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Of Mice and Men
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Of Mice and Men

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  1,072,987 ratings  ·  15,878 reviews
The tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in Central California. They are George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. George acts as a father figure to Lennie, who is a very large, simple-minded man, calming him and helping to rein in his immense physical strength.
Paperback, 103 pages
Published January 8th 2002 by Penguin Books (first published 1937)
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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
sckenda
Aug 13, 2014 sckenda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Schemers, Dreamers, and Planners
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
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?
Mariel
Jan 29, 2011 Mariel rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
Paul
Apr 20, 2014 Paul rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
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
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
Embraced_evils
Jun 22, 2008 Embraced_evils rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
Shovelmonkey1
Nov 18, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 4 of 5 stars
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 jou
...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
Ellie
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
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
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
♥ 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
Britany
In a little over a 100 pages, Steinbeck manages to perfectly arc an unforgettable story about two ranchers, trying to live the "American dream" out in California and stumble across tragedy.

This is the first time I've read this unbelievable short novel. I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised at how perfectly developed and drawn out both George and Lennie were. Their relationship is one of great camaraderie, heartbreak, and strength to stand up for one another.

The ending for me...more
Taylor K.
Goddamn it, Steinbeck. You incredible, wonderful, magnificent writer, you.

With Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck continues to hit me in a way that no other writer has (at least not yet). He has this talent for finding the achilles' heel of humanity and slicing it open in a way that will leave me in a crumpled heap on the floor, begging him to do it over and over again.

One of the things that floors me about Steinbeck is how deftly he can do this in a short time. Of Mice and Men packs a wallop in 118 pag...more
Lavinia
A piece of jewelery. Set in sunny California - Salinas, during the Great Depression, "Of Mice and Men" is a story of friendship, dreams and loneliness. I have a long history with it. First I saw the film (excellent, btw), more than 10 years ago, then, a few years later, while writing an essay on Burns, I discovered the connection between "To a Mouse" and "Of Mice...". I was determined to write my final paper based on this, but I eventually gave up.

I felt like re-reading it yesterday and I feel a...more
Douglas
Mar 01, 2008 Douglas rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: just about anyone, but with a warning of the terrible message
Recommended to Douglas by: Frank Bass
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirsty
**Re-read 24/09/09**

I enjoyed this book just as much when re-reading as I did the first time around. I flew through the book and wish it had gone on longer. Steinbecks description is so vivid I just wanted to become lost in the story and didn't want it to end. I really need to read more of his work.

**Original Review**

We read this book for GSCE English Lit, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it was helped due to the fact that my English Teacher was amazing and loved what she did - she had accen...more
Lou
Oustanding short heart warming story

Some facts about the book, author and the movies..
Of Mice and Men was adapted for the screen three times, the first in 1939, two years after the publication of the novel. This adaptation of Of Mice and Men stars Lon Chaney Jr. as Lennie, Burgess Meredith as George, and was directed by Lewis Milestone.It was nominated for four Oscars.[16]

In 1981 it was made into a TV movie, starring Randy Quaid as Lennie, and Robert Blake as George, and was directed by Reza Bad
...more
Fewlas
Steinbeck ha questa immensa capacità di inquadrare con precisione poetica i destini umani che ti lascia ogni volta in uno stato di completa ammirazione.
Come in “Vicolo Cannery”, anche in “Uomini e topi” la vicenda viene incastonata in un paesaggio reso ottimamente da pennellate di vividi colori, e viene scandita dal sorgere e dal calare del sole. La parabola discendente di Lennie e George si misura dall’altezza dei riflessi del sole sulle pareti delle stalle e sulle montagne, quasi fosse un cicl...more
Samadrita
Thoroughly in love with Steinbeck's writings now. That masterful way of capturing the landscape against which such heart-breaking tragedy unfolds in such beautiful words, I've seen few other writers do that.
The beautiful futility of holding on to the working-class dream of attaining the unattainable, so brilliantly put forth in words. A true masterpiece!
Laura
The most powerful short story I've ever read. The voices in this story are unbelievable. Masterful story teller. But its the voice of the characters that stand out. This story takes a piece of your heart from you. Amazing writing that rips you to shreds.
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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.” 2689 likes
“As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment.” 452 likes
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