Of Mice and Men

Rating: +

John Steinbeck

From previous experience, I have always disliked Steinbeck novels, but after having several friends speak out in favor of Steinbeck, I figured I had to give him another try, and Of Mice and Men seemed like a short enough book I could get through it even if I didn't love it. I must admit that I liked this better than any of the other Steinbeck that I have read (Grapes of Wrath, The Pearl, The Red Pony).

I found myself interested by the two main characters and their relationship. As they kept being asked why they went around together, I found myself wondering the same thing. And I do think that by the end of the book, while we didn't have a full answer to that question, there were some really interesting insights into the question that were offered. The ending was inevitable, I thought, but yet I kept waiting for it to turn out differently even up to the very end. I cared about the characters.

I was also fascinated by the dream that the men had about the farm of their own, and the way that others responded to talk of their dream. There was a lot of loneliness in this book, and that seemed to be a thread that drew many of the characters together. I don't know enough about the time and place Steinbeck was writing about to know if he was trying to talk about the condition of a particular group of people or if he was intending to talk about loneliness in general, but I think that the book probably does both.

I still don't love Steinbeck's writing. I don't enjoy reading the sentences. I think that I liked this book because it had a lot of plot, a fair amount of dialog, moved fairly quickly, and was short enough that I didn't get sick of his writing style before it ended.


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