Of Mice and Men
By John Steinbeck
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780140177398, 112pp.)
Publication Date: September 1, 1993
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A controversial tale of friendship and tragedy during the Great Depression
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 thriller, a gripping tale . . . that you will not set down until it is finished. Steinbeck has touched the quick." —The New York Times
"All of us have chased the American dream so there's something very universal about it," the Irish actor says. O'Dowd and James Franco star in a new Broadway production of Steinbeck's novella. More at NPR.org
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”Of Mice and Men is a thriller, a gripping tale running to novelette length that you will not set down until it is finished. It is more than that; but it is that. . . . In sure, raucous, vulgar Americanism, Steinbeck has touched the quick in his little story.”The New York Times
“Brutality and tenderness mingle in these strangely moving pages. . . . The reader is fascinated by a certainty of approaching doom.”Chicago Tribune
”A short tale of much power and beauty. Mr. Steinbeck has contributed a small masterpiece to the modern tough-tender school of American fiction.”Times Literary Supplement [London]