Rating: 5 stars
Shelf: Reading Now
I’m not sure what took me so long to read this classic. I hate that. When a book this good slips out of my reach year after year for one reason or another. Then I absolutely love it and I’m all – where have you been all my life? Anyway, joking aside – I loved this. Steinbeck really has a way with words and characterization. Because the book is so short, you have to immediately understand George and Lennie – their dreams, motivations and personalities. And you do, within the first few pages. Also because this is a novella – not a single word can be wasted. There is no beating around the bush or time for extravagant prose, unless it lends itself to the feel and meaning of the entire work. This is something Steinbeck does magnificently.
(SOME SPOILERS) When I finished, the boy asked – how do you feel? I answered – sad. I was lost in the ending of this book for quite a while, actually. Some describe it as violent, which I guess it is. But – while it shook me (and probably George) to the core – I also found the ending incredibly humane and moving. Humane because, what other options did George have? None of them seem any better than what actually happened. And moving because – well, firstly – I loved Lennie. And because, Lennie is the symbol of the American dream. Even though he’s the reason it inevitably can’t come about – he’s also the hope that keeps it alive.