Back in the day (maybe it still is?), Of Mice and Men was on many a school curriculum, although not where I studied. Recently, in the mood for a short novel, I spotted Of Mice and Men and read it one afternoon, deciding to read the lengthy ‘introduction’ to the book afterwards. It was a terrific read, in some ways so simply written, yet so evocative of the setting and time. And that is a great skill. The ‘introduction’ in my edition charted Steinbeck’s life and writing career, his driving forces/ideas/themes in his work and the settings chosen. Useful if you want such an analysis, but I’m glad I read the book first. The edition I read was published by Penguin’s modern classics.