Of Mice and Men is a novella written by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck. Published in 1937, it tells the tragic story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers during the Great Depression in California. Only in his complete understanding of the proletarian mentality does Steinbeck sustain a connecting link – though this is assuredly not a “proletarian novel”. It is oddly absorbing – this picture of the strange friendship between the strong man and the giant with the mind of a not-quite-bright child. Driven from job to job by the failure of the giant child to fit into the social pattern, they finally find – in a ranch – what they feel their chance to achieve a homely dream they have built. There’s a simplicity, a directness, a poignancy in the story that gives it a singular power, difficult to define. Steinbeck is a genius – and an original.