Published on July 16, 2006 By pseudosoldier In Fiction
Scrounging through boxes containing remnants of my past life, I ran across some paperbacks. Most of them were mine, and I had read them long ago, but it seems that at some point my father's books overflowed into my old room before my mother packed up my things.

I found Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men in amongst the bad Piers Anthony novels (the Xanth series) and grabbed it along with Dune by Herbert, slipping them into my carry-on bag while I was packing.

OMAM made for quick reading on the flight from the east coast into Texas, probably about half the flight off and on. I was really impressed with this piece of inspired and skillful writing. The author uses enough description to get the bare mental picture established, which works great as I wind up filling in the details. It's a short, short novel, pushing through it was easy, and the payoff ending was foreseeable but still effective. Personally, I was absorbed enough that I didn't see it coming until the characters had made up their mind...

I need to grab some of his other works (after I work through more reading, I guess; I still have maybe a dozen books to finish).

Comments
on Jul 16, 2006
Of Mice and Men is one of my favorites. I read it first in school which takes some of the enjoyment out of it but the discussions after reading it are nice. That's one thing about reading a book on your own, it's nice to have someone to discuss it with afterwards. I would like to find a book club but haven't yet.
on Jul 16, 2006
I read that book many years ago and enjoyed it a lot. I read Grapes of Wrath after that and thought it was even better than OMAM. His writing brings you right in and you live the life of his characters. Would highly recommend GoW to you if you're looking for another Steinbeck.

dh
on Jul 16, 2006

Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors.  The Grapes of Wrath is better than Mice, and East of Eden is even better than that.  I actually hated one of the characters in Grapes, which is a good indicator of how he draws reader in - I can usually read and remain separate from the story, but I can't do that with Steinbeck.

I think you've inspired me to go re-read East of Eden!

on Jul 16, 2006
I enjoyed Of Mice and Men as well. Was always moved by Steinbeck's writing and ended up reading most of his novels. My favourite was The Winter of Our Discontent and, due to this thread, have decided to reread it.
on Jul 18, 2006
"Cannery Row" is my favorite Steinbeck novel. If you haven't read it, you should, as it is all too often overlooked, and, more to the point, is a quick read (much like "Of Mice and Men").

Steinbeck had a compelling way of painting a character with words without moralizing them. He left it up to us to decide whether their traits were admirable or despicable, and he just "painted" them as he saw them. That objectivity, is, I believe, what makes his characters so compelling
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