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Of Mice and Men

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  1,194,032 ratings  ·  17,998 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 121 pages
Published May 13th 2011 by Penguin Books (first published 1937)
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Emily In my opinion, it certainly deserves to be. Unfortunately, society doesn't agree and Of Mice and Men is actually a banned book. This is mostly due to…moreIn my opinion, it certainly deserves to be. Unfortunately, society doesn't agree and Of Mice and Men is actually a banned book. This is mostly due to the fact that it deals with sensitive topics like racism, sexism, and euthanasia (just to name a few). Ever since the book was first published, opinions of it have been varied. Most people either love it or hate it. (less)
Rimi well, Lennie had parents but they died but he also had a aunt Clara who was taking care of him and she told George to make a promise that to take care…morewell, Lennie had parents but they died but he also had a aunt Clara who was taking care of him and she told George to make a promise that to take care of him when she is gone. Lennie used to be George childhood friend.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nataliya

Well, somehow I've managed to read close to 800 books by now, and none of those had been Of Mice and Men. That has been remedied now, and I'm feeling emotionally drained by it. So yeah.

I suppose pretty much everyone knows the heartbreaking story of Lennie and George. 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. And still that did not help the sense of impending doom that was like one prot
...more
Steve Sckenda
The American Dream has devolved from Gatsby’s glittering parties and fluttering shirts to the Great Depression’s poverty of low expectations. Two migrant ranch-hands dream of earning enough money for “a stake” to purchase land of their own. Their goals are modest. To George, the American Dream consists in owning an acre and a shack, so he can answer to nobody. To Lennie, his childlike and developmentally-challenged friend, the American Dream means that you to get to pet furry things like mice, r ...more
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
...more
Andy
It's the way Steinbeck describes things that gets me.

"Crooks, the negro stable buck, had his bunk in the harness room; a little shed that leaned off the wall of the barn. On one side of the little room there was a square four-paned window, and on the other, a narrow plank door leading into the barn. Crooks' bunk was a long box filled with straw, on which his blankets were flung. On the wall by the window there were pegs on which hung broken harness in process of being mended; strips of new leath
...more
Shayantani Das
“Trouble with mice is you always kill 'em. ”

Breathtaking prose, touching characters and a heart breaking ending. Who said only lengthy novel can make an impact?
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 The Slap, The Help, The Great Gatsby, Gangsta Granny, Mrs Dalloway and Hamlet 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 ...more
Dolors
Sep 24, 2014 Dolors rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those striving for dreams & friendship
Shelves: read-in-2014
Only a writer capable of assembling the symbolic with the folkloric can pen a novella that straddles genres, writing techniques and figurative voices and tug at the heartstrings of both commonplace audiences and the most exigent of readers.
Such indisputable universality is what Steinbeck accomplished with “Of Mice and Men”, a fabled novella with a linear plot delivered in a succession of theatrical scenes, compact on the surface and with simply drawn characters that might be accused of being ex
...more
Mariel
Jan 29, 2011 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: loners
Recommended to Mariel by: probably my mother
[Reading other goodreads reviews of this brings home to me that I really was in the classes for kids they'd given up on. I never read Of Mice and Men as required reading assignment.]

Tell us how it's gonna be...

I've never wanted a book to spontaneously change endings so badly. I yearn for that little place as much as they do. I wanted them to have it desperately. Proof the incredibly sad ending isn't hopeless is that on a reread I could still hope it would end differently. Oh, it does happen, lon
...more
Shannon
i hated this book.
steinbeck is crap.
children should not be forced to read it.

ok, i really just don't like steinbeck's aesthetic. i dislike the killing of innocent animals, the dehumanization of the mentally retarded--and don't try to tell me that lenny isn't marginalized here. the book is depressing and directionless, and not in the ironic waiting-for-godot sort of way. the descriptions are flat, emotionless, and dessicated.

however, curly's wife is awesome. she's just so bizarre and pathetic, so
...more
Tadiana ♕Part-Time Dictator♕
I think I've been avoiding John Steinbeck, consciously or subconsciously, ever since I was a horse-loving teenager and thought that The Red Pony would be a nice, pleasant book to read.

description

I haven't read any Steinbeck books since.

