I really think I love John Steinbeck, which is surprising to me, because I never would have thought of myself as a Steinbeck reader. There's just something about the way he writes that cuts through all the bullshit and pretense and just tells it like it is, and I find that really refreshing. Sometimes they aren't easy, and sometimes they hurt, but it's the kind of hurt that, hopefully, makes us want to be better. At least it makes me feel that way.
I know it'll be hard for those of you reading this to believe, but I can
I really felt this book, as seems to be the case with the Steinbeck books I've read lately. I could identify with all of the characters in some way, and I love that. In such a short book, it's easy to get the characters very wrong... either they are caricatures, or they are cliches or they just plain stink and are boring. I really felt like I understood these characters, even if I didn't like them. At the end of the book, when Lennie asks George to yell at him, isn't he going to hit him, isn't he going to tell him he'd be better off without him, I found that just heartbreaking... that Lennie's sense of normalcy stems from George's frustration with him. I felt for George too. He only wants to take care of Lennie, but sometimes it's so hard. He can't be everywhere at once, and has had to make so many sacrifices in order to keep Lennie out of the kind of trouble that just comes from not knowing any better.
This story is just a smidge over 100 pages long, so it won't take you long to read at all, and I highly recommend it. Or you could take about 3 1/2 hours and let Gary Sinise read it to you, which is what I did. I wasn't sure about Gary at first, but he grew on me really quickly. I've never seen the movie, so I didn't know that he'd starred in the remake. Gary Sinise has a very recognizable voice, at least I think so, and it's kinda the opposite of my "preferred reader", but I thought he did a wonderful job reading this. The voices and the characters were all just right, and I'm not normally a "voice" fan when it comes to audio... I want the story to speak for itself.
This one definitely did that. This is the kind of story that will stick with me for a long time. As I was listening, I kept writing notes about thoughts that struck me, feelings that I had, concepts and themes in the book, and all sorts of interesting stuff that I don't really know how to express without spoiling this wonderful little story.
"The best laid schemes of mice and men oft' go astray." -- Robert Burns
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