By John SteinbeckJust like heaven. Ever’body wants a little piece of lan’. I read plenty of books out here. Nobody never gets to heaven, and nobody gets no land. It’s just in their head. They’re all the time talkin’ about it, but it’s jus’ in their head.
There are a lot of things that take two and a half hours to do. You could watch a movie, fly to a vacation destination, attend a concert, bake a cake, or run a half a marathon. So if you can make time to do any of those things, you can also make time to read John Steinbeck’s classic tale, Of Mice and Men. The small book may be barely visible on my bookshelf, but this touching and thought-provoking tale leaves a stunningly large impact on perceptions of life and humanity.
Set in the small towns and ranches of America’s Great Depression, Of Mice and Men tells the story of Lenny and George, two down-on-their-luck field hands with big dreams and bigger obstacles. George longs to own his own small property where he can work his own garden and enjoy the profits for himself. He’s one of the few men with the self-control and clarity to save his money rather than blowing it on bars and clubs on the weekends. But his hard work is hindered by Lenny, his close friend and a giant, mentally-handicapped man whose inability to understand his own strength continually gets the pair into trouble. They find themselves on a farm where all their dreams might finally pan out if only they play their cards right.
Steinbeck’s stunning commentary on human nature and the American dream pulls readers in with the first exquisitely crafted paragraphs and doesn’t let them go ’till the final unsettling passages of the tale. He presents a moving story that tackles racism, dreams, friendship, fate, powerlessness, work, and family with straight-forward prose and delicate understanding. What would take many novelists thousands of pages to thoroughly discuss, Steinbeck masterfully examines in a mere 200. It may only take a couple hours to read this story, but the stereotypes and status quo that are challenged will occupy your mind much longer. Read this book for crying out loud. It won’t take that long, and you certainly won’t regret it.