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To Kill A Mockingbird

(22 Posts)
lowlandlady Sun 23-Aug-09 23:21:51

Just finished this for the first time. What a fantastic book. I'm really bowled over. I can't wait to see the film now. I would recommend this unreservedly to almost anyone who wants an unputdownable book.

pluto Sun 23-Aug-09 23:27:42

Half the country will have studied it for their GCSE Engish Lit! I agree - it's fantastic even on multiple readings.

lowlandlady Sun 23-Aug-09 23:30:01

I am slightly in shock at how brilliant it is! I did Jane Austen for my English O level, nothing so moderne as this.

But it has literally blown me away with its excellence. Stunning.

PrettyCandles Sun 23-Aug-09 23:31:43

If I'd had it for Eng Lit, instead of a boring old 'classic', I would probably have had a good pass instead of a disgraceful failure.

It's a fantastic book - every time I read it I feel I have learned something new, discovered another nuance, enjoyed the story all over again.

One of the few books where the film is as good as the book, despite the changes that always creep in.

Presumably the film is the Gregory Peck one - it hasn't been remade, I hope?

epithet Sun 23-Aug-09 23:34:33

Watch the film now! Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch <swoon>. Isn't it bloody amazing?

lowlandlady Sun 23-Aug-09 23:35:40

No I don't think so prettycandles, I've just ordered it from Amazon, couldn't wait to see it.
The author thought the film was perfect apparently which is rare.
She spoke at Gregory Peck's memorial service and said he had a chance to play himself in the film.

Klaw Sun 23-Aug-09 23:36:16

my all time favourite, as evidenced by my profile.

Will actually look it out and insist ds (16 in two weeks) reads it

procrastinatingparent Sun 23-Aug-09 23:37:07

It is utterly brilliant - stands up to reading again and again and again, and I have got something out of it at every age.

I think I might have to read it to DS1 once we have finished My Family and Other Animals. Or should I leave it for him to discover how wonderful it is on his own?

lowlandlady Sun 23-Aug-09 23:42:02

epithet I went for supersaver delivery.... shoulda gone for Next Day!

I am totally in love with Atticus from the book. But WEIRDLY, not knowing the film at all I've just read the book envisaging Atticus as Henry Fonda. And he is perfect as HF somehow too. But I love GP and can't wait to see him as Atticus.

I do have a couple of plot queries though. I know Atticus does'nt think Ewell is a serious threat but I still wonder that no one went to the pageant other than Jem And Scout when she had a big part, I would have thought Atticus would have been wary of them being out when it was so dark even with Jem being bigger an' all. Just a thought! But it is also perfectly conceived, the darkness, the location vis a vis the Radley house, the bare feet, the fact that everyone was listening to their radios...

What a glorious book, I love Scout and Atticus and Calpurnia and BOO TOO!!! I was weeping when I read how Scout walks him home, properly weeping!

expatinscotland Sun 23-Aug-09 23:50:13

If you've not ever lived in the US south, it won't have the same impact.

It's worth a read, but it won't be the same.

Same goes for Cold Mountain.

If you're a Southerner and you read it, you can smell it. You can smell the talc in the opening bits, you can smell the cammelia. You see all of it and everything and if you keep hold of it and read it when you're a woman who's near 40 going on a hundred it will damn near break your heart.

And you automatically sing both, 'She was the body/and he was the soul/of a love affair/they couldn't control . . ' and 'I can still hear the soft Southern wind in the live oak trees . . . '

You'll hear your own mother's voice instead of Mr Finch, 'Mr Arthur, darling . . . '

The film, well, Mr Peck did it as much justice as a body could to something for which there is no justice . . .

BikeRunSki Sun 23-Aug-09 23:52:52

One of my favorite books ever.
Have never studied it for an exam, although first read it when I was 16.

expatinscotland Sun 23-Aug-09 23:55:44

At this point in my life, I can only finger it.

'The Chippewa have a word for it - it means ''the sickness of long thinking''. You cannot tame a wild animal, because it will always remember where it is from, and yearn to go back.' - Stef Penney, The Tenderness of Wolves

epithet Sun 23-Aug-09 23:56:14

Oh, expat, the power it has for me as a person from whiter-than-white 70s Portsmouth is enough. For you it must be incredibly profound. I have tears in my eyes thinking about it.

expatinscotland Sun 23-Aug-09 23:58:59

Then let the legacy of the book stay with you: LOVE your home. Good and bad.

expatinscotland Mon 24-Aug-09 00:00:11

No place is perfect. No place is all good or all bad.

