Last week I read Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates…and it was fine. Before that it was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Which I liked. But neither book required a whole lot of thinking on my part. And even though The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet did require a little effort, it was far from the literary canon I read from in school.
I didn’t realize how much I missed the literary canon until I listened to the Overdue podcast. They don’t read exclusively classics, but the ones they read, they discuss in detail. Today I listened to their show on Of Mice and Men. I’ve actually read that book, which makes listening even better.
First, they mentioned foreshadowing, and I think they’re right about the heaviness of foreshadowing being a byproduct of how short it is. But I feel like it’s a little more subtle than they made it sound.
Also, I did see it as a play. Based on what they said about Steinbeck writing the script so soon after the book, I’m surprised by how different it is. Major plot points don’t change, but details do, and that’s interesting. Curly’s wife gets more of a voice in the show than in the book.
The most important takeaway though it that I like how they discuss the book. They’re looking at literary elements, like foreshadowing and themes, but they’re focused on their own reactions and feelings. It’s not some old book, it’s personal for them.
Next week, I’ll be done with Sense and Sensibility, I promise. Hopefully I’ll be able to talk about it the same way.