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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Of Mice and Men" - one of the great American classics
"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...
Published on 31 May 2005 by LJG Carson

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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All-time Classic, but beware which edition you choose.
Nothing of substance that I can add here that hasn't already been mentioned regarding the text itself. However, I was disappointed with the 'Essentials' edition which I consider to be poorly produced. At a retail price of nearly nine pounds I had imagined that this edition would be on quality paper with space for my son to annotate the text appropriately. Neither of...
Published on 16 May 2010 by Poetman


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The essential Steinbeck, 13 Dec. 2009
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This excellent compilation contains the principal early short stories of this excellent American author. They are all more that half a century old but retain a disticnt period charm and narrative clarity. In these stories Steinback was writing about people and places he knew and loved and this affection shines through each page. Some like Of Mice and Men and Cannery Row are very well known and have become a revered part of English course work at University level. A personal favourite is The Red Pony which is more a novella with interlocking themes than a short story. But all could be read with benefit and pleasure.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All-time Classic, but beware which edition you choose., 16 May 2010
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This review is from: Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck "Essentials") (Paperback)
Nothing of substance that I can add here that hasn't already been mentioned regarding the text itself. However, I was disappointed with the 'Essentials' edition which I consider to be poorly produced. At a retail price of nearly nine pounds I had imagined that this edition would be on quality paper with space for my son to annotate the text appropriately. Neither of these assumptions were correct. The Essentials edition deserves a price tag well under the current RRP. So, please don't be misled into thinking that you are paying the premium for a quality edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartbreaking story delivered in a masterful way, 17 Sept. 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
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John Steinbeck's of Mice and Men is one of my all time favourite books, for a number of reasons this book delivers a powerful punch that is sure to move anyone who reads it. The book was originally published in 1937 and has been adapted to film a number of times (and with some success) but it's the original novel that demands the fullest attention of readers of any genre.

Steinbeck's story is based around two travelling farm workers who have dreams and aspirations for a better life a simple dream to have their own place and a small piece of land. The two main characters feature George Milton an uneducated man but with some natural intelligence, and Lennie Small who is somewhat backward and simple but with a kind heart and enormous physical strength/

George is plays something or a guardian role for Lennie he looks out for him and tries to keep him out of trouble as much as possible. Lennie is often unaware of the consequences of his actions and cannot comprehend his strength, but has a kind heart and a love of rabbits and small soft animals.

The two soon start working on a farm and all goes well at the start but it's clear that the farm owners son (Curley) has an intense dislike of Lennie due to his larger stature and strength. Curley frequently mocks Lennie and tries to provoke him at every opportunity this ends in a physical confrontation in which Lennie crushes the hand of Curley demonstrating in a brutal way how strong he is. Despite this set back things settle down as Curley realises he was the instigator and lets thing lie.

On the ranch an older man in the shape of Candy, a worker/handyman who lost his hand in an accident offers to join the two men and contribute his savings to go with them and get a place of their own. Candy feels his days of being useful on the farm are numbers and shares the dreams of George and Lennie, but their plans are soon tested when Curly's Wife (who is clearly bored and flirts with the ranch workers) unwittingly tests the strength of Lennie with dire consequences.

It's a straight forward and simple story that harks back to the era of the great depression but seizes on the hopes and dreams of people in the time of a better life with some security. Steinbeck's ending is crushing in it's intensity as the dream becomes a shattered reality rather than take an obvious way out he's chosen to leave a very lasting impression on readers. The authors ability to absorb the reader in both the characters and environment is unsurpassed he grabs you in and refuses to let go, the title of "classic" is often banded around a bit too much, in this case the story is magnificent; the execution near flawless and without question a modern masterpiece. Regardless of your preference in books taste or genre this is not to be missed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Rewarding Books You Will Ever LISTEN To., 14 Feb. 2014
By 
Glenn Cook (South Cave, near Hull UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Of Mice And Men (Audio CD)
NOTE THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE UNABRIDGED AUDIO BOOK READ BY CLARKE PETERS.

