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Go Set a Watchman

(6 Posts)
BrianButterfield Thu 16-Jul-15 13:08:04

I've seen threads discussing it but not so much the actual book!

Anyway, I'm half-way through (not fussed about spoilers TBH) and honestly, the story of its being written before Mockingbird just doesn't make sense to me. It plain doesn't work without Mockingbird; she's flashing back to characters that the reader is clearly assumed to have some familiarity with, I'd say. God knows what the truth behind it is; it's certainly a readable and even enjoyable novel, so the worry that it would be drivel is unfounded. But the origin story is suspect, IMO.

tearsofrobertsmith Fri 17-Jul-15 15:47:20

It was written before Mockingbird but I think I read that the publisher? Or someone said that the characters weren't fleshed out enough or Jem and Scout's characters needed more explanation so Harper Lee was advised to write another book about their childhood?
Disclaimer: the above is probably complete nonsense but I'm sure I read something to that effect recently.

Muskey Fri 17-Jul-15 15:51:56

I am waiting for a quiet moment when I can read my copy. I am glad it is not drivel

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Sat 18-Jul-15 20:23:48

It's not drivel but any means, and is quite interesting in places - although I need to look up some American history to understand it fully blush.

Atticus's character had been discussed at such length in the media before it was published that it wasn't a surprise - and he's not that perfect in TKAM anyway. He stands up for the law, not especially for negros. He was portrayed more perfectly by Gregory Peck than he actually is in the novel.

I'm not at all sure how it would stand as a one-off book though. It's been promoted so much as the earlier-written but later-set counterpart to TKAM that I don't see how anyone is really going to think of it in its own right.

Glad I've read it, will almost certainly read it again, but it's not in my top ten or even twenty.

Celerie Thu 23-Jul-15 14:19:35

Its important to remember that racism in the South was and is not clear cut, that people can present as non racist until the situation changes and their own personal reality is altered.

You only have to recalle Bill Clinton who was always regarded as not racist until Obama's political ambitions threatened his wife's and then of course the questionable comments started to rear their ugly heads.

People expressing disappointment that Atticus really wasn't 'colour blind' are being a bit naive as there was no real evidence for this in TKAMB. He was always paternalistic at best which is in itself, a form of racism.

Celerie Thu 23-Jul-15 14:20:03

'Its' should be 'it's' of course. DUH!

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