Finally got to this book – listened to it,via www.audible.co.uk, over the last few days as I resumed my walking schedule.
This story took me back to my boyhood memories of all those westerns – with ranch hands living in bunkhouses. In this case George and Lenny arrive at the ranch looking for work. Lenny is in the care of George. Lennie is a giant of a man but would be classified as special needs.
The book deals with a number of subjects: the ranch owner’s son (Curley), who has notions about himself, and his new wife who is ‘giving the eye’ to anyone looking. There is one African American – he is not allowed to sleep in the same bunkhouse. And we have various other characters – Candy (the ranch hand at the end of his career) and Slim, the strong silent type who seems to command everyone’s respect.
George has spent several years looking out for Lennie. Lennie is apt to fall into traps set for him – which tend to result in his getting into trouble because of his sheer size and strength. The story centres on George’s attempt to safeguard Lennie in this environment.
I did not think this was one of Steinbeck’s better efforts. I thought the plot was too predicable and lacked for any real sense of tension. I thought the character developed was quite limited.