The term 'classic' when attached to books is all too often freely awarded.
However if any American novel deserved this moniker it is 'Of Mice and Men' by John Steinbeck.

The book is up there with the other 'classics' of American Writing like 'To Kill a Mockingbird', The Grapes Of Wrath, Tom Sawyer and 'The Catcher In The Rye'.

Because I am reviewing an AUDIO book I will tend to concentrate on that aspect and leave the nature of the book to other reviewers.

The great thing about those books is that they are so wonderful when read aloud.
This I was delighted to discover is the case here.
Clarke Peters is simply magnificent.

He has a clear tone that is both warm and resonant. The Americana of the story is captured but not to the detriment of the British Listener.
His voice is on a par with Kerry Shale and James Elmos Jones.
The tone when he describes the scenes is terrific but his real forte is bringing the characters to life by his vocal skills.
His portrayal of the slow, retarded giant Lenny and the soft, all knowing slutty tart like voice of Curley's oversexed and attention seeking wife are truly magnificent.
All the characters come and are equally treated well from the old crippled ranch hand Sweet to the 'black crooked back stable hand'.
To say he makes the story 'live and breath' is an understatement.

The story is sublime- we hear the similarities in the 'mercy' killing of Sweet's aged stinking sheepdog and George's choice with Lennie.

In just 3 wonderful car journeys I listened to this 3 Cd and just over 4 hours narration.
It made me 'live' in the world of the 1930s America still in thrall to the depression where ranch hands drifted from ranch to ranch seeing tickets for work and board.

The story by John Steinbeck is a colossus and Clarke Peters reading has not for one second been less than equal to the book.
And that is some compliment.

Wonderful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fatta the Lan', 23 Oct. 2006
"Of Mice and Men" was first published in 1937 and has been adapted for the stage and screen. It's set in mid-1930s California and opens beside the Salinas river, a few miles outside Soledad. The book focuses on Lennie and George, a pair of migrant workers who earn a living on the state's farms. George is the dominant character of the pair, as Lennie isn't quite capable of looking after himself properly. Although big and strong, he has a poor memory, panics easily and doesn't always understand what's happening around him. All he wants out of life is to have his own farm with George, look after some rabbits and "live of the fatta the lan'". As the book opens, the pair are on their way to a new job; they had to leave their previous job and go on the run after Lennie was (falsely) accused to rape. Things don't go smoothly for the pair when they arrive at their new place of work. It's clear that the farm owner's son, Curley, and his wife are going to be the source of a great deal of trouble.

"Of Mice and Men" is a very short book - a great deal shorter and much easier than I'd expected. I had a great deal of sympathy for Lennie, who was based on a real person : in an ideal world, he shouldn't have been leading the life he was living. Similarly, I think George was placed in an impossible position at the end of the book - though I couldn't help but wonder how George himself saw things. As I was reading the book's climax, I couldn't help but think of something Candy had said to George earlier in the book, regarding his dog.

