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on 7 September 2016
My daughter had to buy this book for her English Literature GCSE Exam and she told me it was very convenient. The pages that summarise the chapter helped her find the main points she needed to revise for her exams. They were also a useful way to go back and remember what happened without having to re-read the entire chapter.

There were questions at the end of the book that you could answer that helped her to understand the context, content, author and characters better.

My daughter tells me Of Mice and Men is a detailed and intricate story written in the 1930s by John Steinbeck. It tells the story of George and Lennie, two migrant ranch workers, sharing a dream of one day owning their own ranch and also their struggle of trying to survive due to lack of money. The book also includes the most important issues regarding society in America during the great depression which were my daughters GCSE topics for this novel such as racism, sexism, prejudice and the American Dream. It is a highly thought provoking story wherein the simplest of sentences has a profound deeper meaning.

Overall it’s a very good book with useful summarised pages and questions that make it easy to understand and use as a revision tool for GCSE English Literature. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who either is doing this for their GCSEs or has a teenager that is.
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on 8 February 2016
Of Mice and Men is a well-known classic, and with valid reason. The book may seem rather boring (as many books about the Great Depression may seem) but it is actually a great tribute to literature.

Steinbeck is a great writer who makes brilliant use of description for his characters and in his reflective prose shows how children are, in some cases, better people than adults in the way that they do not judge or do not see people or things from that point of view.

The book shows some of the other characters' feelings about the situations they are being put in and shows how Steinbeck feels about racism and sexism. The book covers a variety of topics including racism, sexism, the Depression, in very little time. A well written though-provoking book that is a must read for anyone.
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on 4 June 2013
The story is very intriguing. Includes a summary of each section and this helps in the revision for an exam if you need to find a certain part of the book quickly. At the back of the book and in each section, it also contains questions that you can answer.
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on 22 February 2016
It's a short story really - I was surprised by its brevity considering its vaunted literary status.

Nothing wrong with it exactly. An economical, tightly composed, tragic tale of a man, Lennie Small, not quite meant for this world. His clumsy, brute physicality, combined with his mental simplicity, an accident waiting to happen. And about his tender friendship, of course, with the patient and stalwart, George Milton.

Perhaps the outcome is too heavily telegraphed, and the men's Californian dream of land and plenty overplayed to mawkish excess? Still, there's no doubt it packs a punch in a cool, understated, no nonsense way. But, ah, those goddam rabbits!
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on 31 December 2015
A great book can inspire generations by perceptive characterisation and a meaningful take on the human condition. The farm that large, lugubrious and slightly backward Lennie and his companion George work on has a feel of anyplace, anytime near anytown. It's not a cheerful place, but has its' routines, had Steinbeck wanted, he could have asked Judy Garland to stop off there on the way to Oz. It might have cheered us all up, had she done so.

But there's something about misery, especially fatalistic misery, that is significant and may even help us consider our own direction of travel. Dickens was begged by readers of his penny magazines to end some of his books happily - but rightly refused.

Travelling to different places, hewing a rough living, dreaming of their own land, with rabbits for Lennie to pet, presumably a cathouse nearby for George to socialise in, without the insecurity, drudgery and hopelessness, makes this an aspirational novel. For a while. Until Lennie veers closer and closer to doing 'bad things', albeit, innocuously.

John Steinbeck didn't need to write a 964 page novel like War and Peace to capture emotion, loyalty, buddy-mentality and destiny. Curley's wife - never named, just an appendage of Curley - is as much a victim of fate as of circumstances. The mannerisms, boredom, dislike of her jealous husband and belief she could have become someone in Hollywood is the same now for wannabes on tv talent contests and reality shows. All that's missing is talent; this great book's got plenty of reality.

The climax is bitter, sad, but inevitable. Those horses in the barn are still clanging and rattling their halter chains, flies are still buzzing, Curley probably has a new wife - called Curley's wife - Candy, Crookes, Slim and the others are still breaking their backs, hoping for the American Dream to become a reality with their own purty little farm and cottage; but Lennie is petting no more.
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on 5 January 2014
This is a mercifully thin book that tells a deep story very quickly. Right from the start we learn that Lennie is not right in the head; we're not sure to what extent he `has issues' but his comforts in life are a dead mouse that he plays with, and reassurance from his guiding hand, George, who has taken him under his wing. The dead mouse plays its part in preparing us for the senseless waste that is to follow and the indifference to it.

The two men are looking for work and headed to a ranch where the situation is set to explode. None of the characters in this book are attractive; nor are their situations any more appealing. More disturbing that any of the events in this book is the news that many schools (and even libraries) have banned it because of the racial prejudice shown by the characters in the book. This is rather like banning a book about a diamond robbery on the grounds that it contains illegal acts. Rather than allow our corrupt society to rewrite history and censor the past, we should be allowed to read this sort of book and judge for ourselves the sort of society that there was then and is now.

The hopelessness of the two men's plight is demonstrated in the final chapter. Don't look forward to a happy ending but prepare to be treated intelligently by a book that will stay with you for a long time.
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No audio book of one of my favourite books is ever perfect, and this is no exception. It can't be, for it's never the voice you had in your head, or a voice from any of the movie versions, and so on.

That's not a criticism, as this is an absolutely excellent rendition. As ever, when you can hear someone else, you notice different things, and some of the language,particularly early on, gives this a slightly harder edge in the George-Lennie relationship than I was used to.

However, it's a great thing to listen to, a really good rendition of one of my very favourite books. It was going to be ****, but after this, it can surely only be *****
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on 4 March 2016
The powerful story of two unlikely travelling companions,Lennie and George,at the time of The Great Depression. This book is full of interesting and complex characters.With themes of friendship,control,vulnerability, racism,sexism and prejudice- to name but a few.You can't help but get drawn in as you read.
I have had to read and study this novel 11 times,as part of my job in education,supporting teenagers and I still find something new to discuss,new insights and opinions are brought out every time we return to it.It is a timeless classic.
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on 24 April 2015
This version of the book is intended for those who are studying the story. You can still buy the book "just to read", as the notes are at the beginning of every chapter, however it would be a little confusing and irritating to have to skip through those parts. For that reason I would recommend buying this book if you intend to study it. Also at the back of the book is a Glossary, which is very useful for understanding of the story. I like the fact it is a hard-cover copy, which helps for a harsh school/college environment as it is fairly tough.

All in all perfect for studying the story and even helps you out a little with the study process. I would definitely recommend this edition of the book!
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VINE VOICEon 12 November 2012
Unlike many reviewers, I wasn't lucky enough to read this back when I was at school (having Lord of the Flies thrust upon me instead.) However I'm on a mission to read all the classics and modern classics of the literary world, and yesterday I read this. Wow. WHAT a read. It amazes me that 100 pages can be so brilliantly written, so powerful, and so profound, that I was left a sobbing mess for a good thirty minutes after I turned the final page. I already want to re-read it, because the motifs and themes are so intricate and yet so simply portrayed that I think it will all gain more meaning on further reading. However I am still too sad about the tragedy of Lennie and George to consider reading it again just yet!

Please, if you are reading this review because you aren't sure whether it's worth paying nearly a tenner for such a short book, I promise you it will be the best tenner you have ever spent. I wish I hadn't waited until I was 27 to discover it, but I'm definitely glad I got there in the end.

NB - A note on the Kindle edition. I got it on my Kindle because it was cheaper and kind of got my just desserts - the formatting isn't great, so where there should be paragraph breaks that break up scenes or time of day, the text just carries on, which in places was a bit confusing. So I'd recommend spending the extra on the paperback!
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