Each year I try to make sure to read at least one classic book. This year I expect I will have a half dozen because I am finding them so interesting – I guess they are classics for a reason. (The Catcher in the Rye, etc.)

I finally got around to reading Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. I had heard enough about it to know it didn’t have an upbeat ending (not going to spoil it other than that) but somehow never managed to read it nor see a movie or TV retelling of the book.

I am guessing that when it came out in 1937 it was a pretty dramatic story.  Eighty years later, in 2017, it is still a pretty dramatic story. The book holds up really well and the period language does a great job of transforming you back to that time.

I can see the influence of the character in dozens of stories since that time. Whether it be several of the character in Stephen King novels, Tom Cullen in  The Stand or John Coffee in The Green Mile, or the numerous references in TV shows like Friends, Lost, My Name is Earl or the scene in The Walking Dead when Carol tells the murderous Lizzie to turn away and look at the flowers. The character of Curly’s wife has shaped too many film and TV characters to even attempt listing.

This is a short book. This is a good book. It is not a happy book, but it is well written and expertly told.

While I am on the classics kick – which classics do you recommend?

by Chris Doelle

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Also published on Medium.