"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

  I thought it was great before, even better when I re-read it 15 years later.

John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
I used to have a considerable classroom library (I have since switched schools and there is no Silent Sustained Reading program at the new school so I donated my library) and I always would hand Of Mice and Men to any kid that said he or she hated reading and "there's nothing good to read." I had a hard time keeping this book on the shelves and since I had an "honor system" check out plan this book kept on disappearing on me since the students seemed to have felt it was worth keeping and I had to make runs to the local used book store to re-stock it.

But, I hadn't read it in a while so I decided to see if it was still one of my favorites.

If anything, this book is more powerful than it was before. The loss at the end is more powerful, both the loss with Lennie and with the loss of a dream. Themes abound, such as the loss of the American Dream, loneliness, friendship and the responsibilities of friendship. Perhaps, even some religious themes with all of the events starting on a Friday and ending on a Sunday.

But, all of that would be pointless if the story were not well-written and poignant. It's short length only serves to heighten the power of the story.

One of the best American novels. Period.

I rate this novel 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

Reviewed on January 31, 2009.

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