Kim's Reviews > Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
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's review
Sep 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: buddy-reads-with-jemidar, kindle
Read in September, 2012

Steinbeck's original title for this small gem was Something that Happened. His idea was to write a play in novella form and to simply describe the action, rather than explain it. In my view, Steinbeck succeeded admirably in this task. I've not seen any of the film adaptations of the work (no reason why not, just never got around to it). Nor have I seen the play based on the book. However, I can easily see how the narrative would work as a piece of theatre. The book has a strong theatricality: in the characters, the dialogue, the themes and the way in which dramatic tension is built from the opening paragraphs to the final scene. As I read, I could see the action taking place on a stage. I could even visualise the set and the way the stage was lit. Suffice to say, I love what Steinbeck achieved. He told a heart-wrenching story and created unforgettable characters in just a little over one hundred pages. I cried at the end. George and Lennie's dreams and the way in which they are shattered will remain with me for a long time.

Over the past few months, I've fallen in love with John Steinbeck's writing. I kick myself that it took me so long to get around to reading his work. On the other hand, Steinbeck may be one of those writers whom I would have appreciated less had I read him when I was young. I'd give this five stars, but that would be saying the work is equal in stature to The Grapes of Wrath, which I don't think it is. So 4-1/2 stars will have to do.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Jemidar Where are you up to? I'm finished :-).

message 2: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim Very speedy! I'm about 70% through. Hopefully I'll finish tonight.

Jemidar Guess that's because I don't have a social life like some. LOL. Seriously though, I thought you would probably finish it last night too as it's a pretty short and easy read.

message 4: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim I've just finished it. About to go out, but I'll be home by 8, so I should be able to get back to CoD CoL tonight.

message 5: by Hayes (new)

Hayes I didn't like this one so much, mostly for the very visualness (visuality? Whatever) of it. I kept seeing the stage as I was reading and felt I really should be watching it, not reading it.

But I love "Grapes" (so much more satisfying than "Gatsby") which I will re-read before too long, and will try other works, which I have been neglecting for too long.

message 6: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim Hayes wrote: "I didn't like this one so much, mostly for the very visualness (visuality? Whatever) of it. I kept seeing the stage as I was reading and felt I really should be watching it, not reading it. ..."

I can understand having that response, but having read that this was the effect Steinbeck was striving for, I was blown away by how well he achieved it in such a short work. I started listening to East of Eden today and I'm going to be interested to see if I like it as much as I like Grapes.

message 7: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim Simran wrote: "East of Eden is wonderful, Kim. I hope you like it :)"

I'm sure I will!

Arnie If you do decide to see the movie, I would recommend the original with Burgess Merideth and Lon Chaney.

Dolors I was also very moved by the end of this theatrical tale Kim. Thanks for having introduced me to the works of Steinbeck and for reminding me to read this one. I would also love to see the play someday.

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