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Of Mice and Men (Penguin Classics)

Of Mice and Men (Penguin Classics) [Kindle Edition]

John Steinbeck , Susan Shillinglaw
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (538 customer reviews)

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Product Description


A thriller, a gripping tale that you will not set down until it is finished. Steinbeck has touched the quick (The New York Times)

Book Description

Graphic support for the teaching of Of Mice and Men to lower attainers at GCSE

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 278 KB
  • Print Length: 116 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0140177396
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (7 Sep 2000)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9VVM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (538 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #323 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

John Steinbeck is perhaps best known for Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath, which led to his Nobel Prize for Literature award in 1962. Born in Salinas, California in 1902, Steinbeck grew up in a fertile agricultural valley about twenty-five miles from the Pacific Coast: both valley and coast would serve as settings for some of his best fiction. In 1919 he went to Stanford University, where he intermittently enrolled in literature and writing courses until he left in 1925 without taking a degree. During the next five years he supported himself as a labourer and journalist in New York City, all the time working on his first novel, Cup of Gold (1929). After marriage and a move to Pacific Grove, he published two California books, The Pastures of Heaven (1932) and To a God Unknown (1933) and worked on short stories later collected in The Long Valley (1938).

Popular success and financial security came only with Tortilla Flat (1935), stories about Monterey's paisanos. A ceaseless experimenter throughout his career, Steinbeck changed courses regularly. Three powerful novels of the late 1930s focused on the California labouring class: In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and the book considered by many his finest, The Grapes of Wrath (1939).

Being partly based on his own experiences as a travelling worker, Steinbeck originally wanted Of Mice and Men to be titled 'Something That Happened'. The book explores themes of powerlessness, loneliness and empathy and received the greatest positive critical response of any of his works up to that point. It has achieved success as a novel, a Broadway play and three acclaimed films.

Steinbeck's compassionate depiction of the poor in The Grapes of Wrath helped the book become an immediate publishing phenomenon, discussed on a national scale and becoming an instant bestseller. The book was described by the Nobel Prize committee as a "great work" and stated that it was one of the main reasons for granting Steinbeck the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

Early in the 1940s, Steinbeck became a filmmaker with The Forgotten Village (1941) and a serious student of marine biology with Sea of Cortez (1941). He devoted his services to the war, writing Bombs Away (1942) and the controversial play-novelette The Moon is Down (1942). Cannery Row (1945), The Wayward Bus (1948), another experimental drama, Burning Bright (1950), and The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951) preceded publication of the monumental East of Eden (1952)East of Eden (1952), an ambitious saga of the Salinas Valley and his own family's history.

The last decades of his life were spent in New York City and Sag Harbor with his third wife, with whom he traveled widely. Later books include: Sweet Thursday (1954)The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication (1957), Once There was a War (1958), The Winter of Our Discontent (1961), Travels with Charley in Search of America (1962), America and Americans (1966) and the posthumously published Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters (1969),Viva Zapata! (1975,The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976), and Working Days: The Journals of The Grapes of Wrath (1989).