I'd definitely recommend this book, particularly the Penguin Classics edition if you can get your hands on it. Susan Shillinglaw's introduction for this edition really set things in context for me. However, I wouldn't necessarily recommend reading the introduction first - it does contain a couple of spoilers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lonely road to the 'American Dream', 13 Jan. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck "Essentials") (Paperback)
This is probably the best book I've ever read. Steinbeck's language throughout the whole book is vivid and precise. He creates a dulcet and warm atmosphere in the novel and combines this with characters pursuing the so-called 'American Dream'. For me, it is these characters that make the novel a success. First there are Lennie and George who, for me, epitomise the word friends. It seems to me that without each other they would have nothing. Yes, George does get miffed, angry and agitated at Lennie, but this still does not deter the fact that he loves him. The close bond between the two is summed up when they converse about finding the 'American Dream', and George talks about the fact that he and Lennie do not have anyone in the world but each other. In the novel, the dialogue between the two during that scene is powerful, overwhelming and leaves you with a lump in your throat.
The story is centered on George and Lennie. However, there are a lot more characters in the novel that introduce new themes. These themes crop up all the time during the novel, and one that most definitely springs to my mind, and to others most probably, is the theme of loneliness. From studying and analysing this novel assiduously, this theme becomes more and more visible the more you read. After reading the novel quite a few times, you notice that loneliness exists in all of the characters' lives, including George and Lennie. I won't say anymore than that because I might spoil it for someone who may not be that well acquainted with the book, plus I could ramble on all day.
But as I have said, this is a truly classic piece of writing. For anyone who has never read it before, I feel extremely sorry, and for those who have, may this little review be of some use to you.
Steinbeck, I salute you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't fault it!, 2 Nov. 2011
This is truly one of the greatest books which I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I am a GCSE student, and for my English Language GCSE, we studied this book. I'm not a huge reader, so when I read the description of this book, I dreaded the thought of studying it. I bought this edition. It is truly one of the most beautiful stories I have ever heard. Meet Lennie and George, who are living in the USA during the times of the great depression. During this period, a vast amount of men lost their jobs, and had to wander anywhere around America that they could get work. These men usually travel alone, and are the loneliest men in the world. This is not the case for this pair of young men. Despite their differences, they are best friends. Read this novella and go on an adventure with this duo, find out about their ups and downs. While reading this, I laughed, I cried, I was shocked and I enjoyed every second. When I was told to read one chapter, I ended up finishing the entire novella, and contemplated the amazingly high standard at which it was written.
This edition is perfect for students such as myself, with room for notes, pages thick enough that you can highlight one side without seeing your highlight on the other.
I honestly cannot fault this book in any way whatsoever.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant, 30 Mar. 2007
By 
J. Page "J Page" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck "Essentials") (Paperback)
I have just finished this book and felt compelled to write a review because it is one of the most exceptional pieces of writing I have ever read. At just over 100 pages most novels only manage to get started but for an entire novel to be of this length and still to have an impact that is immense is a remarkable achievement. The characterisation is flawless and Steinbeck's skill at drawing us into the lives of farm labourers Lennie and George makes for a book that you genuinely can't put down. There are very few novels that I would count as flawless but this is most definitely one of them.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only book that has ever made me cry, 2 Dec. 2001
What a compelling, emotive, majestic novel. This book is so simple, yet so incredibly complex. It is very short with a basic story line but the sheer magnitude and intensity of the relationship between the two main characters, George and Lenny, is so brilliantly overwhelming.
Lenny relies completely on the guidance of George to get him through everyday life. The whole book follows the friendship between the two men - Lenny's 'gentle giant' representation and George's tough exterior with a soft heart. The ending is so swift yet so, so incredibly moving, that I fully wept at the last few pages. Once I closed the cover of the book, a wave of that warm, satisfying feeling consumed me when you know you've just finished a book you won't ever forget.
If you want to be the proud owner of such a classic and want an excellent read without the sheer weightiness of a pre-twentieth century 700-paged book, this short work of genius is just the ticket.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Most over-rated book ever?, 25 Nov. 2014
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Is Of Mice and Men really the best we can do as a text for our kids to study at GCSE? My daughter is currently being force fed Steinbeck in English Literature and how unappetising a diet it must be for a young reader. These are kids setting out, you would hope, on a lifetime of reading and we give them this to pick over – forwards, backwards, and inside out. If they are to be made to chew over something for months and months can we at least not give them something nourishing, something substantial and varied? Instead they get the literary equivalent of a packet of cream crackers, almost guaranteed to kill off any joy of reading, excitement of discovery, or varied layers and depths of writing.

The themes and story are undoubtedly good. The ‘playable novel’ idea is quite neat; though it is neither novel (only being novella length) nor play. It is very visual – clearly a work written in the cinema age – you can imagine the camera angles and lighting (or staging for a play). The dialogue is crisp like in a play or screenplay.

Some of the writing is just plain bad. But my biggest problem with it is its misogynism. Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/of-mice-and-men-suitable-gcse-text.html
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Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck "Essentials")
Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck "Essentials") by John Steinbeck (Paperback - 26 April 2001)
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