A Poor Review

In 1936, John Steinbeck’s puppy made confetti of half the manuscript of Of Mice and Men. “I was pretty mad but the poor little fellow may have been acting critically,” he wrote to a friend. “I didn’t want to ruin a good dog for a manuscript I’m not sure is good at all.”

He redid two months’ work and decided the puppy had been right. “I’m not sure Toby didn’t know what he was doing when he ate the first draft,” he wrote. “I have promoted Toby-dog to be lieutenant-colonel in charge of literature.”

See A Loss for Words.


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