Of Mice and Men ★☆☆☆☆

miceandmen (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Of Mice and Men
Series: ———-
Author: John Steinbeck
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Classic
Pages: 73
Format: Digital Edition

Synopsis:

George and Lennie are looking for work. George has a dream of owning his own little bit of land some day and all Lennie wants is to have rabbits so he can pet them. George has been looking after Lennie for years and benefits from his lack of intelligence and from his brawn.

On a new farm, they come across an old one handed worker who has half the price saved up to buy the piece that George has his eye on. All George and Lennie need to do is work one month, collect their pay, pool it with the third man and then they can “live on the fat of the land”.

Their new boss has a young son who is recently married. The young man, Curly, has a chip on his shoulder and is always fighting those who are bigger than him. He takes an immediate dislike to Lennie and Lennie simply doesn’t understand what is going on. Curly’s wife has a roving eye and wants socialness, something that she just isn’t getting from Curly or life on a ranch.

She corners Lennie one afternoon to talk to him, since she knows he’s too stupid to go away. Lennie feels her hair, as he has a weak spot for soft things. This frightens Curly’s wife and Lennie freezes up. She starts to scream and Lennie puts his hand over her mouth to stop her and ends up breaking her neck. He runs away to a special spot that George told him to go to if he ever got in trouble.

Curly gets together the men of the ranch to hunt down Lennie and makes sure George is with them. George knows where Lennie is and steals a gun from one of the other ranch hands. He finds Lennie and tells him the wonderful story about the place they are going to own to distract Lennie. George then shoots Lennie, killing him instantly so that he won’t suffer at the hands of a lynching led by Curly.

The book ends with George giving up on his dream of a place of his own and resigning himself to spending his monthly pay on whores and whiskey.

 

My Thoughts:

What a fantastically written horrible book. As much as I wish it weren’t true, Steinbeck can write. His books are considered Classics for a reason. By the end of this little tiny novella, George and Lennie felt as real to me as anyone I know from my work.

That being said, Steinbeck was an asshole in choosing to waste his talents on such horrible subject matters. My take is that Steinbeck wanted to show the worst parts of life, and only the worst parts, and then extrapolate that ALL of life is that bad. Meaningless, hopeless and ultimately completely futile.

I had read the Red Pony back in 7th grade and it so affected me, negatively, that I have never read another book by Steinbeck until now. I wanted to see if growing older and more mature made a difference in how I viewed his writing. Nope,not one jot.

What a waste. A waste of talent, a waste of a life, a waste of such potential. I don’t mourn, but it does sadden me that people can make such choices and do such things.

★☆☆☆☆

bookstooge (Custom)

37 thoughts on “Of Mice and Men ★☆☆☆☆

  1. I tried reading this book because a three-people acting crew performed the play at our school and I couldn’t get through the first chapter. I was just really bored. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Steinbeck’s writing but I just can’t get into it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I stopped reading your review since this is on my TBR and I’m less than 5 books away from reading it. Your one star has me worried, but its a very short book and everyone’s taste is different. I can’t wait to read your review and compare notes once I’m done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have not yet read a Steinbeck that I like. He can write well, but his stories are awful.

    I have never assigned my kids (we homeschool) to read a Steinbeck. My daughter had to read “The Pearl” for an online English class, and she hated it as much as I did in 10th grade.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a GREAT comparison! I wish I had thought of it. the more I contemplate it, the more apt it is. Both could write fantastically and have super realistic, believable characters, but somehow they both destroy what they’re writing about. Ugh x2…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really loved Tortilla Flat, it was such a wonderful, guileless and nostalgic story. Of Mice and Men is not my favorite, and I think I get why you dislike it so, yet I still consider it an important, valuable read 🙂 And yeah, Steinbeck really could write. It is written beautifully, realistically, and it hits all the right emotional notes – even if you hate when it does that 😉 In defense of Steinbeck, he did feel for his characters – as opposed to e.g. Cormac McCarthy, whose Blood Meridian I hated for the emotional emptiness and a penchant for cheap gruesomeness. I cannot speak of P.D. James as I had not read anything by that author – but now I’m not sure I’d like to ;).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t often read classics, cuz most of them just don’t appeal to me. Either the writing style, or the subject… But i wanted to read this one, mostly because it’s one of those “you have to”. Guess i won’t hurry to much to get it done 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Man, that’s a spicy take!

    I don’t feel strongly about Steinbeck or this book, but I feel you. A lot of the stuff we have to read in school is overrated. I kind of hated The Catcher in the Rye.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I do get why you don’t like this and of mice and men is by no means my favourite of Steinbeck’s work. I definitely agree though that Steinbeck can write, especially with regard to his stunningly realistic character- and for a lot of his books that carries the books (even if as I grow older I tend to disagree with a fair amount of the opinions underpinning the work). I think this is a very fair assessment of his work and your take on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ahoy there matey! I think this was a perfect review. It captures the book fabulously. Except that while ye ended up hating it, I loved it. I have loved all the works of Steinbeck that I have read BUT the Red Pony. That one did traumatize me. I don’t remember all the reasons why but I will never read that one again.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is funny that you and I agree on the particulars but diverge on our decision upon how we felt about it. Just one more reason to get a multitude of reviews if you’re ever thinking about a book 🙂

      As for Red Pony, I can’t even tell you a single detail about the book now. Not one. Except that I hated it with all my newly awakened teen anger at an unfair world 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I remember hating this book in high school and I was going to try it again but your one star might have done me in. I read East of Eden and I so agree with you. Steinbeck seems to either craft rotten characters or he enjoys taking good characters and making them rotten. When I read his books I always feel like he had a really skewed view of the world. I have his Grapes of Wrath on tap for 2019 but now I’m wondering. Time is a precious thing to waste …..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Once an author shows a predilection for a certain kind of character or storyline or situations, and I hate that particular kind of thing, then I’m done with the author. My life will not be improved in ANY way by reading more Steinbeck. Not even on an enjoyment level.

      Like

    1. From what I’ve read of Steinbeck’s works, he was one very twisted man. Never had any desire to read a biography though. Maybe he went to church twice a week and donated to the poor every day. I HIGHLY doubt it though…

      Liked by 1 person

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