"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, November 3, 2019

OF MICE and MEN (audiobook) by John Steinbeck



Originally published in 1937.
Penguin Audio edition published in 2011.
Read by Gary Sinise.

Duration: 3 hours, 11 minutes.
Unabridged. 

The narrator, Gary Sinise, as the character George in the 1992 film
version of this novel. 
This is probably the 5th or 6th time that I have read this book. I reviewed it as a print book 10 years ago (click here to see that review).

Gary Sinise read this book and did a fabulous job, especially with the voices of Lennie and Crooks. He played George in one of the many movie adaptations of this novel in 1992.

This was my first time hearing this book as an audiobook and I was very impressed that it was an even more effective book when read aloud than in print.

This review of one of the most-read, most-celebrated novels in the English-speaking world will not include a plot synopsis - what's the point? Instead, let me say that this short novel has an amazingly tight plot. In this 3 hour and 11 minute story, nearly every scene, and most lines of dialogue are relevant to the climax of the story.

Foreshadowing abounds in the first half hour of the audiobook, almost all of the conversations in the bunkhouse point towards the dramatic scene at the end and the point to the theme of the little guy never getting a real shot to improve his lot in life. Even the title, Of Mice and Men, is a reference to the poem To a Mouse by Scottish poet Robert Burns that was written when he accidentally destroyed a mouse's nest while plowing at the beginning of winter. The mouse had done everything right, only to lose it all to events beyond its control. The poem contains this line:

The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain


I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5. Highly recommended. It can be found on Amazon.com here: Of Mice and Men (audiobook) by John Steinbeck. 

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