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Of Mice and Men [9780141023571]

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Drifters in search of work, George and his childlike friend Lennie, have nothing in the world except the clothes on their back - and 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 dashed as Lennie - struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy - becomes a victim of his own strength.

Tackling universal themes of friendship and shared vision, and giving a voice to America's lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men remains Steinbeck's most popular work, achieving success as a novel, Broadway play and three acclaimed films.

AUTHOR: John Steinbeck (1902-1968) is remembered as one of the greatest and best-loved American writers of the twentieth century. During the 1930s, his works included The Red Pony, Pastures of Heaven, Tortilla Flat, In Dubious Battle, and Of Mice and Men. The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939, earned him a Pulitzer Prize. In 1962, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature

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Mr John Steinbeck
Penguin Classics
Chart Position:
97 Grams
  • 3
    John Steinbeck takes us back, and really makes us think!

    Posted by Bailey on 24th Apr 2017

    This was a book I was delighted to have studied in my time at school, and it’s fair to say that this is a story that has stuck with me for some time.

    This is a neither a large or a very complicated book. Of course, there is load of moments with twist, but for being a small book, this isn't a difficult book to read. But again, that can work for the reader’s favour. For the book being insignificant compared to very modern books, makes every chapter feel important. Every chapter feels like it is necessary and important to keep in the book, adding distinctive characters and fleshing out the story.

    The story takes place in the 1930's America, going through the Great Depression with a bunch of knuckleheads, George and Lenny. George is an outgoing and a reliable fella, trying to make a living and is often the sensible one. When Lenny is giant and towering man, but isn't too bright when it comes to using his head. And it’s with these two characters, do you really start to feel and identify the difficulties of living through the Great Depression. Struggling to eat, find a place to sleep and trying to keep hold of a job. That is the base of the story, I won't go into too much detail, but the main point of the story is to re live or see different viewpoints in a world running out of money and jobs.

    The real key charm to the story is how much it made you think. It really felt like I was reading a few letters from that part of history when reading this book and someone recreating the real scenes. People struggling to make a living and not just that but with other social problems which can reflect situations we still have today. And I find it remarkable that these situations and characters back nearly 90 years ago, can still hold a mirror to our society. It also makes us grateful with the circumstances that we live compared to them.

    There are major problems with the book, such as it being very small and felt like it was something that some dedicated readers, can finish in one sitting if they wanted to. The book wouldn't have hurt with a few more chapters. Another thing to point out is that it deals with quite mature themes likes race, women's rights and animal cruelty. Which will defiantly upset some readers. But it is important to understand the time of this book and what was acceptable and what was not.

    Its these sorts of problems that keep me from giving it a high rating. But I can't deny how this book still makes me think after so many years, and not a lot of books have made me walk away and really dwell on its messages and themes. I don't expect everyone to walk out with the same experience I have had with this book. But I do hope people who appreciate history and character focused books will at least give this book a try.

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