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Go set a watchman-Harper Lee

(9 Posts)
petal2008 Tue 14-Jul-15 07:15:15

Not sure whether to read this. Mixed reviews and most say will change your view of "Mockingbird" and Atticus forever which is one of my favourite books. Is anyone else reading it?

MarmiteAndButter Tue 14-Jul-15 07:20:02

Waiting for it to arrive now grin
Of course I will read it, but I feel the same about Atticus. But I couldn't not read it. I'd read Lee's old grocery lists if they were published!!!

StupidBloodyKindle Tue 14-Jul-15 07:21:45

Not yet but noted that guardian were giving access to the first chapter.Or you could do a download first chapter off Amazon but if it is purely on the back of Atticus being racist, I suspect that has been blown up by the media and he is simply not an active demonstrator. I have issues with the whole book being released tbh and hope that really is what Harper Lee wants.

MistressChalk Tue 14-Jul-15 07:32:54

I read all the snippets of his supposed racism and could see how they could be justified or have his well meaning logic in them if they were in the right context. I'm sure it's being warped in the media and he's not going to suddenly become an awful villain. That said I'm undecided on whether I should read it or not.

enviousllama Tue 14-Jul-15 10:30:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DuchessofMalfi Tue 14-Jul-15 11:19:27

I'm with you on this, envious. I won't be buying it. Everywhere you go it's being promoted. It's all over Twitter as well, and it's leaving me with a bad taste.

Harper Lee had many years in which to rework and publish it had she wanted to do so. That she didn't says it all to me.

Sootgremlin Tue 14-Jul-15 15:53:31

Dh is bringing me back a copy tonight, quite excited. To Kill a Mockingbird is a well-written, well-plotted book with great characters, and this isn't going to detract from that. For me it is a stand alone, this merely fleshes out some of Lee's original thinking around her subject, and perhaps layers a more complex, adult treatment of the issues in TKAM, which is, essentially, a good story for children, complete with moral.

It is a big literary 'moment', and of cultural significance if nothing else, so, yes, I'm interested to read it for lots of reasons.

I am also mindful of how problematic the publication is, regarding the situation with Lee, her sister's death, and her new legal representation. But, it is out there. For me, there is nothing to be gained by not reading it, it will not alter Lee's legacy in my eyes or lessen her achievement with TKAM, or its belovedness in the eyes of its fans IMO.

DuchessofMalfi Wed 15-Jul-15 08:04:03

An article from the New Yorker I came across on Twitter this morning infers that Atticus was never the hero we thought he was in TKAM, that he always had flaws. Makes for interesting reading. Link here.

There's a thread running on Chat about GSAW as well.

Sootgremlin Wed 15-Jul-15 12:22:45

Yes, Sarah Churchwell wrote something interesting to that effect in the Guardian, I'll try and find link...


His attitudes to the "white trash" Ewells, and his views on rape aren't exemplary. I don't know if Lee ever held him up to be flawless, however; isn't everybody's father (within reason) a hero through the eyes of childhood? We, the readers, I would suggest, all saw him as Scout did.

Will take a look at other threads, though I'm a quarter in and don't want to read too much till I've finished smile

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