Of Mice and Men

It’s been a while. I’ve been stopping and starting with books on my To-be-Read pile and distracted by a new craft (crochet) and plans a-foot to move hundreds of miles away. So I’m starting the New Year slowly, and with quick reads. OK, most of these quick reads are crochet patterns and I still haven’t quite got my head around them, but hey – gotta start somewhere, right?

Of Mice and Men. I’ve heard a lot about Of Mice and Men over the years, largely from friends who had to study it for some English exam or other, and mostly about a pigeon which flies into a barn, around the barn, and out again, as pigeons (and other birds) do. Apparently, though, this is a scene of great meaning and examiners like you to think deeply about it and say something which isn’t: “The pigeon got lost.”My experience of birds in barns is mostly of swallows making their nests in the roof and therefore flying in and out to feed their babies.

The other thing I’ve taken from the many and bitter complaints of these friends is that they don’t think much of Of Mice and Men, and they wouldn’t really bother with it. Perhaps it’s the unfortunate side effect of having studied it. I didn’t, so my pigeon is allowed to be lost.

And while it perhaps hasn’t rocketed its way up my personal book-chart, I was pleasantly surprised by Of Mice and Men. I liked the characters, finding them wonderfully easy to imagine (George reminded me of the lead male in Oklahoma!; sounded like him too, or at least the actor who played him in a version I saw last year) and I was genuinely moved by its ending, although not enough to shed tears.

It is not a long book, being barely over a hundred pages long, and the language is far from difficult, but a lot is squeezed into the story about love and friendship and duty and honour and life. It can be read in one sitting, too, which is always a bonus in my eyes.


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