Thursday, November 27, 2014

Book Review 21. Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men
Book: Of Mice and Men
Author: John Steinbeck
Genre: Classic Fiction
Pages: 102
Published: 1937

Synopsis: Streetwise George and his big, childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California. They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day they’ll find a place of their own and live the American dream. But dreams come at a price. Gentle giant Lennie doesn’t know his own strength, and when they find work at a ranch he gets into trouble with the boss’s daughter-in-law. Trouble so bad that even his protector George may not be able to save him…

★ ★ ★  ☆

“A guy needs somebody―to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick.”

Sorry this is pretty short. I wanted to publish this quick.

This was the third book I've had to read for my English class this year. I've always hated how slow we read in all my past English classes, and this year is no exception. It took a month to read this book that could of been easily read in a weekend. It's only 102 pages! Gah! It was so frustrating! And of course, I totally over-analysed this book, as all English class books are, nearly every day in class.

But it's not this book's fault it's an English class book. It is merely a victim.

This book tells the story of friends George and Lennie, who are farm hands during the Dust Bowl/Great Depression era. They just had to leave their last job in a hurry since Lennie (who has some sort of learning disability),  caused a bit of an uproar in the last town. George watches out for him, and they hope their new job will be a blank slate to start towards the life they've always wanted with their own farm and lots of rabbits.

Some things I loved. . .
I would of certainly rated this book higher if I read it in a less choppy manner. But nevertheless it was a beautiful book of struggle, telling the heartbreaking tale of two friends. You couldn't help but fall in love with simple Lennie, who acted like a kid even though he towered over the other men on the ranch. And George, although he complained about it, so obviously loved Lennie like a little brother. George sacrificed everything for Lennie, giving up all of his chances for success to watch his friend's back.

The story was mostly prose, and it was so short that you had to keep checking the page number, confused that you're nearing the climax with no real issues yet. But when you reach the climax, it is truly heart-wrenching. I wish I could say more to you guys, but just, UGGGGGGHHHHHHH. MY HEART.

Some things I disliked. . .
I would of liked it to be just a bit longer. It was so, so short that it was over before I could even register it. I do wish it was a little more stretched out. There would have been time for a bit more character development on some of the more minor, yet quite interesting characters. There were all these characters I thought would actually make a difference in the plot but ended up not doing anything. Why bother to develop them at all? Why not put more effort into the characters who will actually matter? It sure would of helped on the pop quizzes.

There's such a feeling of hope in the book, and it translates throughout the story pretty well. I'd suggest this book to anyone who has a day to fill with a book, since it seems like a good book to read in one go, just get sucked up by the story.

You can see the 1992 movie trailer, which will give you a pretty solid idea of the gist of the book, here:


Some Other Reviews for "Of Mice and Men" (May Contain Spoilers):
The Blue Bookcase
Pretty Books
Book Snob


  1. I like how you referred to this book as a "victim" of being read for English class. So many books are ruined because they are over analyzed. It definitely takes away the enjoyment.
    I didn't realize how short this book was. It would be an ideal choice for a read-a-thon.

    1. It would be a good choice, wouldn't it.
      And yes. There have been many decent books that have been ruined simply by the fact I had to read them for school. The slow, over-analysis of the story just ruins it for me.