Of Mice and Men Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1993
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About the Author
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 laboring class: In Dubious Battle (1936), Of Mice and Men (1937), and the book considered by many his finest, The Grapes of Wrath (1939). The Grapes of Wrath won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1939.
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), 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).
Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962, and, in 1964, he was presented with the United States Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Steinbeck died in New York in 1968. Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures.
- Lexile measure : 630L
- Item Weight : 2.4 ounces
- Mass Market Paperback : 107 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0140177396
- ISBN-13 : 978-0140177398
- Dimensions : 7.4 x 4.2 x 0.4 inches
- Publisher : Penguin Books; Reissue edition (September 1, 1993)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book looks much like the picture but mine is more worn, has a little wear on the edges of the cover and the pages have that aged tea stained color and it smells old, Just the way I love em. Mine is actually from 1947.
The CDs are not labeled with chapters and times. I originally thought there would be 2 chapters per cd but once chapter 2 ended, chapter 3 started, so this isn't the case. I can't speak for the other CDs, and perhaps this was a space issue, but a little annoying. In addition, I use the audio in different classes who are sometimes in different parts of the book, and having a Table of Contents sheet inside the box or on each CD would be great. Instead, I have to figure out what number track I have to skip to by stopping and listening if I didn't pay attention before and write down the track or time stamp during the previous reading (this can be easily forgotten if we get sidetracked or if I have to divert my attention elsewhere, which, with over 25 kids in a class, happens all the time).
Sinise does a nice job lending voice to the different characters but some students find his narration boring (teenagers!), but that's subjective. He maintains an calm, monotone voice throughout the reading.
Overall, if you're buying this for personal use than I would definitely recommend it; however, if you're a teacher than you may have the same issues I do. Not a deal breaker, but annoying that Penguin did not include something I thought was a given.
My book is from The Viking Press. It contains six short novels. They are mostly chronological in the order that John Steinbeck published them. The one exception is that the first short novel in the book is "Tortilla Flat". The second is "The Red Pony". These were composed, I think, in the opposite order. Mr. Jackson explains this. These are followed by "Of Mice and Men", "The Moon Is Down", "Cannery Row", and "The Pearl".
I read "The Red Pony First". There is a lot in "The Red Pony" which reminds me "Of Mice and Men". It is episodic. The first episode is "The Gift", which is about a child Jody, and his pony. It is beautiful, poignant, and ultimately painful. The second episode is "The Great Mountains". It actually is about a visitor to the same ranch that is the setting for first story. Jody and his family are in this story, along with an elderly visitor. The next episode is "The Promise" which is, more or less, a sequel to the first story. It is somewhat painful. The last episode is "The Leader of The People" which is a bittersweet story about a senior citizen member of the same family at the ranch. It is my personal favorite episode.
I completely enjoyed this novella "Of Mice And Men". It is a relatively short work. It was written in 1937, before The Grapes of Wrath. I had previously read The Grapes of Wrath. I enjoyed this book more. I have very little formal education in regard to literature. So my opinion may be very faulty. Anyway, I felt this work was a more artistic work than The Grapes of Wrath.
This work reminded me more of Ermest Hemingway. I was very impressed. As is common with many shorter works, the author leaves a lot of questions unanswered. The reader is left to speculate why certain issues develope and are resolved in certain manners. I felt all the aspects of the relationship between George and Lenny were slightly unclear. The book ended with me wishing I knew more about George. My guess is that is intentional on the part of Mr. Steinbeck.
I would like to note that I purchased this "Of Mice and Men" on Kindle and at the same time purchased the audiobook narrated by Gary Sinise. I felt Mr. Sinise was really excellent and I highly recommend the audiobook version as read by Mr. Sinise. Mr. Sinise really added to the pleasure of the reading experience with his very professional performance.
The story is about two men named George and Lennie as they try to find a way to make a living in California as farmhands. The pair are forced to be nomads due to the instability of Lennie, whom George takes it upon himself to care for. The only thing that keeps them both going is their dream of having a farm of their own one day, one where Lennie dreams of taking care of the rabbits, but the pair find out that this tiny beacon of hope may not be enough to get them through their current job.
The introduction informs the reader that this novella was not meant to be historically accurate, but rather an expression of the feelings and lives of the men who wandered to California from the dust bowl in search of work. As an emotional expression, it works very well and leaves the reader feeling the hopelessness engulfing the lives of the men just trying to find a way to get by. It's short, sad, sobering and well worth the short time it takes to read.
