Mini-review: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Image result for of mice and men john steinbeck book cover



They are an unlikely pair: George is “small and quick and dark of face”; Lennie, a man of tremendous size, has the mind of a young child. Yet they have formed a “family,” clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation.

Laborers in California’s dusty vegetable fields, they hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations of a flirtatious woman, nor predict the consequences of Lennie’s unswerving obedience to the things George taught him.


‘A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green.’

As much as studying a book to its death in school did my head in, this is one of those books that I finish wishing I had a class to analyse it with. There are plenty of symbolism’s and themes running throughout this little novella that I picked up on but I often wonder what I’ve missed.

Considering this book is a classic, which I usually have an innate fear of, I ended up really enjoying this hopeful but sad little story. I’ve never read a Steinbeck book before but I can already understand why he has such die-hard fans. His writing is simplistic but absolutely stunning – you completely lose yourself in the environment of his story.

I loved the characters in this book and the unconditional friendship shared between the unlikely duo of George and Lennie. I wish this one hadn’t had to end up like it did, but it presents a strong message about the American Dream and the harsh realities of life.

*Buy it here: Amazon UK | Book Depository | Wordery

24 Replies to “Mini-review: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck”

  1. I had to laugh, I also usually have an innate fear of the classics! 🙂 I haven’t read this one but have read a few of his others and didn’t enjoy them, but they were all assigned reading for school. Recently I read a quote from The Grapes of Wrath as an epigraph in a different book and was blown away! It was writing like you described so well – simplistic but absolutely stunning. I hadn’t liked that book when reading it in school and now I’m wondering if I was just too young to appreciate him. Great to see your review and thoughts on this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely think required reading at school can taint your views on a book because you feel like the reading it a chore at that point! I say that, but most of the boys who read this in school actually enjoyed this, so that must say something for its story! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just picked up Steinbeck’s The Pearl, which is the only one of his books that I’ve read before and remember fondly. I usually don’t like his work (even though I do like many other classics), but I’m curious to see what I think of The Pearl. I agree, though, it’s easy to tell why the people who do like his work are such die-hard fans.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So far I’m not getting into The Pearl as much as I remember liking it before. Hopefully I will enjoy it better soon, but I think I’m just going to end up being not a fan of Steinbeck’s.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I also am not usually a fan of classics, but I did really enjoy this book! I read it at school, and my teacher was so amazing that I fell in love with it! Great review😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great mini-review! 🙂 It really makes me want to re-read this book since it’s been so long. I remember the general plot (and of course how it ended) but it would be nice to read it again some time now that I’m older.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If your interest in Steinbeck is piqued, I cannot recommend East of Eden highly enough! I know it’s a bit long but I read it in under a week, it’s one of the most engrossing things I’ve ever read. But I also loved Of Mice and Men. Grapes of Wrath and The Pearl, not so much.

    Liked by 1 person

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