Streetwise George and his big, childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California. They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day they’ll find a place of their own and live the American dream. But dreams come at a price. Gentle giant Lennie doesn’t know his own strength, and when they find work at a ranch he gets into trouble with the boss’s daughter-in-law. Trouble so bad that even his protector George may not be able to save him....
©1937 John Steinbeck (P)2010 Hachette Digital
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
There was a time in my life when I read at least two books every year. These were Conrad's, "Heart of Darkness" and this one. Both are short by modern standards (recent Booker award notwithstanding), but each gives as complete a picture as one might hope for through the medium of words. I say this to disclose my bias. Yet, it has been ten years since I last read this classic. It has always been inspiring for me, particularly the account of the the demise of the old dog and the final juxtaposition of the two friends' farewell. He does juxtaposed story lines so well. But what I love most about Steinbeck is that he does not waste a word. Each one seems especially chosen, and it's hard to think of a better one to replace it. Truly intelligent design.
The reader will probably know the story and perhaps even the ending. I won't precise it. But even knowing one or both won't spoil the climax in my view.
The performance was first class too. If I could have given 4.5 stars, I would've. The only reason I haven't given 5 stars is because of the relativity against which I rate Ian Richardson and Linden Gregory. Peters is really very good indeed. His transition from male to female, black, to white, Lenny to George is almost faultless. I would not let the lost half star deter you from this excellent interpretation of a loved favourite.
Moving further from work extended my daily commute... thank God for Audible.
As much I appreciated this piece of fiction, I have to confess that I’m thankful it was only a short time spent in the heartrending world of George and Lennie.
In some ways this is an easy listen --- the pacing is brisk, the characters are well-defined, the narrative is engaging and the performance from Clarke Peters is a delight.
But in some other very important ways, “Of Mice and Men” is a real challenge. The characters attitudes toward race and gender may be historically accurate but are – nonetheless – pretty hard to take. And the sense of impending calamity imbued in the writing may be masterful, but left me spent. By the time we reached the final scenes, my heart was truly broken.
I really did respect this novella and thoroughly recommend it, but can’t say I “enjoyed” it.
An Aussie audiblian, I joined recently whe I got sick of music and talk back radio. Utterly hooked and trying to re educate myself.
This is a grim portrayal of a short period in the life of two men who have nothing but each other. It is classic Steinbech at his best, depicting depressing themes that lead us to the final punch in guts ending. I will listen to it again for sure.
I Love the way Steinbech unfolds the story through carefully crafted dialogue, exposing the downtrodden characters and the hopelessness of their situation.
Of course the central character Lenny has to be my favourite. He is the true victim of the story, despite him being considered the perpetrator of the crime by most of the other characters.
Steinbech is a master at painting depressing scenes and equally depressing characters,but still luring us to want more for them, to crave the good outcome for them. Of course it never comes, and the powerful and confronting finale leaves you feeling shocked at the rawness of these people and at your own naiveity. Masterful writing.
There is a reason this story has been around for so long. The narration was wonderful and completely drew us into the story. We were right there with George and Lenny.
The rabbits. :)
Loved Lenny. The voicing was spot on,
a film you will never forget
This is one of those 'must read before you die books'. It is a classic and a great tale. one i'll never forget.
I bought this as my son was studying Of Mice and Men for GCSE English Literature, and we listened to it in the car on the way to school. Even though he was already familiar with the story and the characters, my son and his younger brother thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audiobook read in an authentic American dialect by the excellent narrator. I loved it too, particularly the unhurried pace which is thoroughly in keeping with the novel.
"A true classic"
I studied this book in High school and have always loved it. This audio book brought the characters alive once more and allowed me a perspective into the life of Americans during the depression. An excellent book and an excellent audio rendition.
"good for one's general culture"
Easy listening, very short, the sort of book that makes up part of a learned person's library. Lots of interesting themes to ponder upon.
A very touching story. Was on the reading list for university. The narrator is excellent and the story is deserving of it's 'classic' status.
Short, tough, endearing.
Great set of voices; strong style that allows you to get into the "deep southness" of the characters. Very much made it for me.
I enjoyed the story and moreso the performance. I think it's a must-read for anyone given its shortness and warming characters. Has a strong ending too!
"A gentle read"
I probably would never have read this if my son hadn't been studying it at school, but he was quite inspired by it so I downloaded the audiobook. I loved the narrator's interpretation, and the voices he gave the characters really brought it to life. It wasn't what I expected - I really enjoyed it, and felt real empathy for the brothers, and even a little for poor Curly's wife. A sad, but not unexpected, ending to a beautifully written tale.
"A school read"
I downloaded this for my daughter who is studying it for GCSE and decided to listen to it myself. To start with I found the accent annoying but soon got use to it. I found it a moving story, and a reminder of how dfferences of race and disability were not accepted at that time.
"Simple Dialogue - Interesting Characters"
Can't recall if I ever finished this book while at school and having encouraged my children to read it, thought I'd better get this title ticked on the bucket list.
Of its time - written in the mid 1930s I think - the language is of its time though in its simplicity, paints a very good picture of what it was like back then.
Grapes of Wrath next. The mission contines.
"An interesting reading -- and good for teachers"
I played this audio reading of Of Mice and Men to my GCSE class and was extremely grateful because it saved me losing my voice. The novel does need to be read well to come alive -- reading the whole thing around the class just doesn't quite work. The reader takes it at a very slow pace, capturing the voices of Lennie, George, and Slim with real subtlety. Some of my class complained about the overly American accent -- but that's the whole point!!
"You can't go wrong"
My son was reading it for GCSE and so I decided to give it a listen as the sample (which you should always always listen to by the way as a bad narration will spoil even the best book) sounded good. I had forgotten what a great book Of Mice and Men is, as I had read it originally so long ago. John Steinbeck writes so beautifully and this audio version is a good one. My son laughed at how the narrator read Lenny's parts, but I didn't. The story will move you and you will want to listen to it all over again.
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