Of Mice and Men (1937) by John Steinback
Of Mice and Men is a crafty bit of storytelling. It follows two fellow men, Lennie and George, who happens to be off looking for work just to supply for themselves and so that they may follow their American dream—having a place to live on their own with a barn and a farm. George is a lean, small guy while Lennie so happens to be this really big and bulky person who can easily kill mice by just petting it. When the two men find work at Old Candy’s place, neither of them were expecting the trials and tribulations that come to hinder their obsolete dream.
This novel is brilliant. It’s not getting the free pass just because of the label “classic” but it truly is. What Steinbeck does so well is that he is able to pack a punch in just a hundred pages. He gets the reader emotionally invested with the characters because they feel real. Not necessarily relatable but anyone with a warm and beating heart may empathize to these people. The bond George and Lennie have throughout the entire read is so strong; they are the unexpected underdogs even though they’re having a lot in their plate. It’s hard not to root for these characters, to go with their series of cheers and tears.
The themes of loneliness and isolation are handled superbly as well. It is through the dialogue where the reader truly gets into the characters and what they feel, how they always feel misunderstood (which is an emotion I typically experience). Despite being a quick read, the novel raises some serious questions about discrimination that is important to society nowadays. It may be easy to know where the plot is headed, but this is not a novel about plot, but more of a novel about the different themes that are being faced by the masses, both positive and negative.
Of Mice and Men feels like a quick parable. It tells a story, and gives some quick morals on the way with an emotional ending. This is definitely a timeless classic that everyone deserves to read (especially when one does not have the time to read a thousand-paged masterpiece).
Highly recommended! Read March, 2017.