Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck
1937

Nobel-winner John Steinbeck’s classic – second in reknown only, perhaps, to his Grapes of Wrath – follows the relationship of two migrant farmworkers in Depression-era California.

George – bright, wary and wise to the struggles of the world – wanders in search of work with the giant and intellectually-challenged Lennie who he has taken into his care, and whose unending faith and optimism George nurtures with a dream of one day saving enough money for a little place of their own, a place to tend rabbits and live “off the fatta the lan'”. Running from a misunderstanding which resulted in accustations of attempted rape against Lennie, who is drawn to pat soft things while entirely unaware of how his strength may appear menacing, George and Lennie take ranch jobs under the dangerous eye of Curly, the small and mean boss’ son whose Napoleon-complex makes him particularly hostile to Lennie. As their dream of self-reliance appears closer than ever before, their world falls apart once again; again on the run, George confronts the reality that a man like Lennie can have no peace in the hard, cynical and threatening world of men.

A story of the work and Depression, hope and tragedy, the futile but lasting power of the American dream, and above all else a story of love among men, there is good reason Of Mice and Men is one of the most famous novels of the twentieth century.

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