K.D. Absolutely's Reviews > Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
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's review
Aug 15, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 1001-core, nobel
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die & American Library Asso
Read on February 20, 2010 — I own a copy , read count: 1

This is my 2nd novel by John Steinbeck and I am not disappointed. I normally first read the said known masterpiece of an certain author before reading his or her other works. I got disappointed twice already: Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse which I enjoyed tremendously but when I read her Mrs. Dalloway, it was just not the same. Few years back, that also happened with Sebastian Faulks and his Birdsong. His other novels are just not at par with his masterpiece.

With Mr. Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men is definitely at par with The Grapes of Wrath. What makes this interesting is that this was written a couple of years ahead than Grapes, but it has the same strengths: gripping, poignant and sad. The setting is still the same: the Great Depression in California during the 1920's. The characters are also poor and marginalized. The only new character, which provides the difference here, is the nutty Lennie Small. But oh boy, what a big impact this dude brought to the plot.

I am not sure about who among the two main characters, Lennie Small and George Milton, is mouse and man. The descriptions at the start of the novel do not perfectly fit into the physical characteristics of man and mouse. Lennie is big (man) but with paws (mouse) but George is small (mouse) but strong hands (man). If Wikipedia is correct, the original title of the novel was Something That Happened until Mr. Steinbeck read a Burns poem.

I also did not see the series of killings that Lennie did would eventually result to killing a human being. He killed a mouse, then a puppy. He had not killed a rabbit yet when he accidentally killed a human being.

I did not like the talking rabbit towards the end of the story. Those dialogues could just have been mouthed by Lennie's Aunt Clara.

But the killing scene in the end is just brilliant. It is one of the most sad scenes in any modern classic novels I've read so far. It is disturbing but beautifully written. One that will stay in my mind for a long, long time.

Kudos to Mr. Steinbeck for another brilliant novel. Mr. Steinbeck, I am your big, big fan!
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Reading Progress

02/20/2010 page 82
12/13/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Christine I am currently reading this book and I accidentally read your review to the end. The start of the novel was already ominous, and I want to know how the whole thing will play out.

K.D. Absolutely Enjoy, Christine!

s.penkevich But the killing scene in the end is just brilliant. It is one of the most sad scenes in any modern classic novels I've read so far. We read this for a class in middle school and I read the ending hiding my book under the table of my math class. I had to "use the bathroom" because I was afraid I might get teary infront of my peers haha. Steinbeck is amazing, he always drives home with a bittersweet finale.

K.D. Absolutely Funny! :) I am glad you liked this book, s.penkevich. This is one of my favorites by him.

message 5: by Molly (new) - added it

Molly Thomas You should also read East of Eden. Very interesting read...

message 6: by K.D. (last edited Jan 05, 2013 03:53PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

K.D. Absolutely Molly, oh dear. I have that book in my tbr pile. It's just quite thick for my very busy reading schedule. I am planning to read Steinbeck's thinner novels first. I do believe you of course. It's an Oprah book plus listed in many BEST novels lists. Thanks for reminding me though.

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