Saturday, July 23, 2011
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck~★★★★★
Audio Book Cover: "Clinging to each other in their loneliness and alientation, George and his simple-minded friend Lenny (this appears to be a typo of the publisher; his name is spelled Lennie in the book from what I can find) dream, as drifters will, of a place to call their own. But after they come to work on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, their hopes, like 'the best laid schemes o' mice an' men,' begin to go awry. Steinbeck's tale of commitment, loneliness, hope, and loss remains one of America's most widely read and beloved novels."
Taryn's Review: I had not expected this book to have the powerful emotional pull that it had on me. I really had no idea what the book was about when I started it, and it left me contemplating about the decision George had to make.
Gary Sinise read the book beautifully and Steinbeck did a marvelous job with the story. His storyline really highlighted the complexity of things that are sometimes deemed black-and-white. His words grabbed me and I was able to connect with the characters more and more throughout the book without necessarily realizing I had become sympathetic. I cried at the end of the book! I am glad I listened to it on the way home from work rather than to work when the book ended, otherwise I would have looked like a mess!
In a way, the book shook me up a little. It really made me think about guilt, justice, and intent. George and Lennie's relationship was reminiscent of watching a big brother take care of a younger one; the protection, the harshness, the gentleness. We all know those emotions in our own close relationships and when it came down to it, George was dealt a cruel choice to have to make regarding Lennie. I definitely recommend this book. It's a rather short book, so whether you listen or read, it is worth the time. The audio book does have an annoying harmonica at the beginning, but it went away quickly.