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on 15 June 2002
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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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 November 2014
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 plays something of 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 numbered 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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on 31 May 2005
"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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on 19 October 1999
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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As soon as I read the opening chapter I soon found myself lost within a wonderfully crafted,thought provoking John Steinbeck novel which was simply impossible to put down!

When I decided to read this classic story I initially believed it would be more of a chore than a leisure; I thought wrong. Of Mice and Men is simply unique to any other definitive novel due to Steinbeck's understanding and knowledge within the characteristics and setting in the story.

The two characters Lennie and George soon seem like brothers to yourself and each other as they experience the journey of a lifetime, and help you travel on Steinbeck's rollercoaster of emotions to fulfill their lifetime dream. This fabulous author creates fondness, empathy and feelings you never new were there;experiences that have never been experienced.

Trying to find a mistake in this book is like trying to find a needle in a haystack; simply impossible! This intriguing piece of literature is simply faultless which is why it will remain teaching me and future generations a new lesson every time it is opened.

Four pounds,100 pages, a whole new life...
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VINE VOICEon 16 October 2003
"Of Mice and Men" is one of John Steinbeck's best-known and most popular books. It is a powerful and moving story of the lonely and dispossessed. It was written during the mid-1930s in Pacific Grove and Los Gatos ranch, California. It's setting is a ranch South of Soledad, California in the 1930s.
It's about two friends, George and Lennie,who share a dream, the typical american dream of the 1930's, of having together a farm, and living out of "the fatta the land".
The book contains many themes, such as the predatory nature of human existence, the importance of fraternity and idealized relationships between men, the impossibility of the American Dream and the destructive imbalance of social power structures in American society.
The New York Times characterised the book as "A thriller, a gripping tale that you will not set down until it is finished".
Buy it without second thought!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 January 2015
This dense little fable has lost none of its power to hold and shock us. We may now be remote from the world in which Lennie, George and the others inhabit, but the facets of human nature, the struggle against hopeless conditions, and issues such as loneliness and loyalty have as much impact now as then. Curiously, the tension comes mainly not from suspense as to what may happen as from the near certain knowledge of what will happen. The power of the book and not least its ending is no less powerful for that..
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on 22 October 2003
Of mice and men is a great read! It is about two friends, George and Lennie, they are both itinerant farm workers (they go from place to place working on farms). Labouring from dawn til dusk, they both have a dream to keep them going, that some day they'll have enough money to own a small ranch and keep cows, chickens and rabbits. It is a very sad story because the dreams of two friends are shattered, as they drift apart, because they live in a world where friendship and dreams are alien.
The main two characters are George and Lennie, George is nimble minded and of quick wits, he ultimately has a good heart. Lennie is of huge physique, he is clumsy and soft, and can’t control his own strength; his heavy handedness leads to tragic consequences.
It isn’t written in any specific style, it is quite simply written, so you don’t have to sit next to a dictionary and keep looking up strange words. I enjoyed it because it is simply written and I could understand it. The narrative is quite confusing at the beginning because it lacks description but it ultimately gets clearer.
It is a modern classic set in rural areas, the countryside in southern California; it is set in farm areas and ranches.
I found this book really sad. It was interesting thinking of their dreams although they would seem quite ludicrous nowadays, but in 1930’s it would be quite a popular dream of many people. I think that the themes and emotions are very powerful. I was a little confused at the begging but it unravelled in the process of reading the book. It’s not like any book I have ever read before I think it was a good change in genre. I found it a good book and I think you will too.
By Rebecca Delahoyde
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Those boys from Penguin know a thing or two. When they rate a book as a classic, they know what they are doing. I read this book in a morning while on holiday and it is absolutely fantastic. To develop such totally believable characters, to tell such a touching story, and to explore such universal truths in such a short novel is a major, major achievement. So many contemporary novelists who view producing a doorstop as a virtue could learn so much from the sheer economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the prose in this marvellous book. Go out, buy it, enjoy it, and sob your heart out !
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on 13 December 2009
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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