Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"I done a bad thing, I done another bad thing"

Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck
"We know what we got"
James Franco is my spirit animal.

Say what you want about his Instagram antics, the Palo Alto-born actor slash dreamboat sure knows how to drum up a buzz. With Franco and Bridesmaids star Chris O'Dowd starring in the Broadway rendition of Of Mice And Men (No. 12 on Radcliffe's 100 Best Novels list), his Instagram feed regularly featured #OMAM-related jokes and photos, making me very curious as to what I was missing out on. Since I also very much enjoyed Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath (No. 3), I couldn't walk away from the book when I stumbled upon it in London.

George and Lennie, two migrant laborers, are travelling from Weed to Soledad in search of employment. While George is a smart man of short stature, his companion Lennie is a dim-witted hulk of a man. They have a dream of one day owning their own piece of land, repeating it almost like a mantra, with Lennie particularly looking forward to tending the rabbits. It soon becomes clear that he is a gentle giant who simply likes stroking soft things, but that his simple nature and overpowering physique are not exactly a winning combination.

With Of Mice And Men (1937), Steinbeck proves that less is more.

In just 113 pages, he manages to completely and utterly gut you, with the the touching friendship between George and Lennie as the heart and soul of the story. Their story is told in a very straightforward manner, with a lot of unforgettable characters sprinkled in along the way, and Steinbeck so masterfully builds up tension with every page that you could easily like the book for that reason alone. And on top of that, there's a heart-wrenching story about getting ahead and making a better life for your self in there.

Seriously, go read this.

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