Top reviews from other countries
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.
Lennie and George are two immortal characters that live well beyond the pages of this book. It is a heart-breaking story of loyalty and love, of friendship and society, and of hope and despondency. Lennie is the main discussion point in the book and it is such a sad story about the impact of a serious personality disorder, and how it can have devastating consequences to the person and those around them. I did, however, think a lot about George and how he had enabled the friendship to grow and how he tried to provide a protective shield around Lennie. He was constantly driving Lennie to remember statements he needed to recite if challenged or actions he needed to follow if confronted. They dreamed and talked constantly about the smallholding they had been saving for. They would have different crops and animals (particularly rabbits for Lennie) and be masters of their own domain. Life can be cruel when hope and aspirations can be dashed with an unforeseen event and twist of fate.
The story does have a sexist feel to it in the sense that the woman (no name) was the downfall of Lennie and was only ever referred to as Curley’s wife. There is an inference that she was Curley’s possession and perhaps her behaviour was to illustrate she was not the possession of one, but free to be with many.
George showed sincere and deep love for Lennie in resolving the issue in a way which was best for Lennie while leaving himself with remorse, guilt and loss for the rest of his life.
Why oh why did it take me so long to read this book – don’t make the same mistake.
I don’t remember it being on the curriculum for school books, but when I was researching the category of ‘a classic you didn’t read in school’ this came up.
As I’ve said many times I’m not a big fan of ‘classic’ books, they usually seem non-sensical, and I can’t usually follow them. So, I chose this because it was short and I wouldn’t have to suffer for too long.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. It was simply written, easy to follow and straightforward in its storyline.
The characters were likeable, although there are a lot to remember and most beginning with the letter C. So they did become a little inter-mixed, and I’d have to stop and remember who everyone was.
It wasn’t overly descriptive, as there is a lot of dialogue. I loved the representation of the dialect; this really made it feel as if you were on the ranch with them listening to them chew the fat!
I even teared up a little at the end (and during with the dogs), but I wasn’t expecting the outcome, and it was really sad.
So this was a pleasant surprise of a read. I read it fast as it was so easy and had a relaxed style of writing.
George looks out for Lennie and knows that many would not want a man like Lennie working for them, prejudice at this point in history is ripe so anyone being slightly different is not acceptable to many. Even though George is often frustrated by the simple nature of Lennie, he is a friend and will support him. They are each other has.
This is a simple tale of friendship between two men travelling for work. Rather than being loners as many travelling labourers are, they have a bond in their friendship, they are able to talk about their dreams for the future and it gives them hope. George tries his best to keep Lennie out of trouble, but this is not always possible and misunderstandings do happen.
This is a quick read at only 121 pages and is easy to read in one sitting. It’s style is one I like, a slow meandering yet descriptive and emotional one. It explores various inequalities and prejudices that were relevant at the time. A wonderful read that slowly rolls along until it picks up speed as a sense of tension begins to build.
This is a book I would recommend to readers who enjoy American Social History, Literary Fiction and Classic Fiction.
This particular book is also written for GCSE study, which I don't intend to comment on, as many have already done so.
For me the main player here, and centre of attention, is Lennie. He is intellectually disabled, with a childlike imagination. A comparison to some degree would be Forest Gump or `Karl' from `Sling Blade.'
He drifts during the Great Depression, and looks for work under Roosevelt's 'New Deal' , with his best and only friend George, who continually mothers him and keeps him out of mischief. They are like chalk and cheese but need each other? They follow the American dream of one day owning their own bit of land - it eventually transpires that they are not the only ones?
Eventually they end up on a farm in California and this is where we meet several different characters and the story unfolds. Steinbeck's writing style describes them all perfectly well and this is a feature of his writing. It is also quite clear that he is very knowledgeable about farm life and also the countryside that surrounds it.
Whilst I'd seen the film first, I still found the book totally engaging, even though it was very similar to the film. The characters (including the leads) do leave a lasting impression and stir the old grey matter! They are all so different - even though the tale is so brief. They raise questions of: loyalty, pity, vulnerability, sadness, anger & inferiority, loneliness / isolation and of course, from that period - racism.
Finally, what helps to make this book such an interesting read is the dialogue and slang used - the book's glossary is very helpful.