Andy's Reviews > Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
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Feb 10, 08

Read in February, 2008

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 leather; and under the window itself a little bench for leather-working tools, curved knives and needles and balls of linen thread, and a small hand riveter. On pegs were also pieces of harness, a split collar with the horsehair stuffing sticking out, a broken hame, and a trace chain with its leather covering split. Crooks had his apple box over his bunk, and in it a range of medicine bottles, both for himself and for the horses. There were cans of saddle soap and a drippy can of tar with its paint brush sticking over the edge. And scattered about the floor were a number of personal possessions; for, being alone, Crooks could leave his things about, ad being a stable buck and a cripple, he was more permanent than the other men, and he had accumulated more possessions than he could carry on his back."

None of this is relevant to the story, and yet a middle chapter opens up with this vivid scene. Steinbeck succeeds because the characters he paints in your head are exact. The first time I saw the movie that was made out of this story, it was just as I had envisioned it. Though the story great itself, the reason I will come back to this book is for the little things, the very things that have made me love Steinbeck so much.

I first read Of Mice And Men my sophomore year of high school, when it was a required reading in Mrs. Beeler's class. I recall disliking almost all required school readings up to this point (though admittedly I had skipped out on the summer reading project of "The Grapes Of Wrath"). When this book was assigned, I knew it was different. I blew through it, reading it in a day or two, even though I wasn't supposed to. For once there was a school book that I enjoyed. And all the credit in the world to my teacher, who chose other good books the rest of the year. So it's been 6-7 years since I've read this, and now, reading it for the second time, it's just as memorable as I remember. The story sticks with you, the imagery sticks. The characters are among Steinbeck's best, painted in such a crystal clear vision of the time.

It's a near perfect short story, and one that I will surely revisit throughout my life.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Chava Horowitz-spitzer You said it.
It's the way Steinbeck describes things that get me. He is a master writer. I feel drugged by his wording. I don't know what I will do when I have read all his books and need to move on. I tried Hemingway, but I was not quite impressed. Any suggestions?


Granz Krieg I totally agree the book was the best classic I have ever read and I loved it.
I personalty dislike most classics because of the writing style, but this was one of the best books I have ever read.


Blake Im studying this book in my english class. Can i ask what you liked a lot about this book.


Walter Welle yes! the way he describes things. Steinbeck is masterful serting prose


David Sarkies It wasn't so much that I disliked reading books at school, but rather the essays we had to write afterwards. It's funny how things change because now I'm writing essays on all of the books that I have read.


Virag Padalkar Absolutely agree.

Gut-wrenching plot. After so many years, a book that plucked; nay - rended my heartstrings.

This ranks right up there.


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