He died in 1968, having won a Nobel Prize in 1962.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
142 of 152 people found the following review helpful
Of Mice And Men is truly a special piece of literature that seems so simple whilst you are reading it but at the same time deals with a lot of complicated issues which all of us have to deal with at some point in our lives.
Its a story of two friends, Lennie and George, who wander from town to town looking for work in order to raise the capital to one day settle down in a farm of their own and count out their days. The one snag in this plan is Lennie, a giant of a man with the mind of a child who, although full of good intentions, finds himself trouble at every stop.
Steinbeck often tackles weighty issues (most evident in Grapes Of Wrath) and the theme of the future and the dreams of simple men is a hefty one but he handles this book with such poetic grace that you can't help but be drawn into the lives of these two men and as the book draws to its climax nothing can prepare you for the almighty hammer blow at its conclusion.
This is a book for all those who have a dream of the future or those who have found themselves somehow lost in life. It deals with how complicated the simple life can be and how elusive true contentment is. There has been many a film made of this film but believe me, nothing can compare to the vivid world that the pages of this book generates inside your minds eye and as you turn the final page it will stay there with you and be with you always.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best audio-books I've heard! 19 Oct 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
I am using this tape with my students and we're all enthralled and entranced as the fates of George and Lennie are unravelled by Steinbeck's storytelling. The students are all hearing/reading the story for the first time - but I'm hearing it anew and relishing every word as Sinise's sympathetic interpertations of the characters bring the book to life.
This tape would also be a super introduction to Steinbeck for anyone who has not yet read this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, possibly his most recognised novel, was published in 1939 and has delighted adults and school children alike right up to the present day. Proving popular in schools, it has been a novel on the GCSE exam board for years, the reason being that this novel has a lot of controversy and surprising depth.
George Milton, small and resourceful, and Lennie Small, large and simple-minded, are two men with an unlikely friendship. They arrive at a working ranch near the town of Soledad in the hope that their lives may move on since the events that forced them to flee their hometown of Weed. But trouble is never far behind. The friendship hangs in the balance and George must decide how long the pair can keep running.
School pupils who are reading this novel for GCSE should count themselves lucky. This is simply a fantastic novel.
Each page is rich in symbolism ad recurring themes of dreams and loneliness. The fact that this novel was written in times of great prejudice and that racism was almost an instinct then is reflected in Steinbeck's writing very clearly in everything the characters say and do. The story harbours many fascinating and unique characters, each with a story to tell and it is these people that really bring the story to life.
As the title of this review suggests, "Of Mice and Men" is, in my opinion, one of the top American classics along with novels such as "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. This is a definite must-read. There is much to cherish here.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple yet effective 14 July 2005
I first read this book the same way so many people do. GCSE English. Well 10 years later I picked it up again yet this time for fun. I was attempting to do something that teachers of the time seemed trained to not allow to happen, and that was to enjoy a classic.
Looking for the significance of animals making noises, or trees gently blowing in the wind is all well and good but it can really lose the energy and drive that the author was trying to instil in the book. For above everything else Steinbeck is trying to paint a picture, its not a big picture and he doesn't have long to paint it.
This leads us to the main characters, George and Lennie, one slow witted yet a bear of a man, the other much smaller yet the brains of the outfit. These two workers go from farm to farm getting work where they can but always having to move on. Lennie being very prone to "accidents".
This books is like Steinbeck's others in that it tackles tough issues, but this one is far more focused on the relationship these two friends have built up over the years, and how they can ensure their own protection as it moves forward. This is sensitively handled and a real treat to read, George's internal conflict about how he has saddled his life with the liability of Lennie vs. the responsibility he feels he has to him is handled superbly and you can really find yourselves rooting for these two unlikely companion.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Written in 1937, when the Depression was still affecting all aspects of the farming community, this powerful novel depicts the lives of migrant workers--grim, pessimistic, and offering little hope for an improved future. Focusing on two characters who arrive in the Salinas Valley during peak season, Steinbeck creates touching scenes between Lenny, a big, severely limited worker who does not know his own strength, and George, a whippet-thin man who serves as Lenny's constant companion and protector.

Both Lenny and George have dreams of one day living on their own farm, where Lenny, who loves the feeling of soft things--even dead mice--wants to take care of rabbits. George hopes one day to benefit from his own hard work on his own farm and to create an environment where Lenny can be safe from his own impulses. As Steinbeck brings the characters on the ranch to life, he shows how every person there has dreams of a different life but few opportunities to change the lives they already have. Some are physically handicapped from accidents on farms, while others are emotionally handicapped by lack of opportunity or their own personal limitations.

Life is lonely, uncertain, and harsh but George tries to make life for Lenny more bearable by allowing him to have one of the new puppies in the barn. When Curley, the boss's son, brings his flirtatious wife to the farm, he introduces a new element which eventually leads to a tragic ending. Women are considered dangerous to the status quo, as they reinforce the need for "soft" elements in lives that otherwise offer little softness.
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