"A guy needs somebody - to be near him. A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't make no difference who the guy is, long's he's with you. I tell ya, I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an' he gets sick."
"Maybe everybody in the whole damn world's scared of each other."
Steinbeck is quickly becoming one my favorite authors and a large part of that has to do with his very intimate, honest and simple, yet thematically rich stories filled with such memorable characters. There is a reason George and Lennie are iconic American literary figures. By "simple" I do not mean to say his writing is prosaic. Steinbeck does not strive for pretentious stylistic flourishes a la Faulkner but rather employs economic prose with a keen insight into the human condition that is accessible in its brevity without sacrificing articulation or pathos. It's embarrassing to admit that I never actually read Of Mice and Men until now. For some reason, it was not a part of my high-school curriculum and nor did I ever possess any desire to seek it out at any particular time. Oh, what a poor fool I am for having neglected reading this masterpiece for so long! I realize that this novel has been studied and analyzed to death so I'll be brief: An eloquently sincere story of friendship, the burdens of the lower rural working class, the fallibility of the American Dream full of sadness, loneliness and despair but containing such rich humility that is deeply moving beyond almost everything I have ever read -- and that ending...wow. Heartbreaking.