We will all die and when I do I hope to leave on legacy: there is no place so beautiful as that which you feel is home.

seaturtle Mon 24-Aug-09 00:01:57

I loved this book too. And the film didn't disappoint. Usually I'm the spoilsport who says, 'But it wasn't as good as the book.'

Clary Mon 24-Aug-09 00:03:45

I also read this for the first time as an adult - I recall a colleague, surprised that I had not read it, saying I had a treat in store.

How right he was. Makes you want to call your kids Scout, Harper and Atticus (I didn't tho grin)

Wow expat great posts <moved>

expatinscotland Mon 24-Aug-09 00:12:24

It's good to see so many here reading it!

It makes me homesick, that's why I can't read it just now.


MANY people like Mr Williams in the US South were descended from Scots who came as indentured servants (7 years and you're out! still a saying there) during the Highland Clearances.

I can't hear that song or read that book just now without crying for those big magnolias in Papa's front yard after the big live oak got the gypsy moth and died. Their lives are so waxy! Their smell so good.

The cicadas always get on those oaks and willows.

But they don't get on those magnolias.

People there have screens on their windows and doors, soz they can keep them open in the Spring and fall and the newts and lizards and roaches and mosquitors and what not don't get in.

'She's like a screen door, everyone gets a bang.' Heehee.

I can't sleep tonight and my mind is full of Harper Lee.

expatinscotland Mon 24-Aug-09 00:35:23

I have to say, I'm no John Denver fan, oh, heavens, he was a bit of a one, wasn't he?

But there's this climber boy, I call him a boy although he must be round about 30 and well, he's a boy because like I used to know and play (as in music) with his Daddy and know his Mama and climb with the former, who is still teaching back in Estes Park, which is a ways out and they were all miner types through there or hard types as the living was hard through there till the yuppies came through in the 80s.

But this boy he's a married man now and here's hoping he'll come back and have his children with his wife he's been married to her since he was 21 and she 20.

He's got a climb: Country Boy.

LOL. Thank God I'm a Country Boy.

Sometimes I wonder what the living hell I'm doing here, oh, often enough, every weekday morning like today when I push DS's buggy past a bunch of sheep racing to get the covered shelter by the time the damn bus might show up and it's just pouring rain.

Heh heh.

PrettyCandles Mon 24-Aug-09 00:39:00

Expat, have you read The Secret Life of Bees?

expatinscotland Mon 24-Aug-09 00:53:46

Yep! It's one of my Books That Will Always Go with Mama.

We're about to be in temporary housing, probably for at least a year or more.

And we'll all be in one-bedroom or less.

But it's nothing less than others in my family were in.

And they're all never gonna miss a day of school for it, no matter the weather, no matter an evening of Highland dancing lessons or Mama reading to them so help me God if there even is one and you gotta wonder.

But we'll have nothing I can tell you but the essentials.

It's all going to storage, flogged or given away to those who need it more there's no use for it.

We'll live like that till either a 3-bed HA property comes free or Kingdom come it makes no difference we'll still be as poor in money.

But Mama will have her guitar and her fiddle and those girls will hang with the wee girl whose Mama plays pipes and their own Mama will play and sing every first Friday of every month in that tiny inn you'd have to have come on by accident to find.

My oldest already sings, 'I'll cut off my chesnut locks, men's clothing I'll wear on, and like a gallant soldier boy, this road I'll gang along' and loads others!

We sing every day all day. We sing in the bath and DH and I sing in the bed and Mama plucks it out.

lowlandlady Mon 24-Aug-09 10:51:27

expat, thanks for your excellent posts, very moving.

I used to live in New England as a child and North Carolina under five, so I remember the cicadas and I think that southern atmosphere is somehow in my bones, and there's a North American, being outside all summer which was totally my experience like Scout's til I was 10.

I know what you mean about 'home', I've moved so much tho, I wonder if I'll ever feel it again. I used to get it when I got off a plane in the US and smelt the air. I don't get that any more!

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