Everyone knows the value of a 'friend in need' but what about the friendships that take us by surprise, and in doing so, change the way we think?One American classic from Salway's list:
Fiction's full of these often difficult relationships: some good, some bad, some completely, bloodily, awful. So in order to pick 10, I had to make rules: no love interest (which cut out the Empress of Blandings and Lord Emsworth), no traditional master-servant relationships (step down Rebecca and Mrs Danvers), and nothing I haven't read but people keep telling me to put in (Don Quixote. Oh, the shame).
Of Mice and Men by John SteinbeckSee which title captured the top spot on Salway's list.
From the funny to the tragic. Lennie and George's unlikely friendship is centred round their dream of owning a farm, but it all goes terribly wrong. The end, when George is put in the position where he has to shoot Lennie, is totally heart-wrenching. Still worse is how none of the other characters can really understand George's pain at losing the one person who "gives a hoot in hell" about him, and who still trusts him absolutely, even when the gun is at his head.