Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
(Steinbeck Centennial Edition)

82%

25 Critic Reviews

There's a simplicity, a directness, a poignancy in the story that gives it a singular power, difficult to define. Steinbeck is a genius and an original.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A controversial tale of friendship and tragedy during the Great Depression

Over seventy-five years since its first publication, Steinbeck’s tale of commitment, loneliness, hope, and loss remains one of America’s most widely read and taught novels. An unlikely pair, George and Lennie, two migrant workers in California during the Great Depression, grasp for their American Dream. They hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the provocations, nor predict the consequences of Lennie's unswerving obedience to the things George taught him.

Of Mice and Men represents an experiment in form, which Steinbeck described as “a kind of playable novel, written in a novel form but so scened and set that it can be played as it stands.” A rarity in American letters, it achieved remarkable success as a novel, a Broadway play, and three acclaimed films. This edition features an introduction by Susan Shillinglaw, one of today’s leading Steinbeck scholars.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About John Steinbeck

See more books from this Author
No writer is more quintessentially American than John Steinbeck. Born in 1902 in Salinas, California, Steinbeck attended Stanford University before working at a series of mostly blue-collar jobs and embarking on his literary career. Profoundly committed to social progress, he used his writing to raise issues of labor exploitation and the plight of the common man, penning some of the greatest American novels of the twentieth century and winning such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He received the Nobel Prize in 1962, "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." Today, more than thirty years after his death, he remains one of America's greatest writers and cultural figures.
 
Published September 1, 1993 by Penguin Books. 116 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, History, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Of Mice and Men
All: 25 | Positive: 23 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
on Oct 05 2011

There's a simplicity, a directness, a poignancy in the story that gives it a singular power, difficult to define. Steinbeck is a genius and an original.

Read Full Review of Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck Ce... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by MorganKay on May 30 2014

The meaning of the novel is that you should work hard to accomplish your dream in life because if you set yourself towards your goal, you can achieve anything. But if you don’t learn from your mistakes and know your weaknesses, you can fall hard in the end and that’s what happened to Lennie.

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Teen Ink

Good
on May 29 2014

...when I sat down to ventureinto the world of literature, my attitude was certainly not one of eagerness.Despite all this, I was completely enraptured.

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Teen Ink

Below average
Reviewed by Corlupa on May 29 2014

The plot, like the characters, was also simple. People have tried to tell me that something is always happening in the story, but the things that happen are pointless.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by JEREMY C on May 29 2014

The shocking ending, detailed descriptions, interesting character traits, and original plot make this classic a book for all to read...

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Run2Liv3 on May 29 2014

Read this classic novel by John Steinbeck and discover what finally brings George over the edge and find out how this remarkable bond between man and mind gets broken.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Lucy on May 29 2014

Fantasies of the future don’t always turn out as desired, so read this story to find out what lies in the future of Lennie and George.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Elizabeth M. on May 29 2014

It seems as if everything in the novel relates to or is a result of Lennie's mental handicap. This is what makes his “madness” so important and why it brings much significance to the whole work.

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Yahoo! Voices

Excellent
Reviewed by Lois Weisberg on Feb 04 2012

From the moment the story begins there is a foreboding of bad things to come. But never in my wildest imagination could I visualize the way this chilling story ended.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Stephenson Chea on Mar 11 2010

In putting the two characters together, they complete each other's need for physical strength and mental strength...By joining these characters together, Steinbeck presents an important message...

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Quick Book Reviews

Good
on Feb 17 2013

...regardless of whether you read this novel as a kid or only heard about for the first time just now, you should definitely give it a chance as there are very few works of literature with so much meaning behind them as Of Mice and Men.

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http://www.bookdrum.com

Good
Reviewed by Victoria Hooper on May 29 2014

One of the great American classics, Of Mice and Men is a tense, deep and beautifully told story. Hugely controversial, its themes of loneliness, prejudice and alienation are still sharply relevant today.

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Leeswammes' Blog

Good
Reviewed by Leeswammes on Feb 12 2012

The book was written very well. The story slowly revealed more of who Lennie and George were and what problems Lennie had. It was clear that things would never be favorable for him. A tragic story that I enjoyed reading.

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Lit and Life

Excellent
Reviewed by Sheri on Feb 18 2009

For the genre Fiction:American Classic, I am giving this book a 10 out of 10. It’s a story with so much depth that you could discuss it forever!

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Pretty Books

Good
on Dec 08 2013

Of Mice and Men is another book I’d recommend to people who feel intimidated and daunted by classics.

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Of Books and Reading

Excellent
on May 29 2014

Steinbeck depicts the impossibility of dreams being achieved and explores brotherhoods in humans – the strengths, the weakness in man and sometimes the angst. Of Mice and Men is a classic in every sense that should not be missed.

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You've GOTTA Read This

Good
Reviewed by Sandy on Oct 20 2011

And don't even get me started on the cruelty to animals...I think it is safe to call the story powerful. But it contained more power than I could handle.

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Caribous Mom

Good
Reviewed by Wendy on Jul 13 2007

Steinbeck describes setting beautifully, and wraps it around the characters whose personalities emerge through their dialogue and relationships with each other.

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Reading In Winter

Good
Reviewed by Kristilyn on Nov 30 2011

This really is a book that should be read more in schools–it’s a real eye-opener. Touching, sad, and timeless, Of Mice and Men is a classic that should be read in every generation.

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http://www2.webster.edu

Good
Reviewed by Bob Corbett on Apr 01 2014

I finished it in a single day but was utterly limp at the end; no energy to do anything further, my eyes watering at any thought of Lennie’s terrible situation...

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A Novel Menagerie

Excellent
Reviewed by Sheri on Feb 18 2009

For the genre Fiction:American Classic, I am giving this book a 10 out of 10. It’s a story with so much depth that you could discuss it forever!

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http://www.inismagazine.ie

Good
on May 29 2014

There are many beautifully drawn characters here, and the power of Steinbeck’s writing is such that long after you have reached the end of the book, you can recollect each individual in detail.

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Bianca Pellet

Good
Reviewed by Bianca Pellet on Jul 21 2009

...an author's job is therefore not entirely to bring a different world to their readers, but rather to combine it with themes that are familiar across humanity in order to create a truly great story that echoes down the ages.

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Escapism Through Books

Good
on Jan 12 2012

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.

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Rough Edges

Good
Reviewed by James Reasoner on Feb 12 2010

It’s very, very good, very evocative, very suspenseful. Indeed, a great book, if for no other reason than the influence it had on popular culture.

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Reader Rating for Of Mice and Men
87%

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Joshua Sloan 19 Apr 2013

Rated the book as 5 out of 5

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Ben Fenton 12 Apr 2014

Bleak and yet easy to read. A lovely book, which doesn't confuse with silly long words but instead is written as a great piece of easily understood literature. Like Mockingbird (and set in the same...

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