But I was in the library a couple of weeks ago, puttering around in the general fiction shelves, and happened to pull this one out and noticed how short it was--only 107 pages. I had just finished reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which was a 127-page overdose of cheesy 7
...more
Embraced_evils
Jun 22, 2008 Embraced_evils rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky
"Guy don't need no sense to be a nice fella. Seems to me sometimes it jus' works the other way around. Take a real smart guy and he ain't hardly ever a nice fella." - Of Mice And Men

I really think I love John Steinbeck, which is surprising to me, because I never would have thought of myself as a Steinbeck reader. There's just something about the way he writes that cuts through all the bullshit and pretense and just tells it like it is, and I find that really refreshing. Sometimes they aren't eas
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I know...classic, movies, been around for years, greatly respected author, etc., etc., etc. But, nihilism leaves me cold...

Enjoy if it's you...but (and I've used this quote before) this book typifies "life is hard and then you die". Who cares how well the story is written that gets you there.

The very quality of the writing here made the experience worse for me. It has been brought to my attention of late that Steinbeck was a gifted writer. It's true he was, and the message in the story he relate
...more
Stephanie
Of Mice and Men is a great classic novella! John Steinbeck crafted a realistic story focusing on two migrant workers in California during America's Great Depression. The descriptions are vivid and the characters are colorful. As this book is widely known, I am not going to focus on the plot, but rather highlight the central themes.

It is a story of friendship:
“I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's why.”
The way that George looks after Lennie is wonderfully touc
...more
Shovelmonkey1
Nov 18, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people after a literary snackette
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list and sfogs
So, a lot of Goodreads readers gave this five stars. And a lot of other Goodreads readers said aargh someone took a copy of the Grapes of Wrath/ East of Eden/ Tortilla Flat (delete as applicable) and then tried to jam it, raw and unseasoned, sideways down their throats while they were in high school. This is the unfortunate effect that formalised analysis of actually pretty quality literature can have on people. Luckily, I escaped a Steinbeck-flavoured literary force feeding as a youth, which le ...more
Andrew Kubasek
There are few books which reduce me to emotional breakdown, but this is one of them. Revealing the darker side of compassion, Steinbeck tells the story of two friends and what happens when one of them "does a bad thing."

Has this novel become over-taught in high schools? Definitely - and people's perception of the novel suffers because of it. People have to want to read this book because nobody wants such a harsh, violent story placed upon them as an obligation to read.

This is a very different "
...more
Mike
Aug 13, 2014 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Mike by: Miss Maxine Lustig
Of Mice and Men: I am my brother's keeper

"In every bit of honest writing in the world there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love. There are shorter means, many of them. There is writing promoting social change, writing punishing injustice, writing in celebration of heroism, but always that base theme. Try to understand each other."— John Steinbeck in his 1938 jo
...more
Michael
How does one rate a Holy Tome of English Lit, when one found the reading experience to be extraordinarily average. . . nay, even sub-par?

I suppose the real question is, am I, like some people, a vote whore who will slap the Big Uno on it, and then index all the book's inadequecies, ignoring all the things the author did well? This will probably gain my review the most interest.

Or shall I, like a dignified book reviewer, give it a Trio, and calmly explain both its flaws and its high points?

Uno i
...more
Kim

Steinbeck's original title for this small gem was Something that Happened. His idea was to write a play in novella form and to simply describe the action, rather than explain it. In my view, Steinbeck succeeded admirably in this task. I've not seen any of the film adaptations of the work (no reason why not, just never got around to it). Nor have I seen the play based on the book. However, I can easily see how the narrative would work as a piece of theatre. The book has a strong theatricality: in
...more
Aoibhínn
Of Mice and Men is truly beautiful piece of literature that seems so simple, yet so incredibly complex. Set during the American Great Depression in the 1930's, it is the story of two friends, George and Lennie, who wander from town to town looking for work to earn money to buy their own land. The one snag in this plan is Lennie, a strong giant of a man with the mind of a young child who, although full of good intentions, finds himself getting into trouble at every stop. Lennie is unable to think ...more
Nathan
Sep 17, 2007 Nathan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I'm so ronery, so ronery, so ronery and sadry arone.
Shelves: fiction
"A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. It don't make no difference who the guy is, long as he's with ya'. I tell ya', a guy gets too lonely, and he gets sick." I first read Of Mice and Men at an age when I was learning to read. Not phonetically, but critically. This novel taught me what good literature could be, and it is one of a handful of novels that I measure all other novels by. As a result, I have turned into someone who can read five to ten nonfiction books in a month but read only one ...more
Cheryl
Wow. Powerful stuff. A fine example of a story that takes on a life of its own, breaking away from the author. At a certain point, the story says, sotto voce, "You can put down your pen, Mr. Steinbeck, I can take it from here,"

