Brian's Reviews > Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
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's review
May 08, 10

bookshelves: re-read, american-lit, taught
Read in March, 1999

It's hard to judge a book you read in high school compared with your adult reading of it, especially having read it several times now for the sole purpose of teaching it. As a high school student, this book greatly impacted me, and I was left wondering for weeks afterwards whether or not they made the right decision about Lennie. As an adult, especially with a lit-major background, the book pales in comparison to so many other great works, and even seems a bit adolescent itself. Don't get me wrong: the description is deliciously raw, the characters, for the most part, well-etched, and the problem posed at the end of the novel is certainly worthy of consideration; the whole "guys like us" bit, though, is rather mawkish, and the way the characters talk in general, tossing adages about for lack of better speech ("a guy gotta have somebody"), while realistic, gets annoying before too long. Admittedly, this could just be due to having read the book 7-8 times now, and not a single one of those by choice. All this to say that, as a high school student, I'd probably have given it 4 or 5 stars, as an adult 2, so I'll now settle on three.
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