skit about it. (Check it out here.)

As the book opened with Lennie and George by the river, looking for wood for their fire, it struck me that the relationship between them is much like the relationship between me and my three year old. George is mildly tolerant of Lennie's behavior, gently scolding him, often frustrated with him, but bound to him nonetheless. "God a'mighty, if I was alone, I could live so easy," George laments in the early pages of the book. Amen, brother. Of course, I would never shoot my three year old in the back of the head like George does to Lennie (oops ... spoiler alert!), but there is a parent/child kind of vibe with them.

George and Lennie have big dreams. They talk of owning their own farm where they'd live off the land, have rabbits, have a nice house. It's the American dream of that era, where these California ranch hands have little but the clothing on their backs. But they can't hold a steady job due to the "trouble" Lennie gets himself into. The man doesn't realize his own strength.

A quick read, Of Mice and Men is a classic that everyone should read, at least once.

1 comment:

  1. I read this one in school many many years ago, but I remember it because it was so incredibly sad.


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