Joe Dantona's Reviews > Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
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Sep 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction

This book could be disturbing, or brilliant, or trash.

The book is short at just 107 pages (Penguin edition). Steinbeck's writing style is very good but occasionally redundant: "He embraced his knees and laid his chin down on his knees." The dialogue was immensely frustrating whenever the same thing was said repeatedly with no point. You have pages of "We're gonna' buy us a farm, and tend the rabbits," and it isn't just between Lennie and George. That wouldn't be a problem if the conversations varied. (The one place this practice was spectacular was at the end of the book, to which it is vital. But it has been done better.)

The characters themselves often seemed to mindlessly bounce off of each other. It's as if there was no intelligence during the Great Depression. Whatever the case it was easier to find rabbits than wit, and there isn't much reason for it. Absolutely everybody is some kind of idiot.

Though very short, I wanted to throw it across the room by page 90. This shows a bit of failure and a bit of success on Steinbeck's part: failure in that he frustrated me outside the story, success in that he convinced me to care enough to be frustrated. Bravo, it's a good thing. If only it didn't have those fault-lines! The ground is beautiful but I won't for a moment dance upon it. I know it isn't safe.

The climax seems too forced. We know from the beginning that Lennie is going to 'do a bad thing,' but the way it happens is far-fetched in my mind. It's impossible to digress without spoiling the story, so I won't say anything more.

The plot itself is good, and the writing is good. The themes and the message are brutal, but outstanding.
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Reading Progress

September 14, 2010 – Shelved
January 25, 2011 – Started Reading
January 25, 2011 – Shelved as: fiction
January 25, 2011 –
page 4
3.74%
January 28, 2011 –
page 17
15.89%
January 30, 2011 –
page 26
24.3%
January 30, 2011 –
page 26
24.3% "This is good so far. It feels slightly like Tom Sawyer."
January 31, 2011 –
page 94
87.85% "I think this book may be atrocious. Can it redeem itself in the last two chapters?"
January 31, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Kjersti (new) - added it

Kjersti Hah, that's more or less exactly how I felt when analysing excerpts in 10th grade :P Well, apart from the whole "everyone in the depression was some kind of idiot"-topic that we had absolutely no context to see. Great reaview.


message 2: by Josiah (new)

Josiah Exactly why I never finished reading it in high school. Maybe one day, when I'm bored....


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