I was seeing the story vividly as a play, and indeed it was performed while the book was still on the bestseller list in 1937, and won the New York Drama Critics' Circle award for best play. Steinbeck's intention was to write this as a play that could be read as a novel.

Ca
...more
Seemita
It takes courage to stand up and speak. It also takes courage to sit down and listen.

These are the words on one of my most favorite posters. What always keeps me hooked to these lines is the validity of the trait, courage, from both ends of the spectrum. It holds good, irrespective of the side one stands at. Whether there is merit in holding on or giving in, is a matter of perspective which often remains stranded on the crossroads of past experiences and future expectations. And crossroads alway
...more
Brendon Schrodinger
This is one of those classics that you hear bandied about, but I had no idea what it is about. I think it's much more popular in the U.S. than Australia, and I've never heard of a film of it (there could be, I did;t check). For a change, here is a classic where I went in completely oblivious to the story. I guess it helped as this is only a very short novel where events take place. It would be very easy to spoil.

Lenny and George are two travelling farmhands. They travel the country looking for s
...more
♥ Innocent Lamb ~ Forever Reading ♥ - AKA Smarties
I'm one of those people who reads classics even when its not necessary reading at school... I actually really loved this book. It's sad, but this is me after reading it:

I can't even
Edward Lorn
Apr 26, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Edward by: School
Gary Sinise's performance of Of Mice and Men is one of the best audiobooks I've had the pleasure of listening to. Even if you have read this book, I highly recommend listening to it. It's three hours long, and only an hour and a half if you crank up the speed of the narration. That's shorter than most movies. But make sure you grab Gary Sinise's narration. There are several versions on Audible, so make sure you sang the right one. The Sinise/Malkovich version of the film adaptation is my pick, a ...more
·Karen·
I was about to be rather snippy and say that this is a medicine best taken in younger years, at a time of life when foreshadowing laid on with a trowel feels less obviously manipulative, when characters painted in primaries are still fresh and new, when drama is still drama and not melodrama. but then I fell to thinking about that phrase, laid on with a trowel, and how it comes from bricklaying, denoting the rather heavy, slapdash way of laying the mortar on to a brick. It indicates a lack of fi ...more
Stephen
3.5 to 4.0 stars. On its surface, this is a very simple, straight forward story about the relationship between two migrant workers working on a ranch at the turn of the century. However, the real strength of the story is the way in which Steinbeck makes you see through the eyes of his characters, both the main characters and the supporting cast. Being a very short book (actually a novella), I thought Steinbeck did a really good job of describing the complex yet ultimately very strong bond betwee ...more
Sam Quixote
But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

To a Mouse - A Poem by Robert Burns

Set in Depression-era America, Of Mice and Men follows two bindle-stiffs, George and Lennie, on their way to their next job working as ranch hands on a California farm. They’re the best of friends but Lennie, a simple-minded giant with enormous strength, is constantly, and unintention
...more
Roya
Final rating: 3.5 stars

My dad first recommended this book last year. I finally got around to it! I'm not really sure what to make of this book. It ended abruptly, but the characters were realistic. Mostly I'm just conflicted, but I'm also pissed because finding good books is really, really hard for some reason.

And I want to scream.

Did I ask to have such a picky taste? No.

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John Steinbeck III was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939 and the novella Of Mice and Men, published in 1937. In all, he wrote twenty-five books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and several collections of short stories.

In 1962 Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley
...more
More about John Steinbeck...
The Grapes of Wrath East of Eden The Pearl Cannery Row Travels with Charley: In Search of America

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“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.” 3017 likes
“I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that's
why.”
1773 likes
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