J. Steinbeck, in a few words. He was born in 1902, in Salinas, California. After he dropped out of college, he began to write, and, in 1935 his book “Tortilla Flat” launched him on the literary scene. His best work is considered to be “The Grapes of Wrath” for which he received a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. He is also known for “Of Mice and Men” and “East of Eden”. His novels deal with social and economic issues in rural areas, but there is also the theme of worship of the soil in his stories, which sometimes comes in conflict with his social message. Most of his work is set in California, especially in the Salinas Valley and feature everyman characters, who are witnesses or participants of injustice. During the WWII he was a war correspondent, and in 1962 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died in 1968 of a heart condition.
The book(1937) is wonderfully written, like nothing I have read before, and it caught my whole attention from the start. Of course, I will now continue to read his work, probably the next one being “The Grapes of Wrath”. I didn’t find myself in the characters, there’s nothing that could connect me with their story, but, nevertheless, I understood them, I loved watching them act and react, think, plan… In my opinion, Steinbeck succeeds in creating very interesting characters, even though they can be calledstock characters (the mad and in-love young son, the old resentful man, the feared boss, the flirty, seducing woman, the innocent disabled one, etc). All of them are in search of something, they all have a goal, and when things start to go on the right path for the two main characters(John Milton and Lennie Small), a tragic event compromises, once again, their plans. The ending was powerful and heart-breaking, but not very surprising. This book has become one of my favourites. Definitely 5/5 stars!
The movie(Gary Sinise, 1992) was exactly how I imagined it, so there is little to say of it. I enjoyed it, but the writing style(description of the characters and landscape in particular) made the book more enjoyable than the movie. At first I found Malkovich to be a weird choice to play Lennie, but it was actually the best choice in the end, he played him perfectly. It was an okay movie, but nothing spectacular, in my opinion. I would say 2½/5 stars for the movie.