Nathan's Reviews > Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
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Sep 17, 07

bookshelves: fiction
Recommended for: I'm so ronery, so ronery, so ronery and sadry arone.
Read in October, 1991

"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 or two fiction books in any given year. This is what good literature should be. The essence of the story - loneliness and man's desperate need for friendship - is a story that never ages, never tires, and only seems trite to those too self-centered to ever realize how lonely they really are. Yes, it is sad and almost dooming in places. But it is also touching, true and timeless. The quote at the start of this review is as potent now as it was then; and its sentiment is timeless enough that it even showed up in 2006 on TV's Lost, word-for-word, as part of banter between two essential characters. "Don't you read?" Ben asked Sawyer. Even on an Island in the middle of nowhere, with others out to kidnap you and magic monsters made of trees and nightmares trying to kill you, reading Of Mice and Men is still important in a functional society.

NC
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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James Nathan, I liked your caveat about Lost, for it illuminates well how certain pieces of art can become so ingrained in our collective psyches as to remain a constant in the ever-transient whole of human thought and activity we call culture.

What I love about this book is that it puts the need for other people on the same level as food and shelter, and perhaps above, for it shows how one is willing to give up their dreams, however far-fetched, for companionship.

Furthermore, I find refreshing and scary the notion that our need for human relationships is likely our greatest strength and provider of pleasure, while simultaneously our greatest weakness and provider of pain. This will always be in the context of human life – and perhaps – is the context of human life.



Nathan Hey, James,

Wow, not much I can add to that comment, except that yeah, I agree with you completely... This book, for me, captures better than most the desperate need for companionship that even the most individual, DYI-types of us need, whether we like to admit it or not.

NC


message 3: by Antonio (new)

Antonio This book was very touching.Yes I agree, this book shows that when you have nothing else at least you have company do nothing. Through thick and thin George and Lennie were together to the very end.What got me throughout the whole book was the fantasy that George and Lennie had about "living off the fat of land."


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