Thursday, July 1, 2010

Of Mice and Men

The library where I work is having a staff summer reading challenge. I decided I would read all the short classic American novels that I haven’t read before. This was the first one.

I’m not quite sure how, but somehow I managed to make it to 45 years old without ever having read this book. My only knowledge of the characters came from the various cartoon treatments. Now that I’ve read it, all of those Loony Tunes spoofs really give me the creeps. I had always thought Lennie to be just a big harmless oaf. I had no knowledge of the evil undercurrent in him. And no matter what George may say, Lennie is a monster. And what makes it all that more unsettling is that Lennie doesn’t know it.

I finished it last night. I started it the previous evening, and almost read it through in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down.

And I had a nightmare that first night. I haven’t had a nightmare since I don’t know when. Coincidence? Probably. It’s not like the book is horrific. But I did go to sleep with a feeling of unease. Like something bad was about to happen. And the book has left me with an uneasy feeling. How can such a short novel leave such a long impression?

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