Of Mice and Men: John Steinbeck

101 things in 1001 days

Good afternoon readers, another classic book review for you today and it’s one that I didn’t think I would choose to include, but ended up picking up at the library a week or so ago. Some books have a reputation that precedes them and despite not having to read this during my English Lit days back at school I do remember the groans and grumbles of the class in the ‘other half,’ who found it terribly tiresome and mind-numbing. I had therefore crossed it off my list of books to read. However once I saw it on the shelf in the library, thoughts that I could be missing out on a really good book got the better of me. I’m happy to say I am glad I picked this up and gave it a read! Enjoy.

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.

So as the blurb suggests the book follows the unlikely friendship of the small but intelligent George Milton and Lenny Small, the rather large and simple minded man with a big heart. The two arrive at a working ranch near Soledad in the hope that their lives will take a turn for the better. Moving from their home town in Weed due to a series of events leaving them unable to stay, trouble just seems to follow them wherever they go As their friendship becomes all the more strained we follow the pair as we see how far they can keep running, and how long George can protect his friend.

The book is a fantastic showing of literature and the symbolism of dreams, hope, destitution, helplessness and loneliness is played to maximum. The story continually interweaves the themes spinning a tale that captures the spirit of the time absolutely perfectly. I could tell from the first chapter why this has been on the GCSE English literature syllabus for years because although on first reading seemingly a simple plot there is so much going on in-between the lines. The novel, written in times of racism and prejudice is woven throughout the characters speech from the very start and is handled incredibly well, to transport the reader back in time. This and the description of the men, their jobs on the ranch and their conversations with each other help to paint the landscape of the depression-era America pretty perfectly. The book continually seeks out and describes the social and economic problems that evolved due to the Wall Street Crash whilst using it to build up the characters, fleshing them out rather wonderfully.

I must admit I expected the plot to be more complicated, however the strength of the book lies in its complex simplicity. The constant repetition both in the foreshadowing of Lennie’s future seen in the petting of the mice, then the puppy and so forth, and the repetition of his speech shows the brilliant effect an author can create through simple and ordinary narrative writing and how it can have an overall overwhelming effect. There are so many other events that mirror the end of the book but I don’t want to spoil the effect or the ending. The repetition of the final closing scene is incredibly powerful and left me feeling a little shocked and moved. The contrast between George and Lennie means you can almost second guess the ending from quite soon in but it doesn’t spoil the book, it only makes it all the more intriguing to read.

Technically the characters are built up well and each stand on their own. The writing style and language used is particularly evocative of the time and the story moves with pace. It is a novella so it isn’t particularly long but it works perfectly. Overall it’s a wonderful mixture of raw storytelling , social and economic troubles and friendship in the hardest of times; wonderful.

Book review of, Of mice and men

101 things in 1001 days: Photograph a day in your life

Happy Thursday morning readers; there will be another review up later today hopefully. I am currently still attempting to stick to my ten days, ten reviews challenge, but for now a 101 things in 1001 days post. I actually completed this a number of weeks ago now but decided shortly before posting to capture another day; notably a blogging day. Every couple of weeks I commit myself to a day of blogging errands so to speak. This includes reading, writing notes, typing up reviews, going through my email inbox and I thought it would be rather lovely to document one of these days. I meant to complete this last weekend however I always seem to give in and end up travelling home to sleepy Silverstone. However this weekend in a rather freezing but dry and clear Stoke-on-Trent I finally got round to it. I’m not sure whether I am completely happy with posting my make-up free face all over the Internet how I hope you enjoy this lovely little post.

photo 1photo 3photo 4photo 1 (2) photo 5photo 2photo 1 (7)photo 1 (1)photo 3 (2)photo 4 (5) photo 5 (1) photo 2 (1)photo 4 (3)photo 5 (5)photo 5 (3)photo 3 (5)photo 2 (3)photo 4 (6)photo 1 (5)photo 2 (2) photo 3 (3)photo 2 (5)photo 3 (6)photo 3 (1)photo 1 (6) - Copyphoto 4 (4)photo 2 (4)photo 5 (4) photo 4 (2)

Although the photographs are very basic and taken in a snapshot way, I think they are rather lovely as a set. At the beginning of the day I kept forgetting to get a photograph and then trying to think of ways of how to get those moments back. It looks like I did very little on that lazy Saturday but in all honesty I had a wonderful day and got so much good blogging work done. This 101 things post has helped me revaluate my little life in Stoke-On-Trent and I can’t wait to try this again. I’ve tried to make the images a candid look into my lovely Saturdays and my life now that I’m apparently an independent adult. The end of the photographs is a little rushed because I had friends round and we were off for a night out to the union so that day actually ends at us in the taxi so on a normal day it would be a lot more relaxed however drinking and playing games the photographs got a little forgotten. I’d love to know your thoughts 🙂

Thoughtful Thursdays

20140619-141750-51470636.jpg

AFTERNOON,

Feeling a little villainous here on mylittlebookblog; okay lies I’m way too nice. But, I do have another question for you to answer! The question is…..

Favourite fictional villain?

I think mine would have to be Bill Sikes from Oliver Twist but then there are so many! What about the truly wicked Lady Macbeth or Cruella De Vil or Voldemort…goodness there are way too many to pick from! Answers please?

ttphoto