Thursday 17 December 2015

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):
Streetwise George and his big, childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California. They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day they’ll find a place of their own and live the American dream. But dreams come at a price. Gentle giant Lennie doesn’t know his own strength, and when they find work at a ranch he gets into trouble with the boss’s daughter-in-law. Trouble so bad that even his protector George may not be able to save him…

My Review 
This was a really intriguing book, which I didn't really expect to like.
We read this book for the English lesson and therefore read it as a class, part by part. At first, I was kind of skeptical of the book for various reasons, but mostly because it didn't really seem like the kind of book I would typically read. It is a historical-fiction book based in the time of the Great Depression in America. Two guys named George and Lennie are desperately trying to find a new job to fulfill their Dream of owning their own land.
The book started off very slow. The descriptions were elaborate and went in a lot of detail. That is normally fine with me; however, if there is too much description and the author doesn't actually get on with the story, I would already start to get bored. Further on, the dialogue in the first chapter of the book interested me because of the contrast between George and Lennie's characters and personality, which I will talk about later. Steinbeck makes sure not to reveal too much information in the first chapter of the book, so that the reader will want to read more and find out what actually happened at George's previous job in Weed and how Lennie got him into trouble.
As mentioned beforehand, there is a stark contrast between George and Lennie, both in appearance and personality. George is a rather small guy compared to Lennie. He is described in a way that lets the reader know that he is pretty smart. Then comes Lennie, who always follows George like an obedient dog. Lennie is a big and tall man, who doesn't know his own strength. He is simple-minded and not really bright and therefore follows whatever George says. There were a lot of other characters present in this story as well, like Curley's wife, Candy, Curley, Crooks, Carlson and others. (I just realized that their names all start with the letter C...)
I really liked the way the story flowed and how it made the reader want to know the rest of the story. Knowing that Lennie doesn't know his own strength is an obvious premonition of trouble for the reader and creates suspense because the reader would suspect something to occur. However, I thought that the accents and the way the characters talked was kind of awkward to get into when I first started the book, but I slowly got used to it and also understood what the people were saying. I kind of like the way how the story ended, because it was left open, but I felt that the ending was also a bit abrupt.
Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!

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