Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Linking up with Blonde... Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday.
The tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in Central California. They are George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. George acts as a father figure to Lennie, who is a very large, simple-minded man, calming him and helping to rein in his immense physical strength.
I never read this book in high school, which seems to be uncommon. But it was one of Pat's favorites from high school, so I decided to check it out.
Pat says it was his favorite because he liked the characters -- and I agree, they are really likeable. I think listening to the audio made Lennie even more endearing. The relationship between the two is never quite clear -- we know that George knew Lennie's aunt. For a long time I was sure we'd find out they were related, but we never seem to.
I didn't read the description of the book until I was over halfway through with it. By that time, the growing sense of dread I had while reading had already informed me that this would be a tragic story. And thank goodness it's a short book because I was going crazy thinking about what might happen.
Steinbeck writes in a simple way -- in fact, this book was written particularly so that it could be turned into a play with no major changes, and you can tell. But I liked the style.
One thing I didn't particularly enjoy was the portrayal of women. I've heard that Steinbeck is not generally kind to women in his books, and you can tell. Curly's wife is never given a name -- she is always "Curly's wife." She's seen as a tramp and as causing trouble. And also there's the old-school perspective that women having any interest in men makes them dirty. The only other female characters, briefly mentioned, are Lennie's nagging aunt and prostitutes.
I ended up giving it four stars, mostly because I couldn't stop reading and couldn't stop thinking about it.
Have any of you read Of Mice and Men? What did you think? Please be careful of spoilers in the comments!