Mike (the Paladin)'s Reviews > Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
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Feb 24, 10


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 relates here carries that much more weight. I suppose the bottom line is, I live in the world where pain happens, a lot. I don't really need it here. So, I leave my rating as it is because my experience here remains a 1 star experience. So, as I said for you who love this book, and I know some...I'm happy for you, I don't and I can't really recommend it.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Nathanael (new)

Nathanael I just want to say I totally agree with what your saying about the whole escapism thing. I agree that there is a nobility in the entertainment industries in the form of offering an escape to people who actually do have allot of pain and hardship. A perfect example of this would be poor kids in third world countries going to the cinema for perhaps the only excitement they will ever have, and finding solace in a comic book and getting lost in imaginary worlds. The last thing they want is someone pontificating about the tragedy of poverty and the hard truths of life. In some ways that stuff is for the people who have good lives so they can feel world conscious and 'aware' of the problems so to speak.

I'm not saying it doesn't have a place, it does, but sometimes people have misconceptions about the value and use of light entertainment vs heavy 'life' stuff.


Luke Scicluna How dare you call reading 'light entertainment', sir.


Mike (the Paladin) To be fair Luke, he did say "sometimes". That's "a" great thing about books, they can be so many things.


message 4: by Nathanael (new)

Nathanael Luke wrote: "How dare you call reading 'light entertainment', sir."

I didn't call reading light entertainment. I said sometimes people have misconceptions about the value of light entertainment vs heavy 'life' stuff. It's not ambiguous is it? How could you make the conclusion I'm making an absurd blanket statement like 'reading is light entertainment.' I think you need to read things more thoroughly before you start firing 'how dare yous' around.


Lambert So you appreciate the quality of the writing, acknowledge its timelessness, yet give it 1 star because you don't like being shown the harsh side of life.


message 6: by Nathanael (new)

Nathanael Lambert, did you overlook this sentence?

"I suppose the bottom line is, I live in the world where pain happens, a lot. I don't really need it here. So, I leave my rating as it is because my experience here remains a 1 star experience."

He isn't ignoring the harsh world, he lives in it.

There are two ways to review a book (or any art for that matter). One way is an intellectual approach with a defined criteria for judgement. The other is simply personal experience regardless of objective value structures. He acknowledges this in his review. For instance, Mozart was considered a musical genius, however if I couldn't stand his music how would I rate it? I guess I could say "This symphony is generally accepted as a masterpiece but it's not for me - this is why...".

This review is a 'user experience' review as opposed to a structured critique of the book. If you're after the latter I think there are enough of those reviews on here to whet the appetite of anyone with that particular form of breakdown in mind.


Mike Trendel You should devote time to reviewing fluffy, feel-good literature. What recommendations to have for quality literature that ignores the harshness of life?


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