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Old 02-24-2016, 12:25 PM View Post #1 (Link) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
ScottyMcGee (Offline)
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My crappy mass paperback edition:

I don't know what it is lately but I guess the stars have aligned. Last year, Lee released the sequel to Mockingbird - Go Set a Watchman - and just recently she passed away. And for the first time ever, I read her first novel this month.

I never had to read this book throughout my school years - weird. Literally everyone else I know outside of school had to read this at some point. So I felt left out all the time when people made references to Boo Radley or Atticus Finch.

Synopsis:

It's the middle of the Great Depression and we follow the childhood memories of Scout Finch growing up in Maycomb, Alabama. Scout, her brother Jem, and their friend Dill cause all sorts of ruckus, from trying to coax the mysterious "Boo" Radley out of his house to getting into fights with other kids to sassing teachers. But nothing will prepare them for Atticus Finch's trial. Atticus is a defense attorney who is tasked with defending a black man accused of raping a white girl.

Prose:
Very easy to read. I don't think I reread even one sentence. It's written in Scout's POV, and Scout is a terrific narrator. Harper Lee gives life to the town of Maycomb - so many details but it didn't feel cluttered or anything like that. Every line felt necessary.

Story:
Of course, this story has been engraved into legend - one of the great modern classics of literature. The story keeps you engaged with all the unique denizens of Maycomb. A part of me almost felt like I myself had grown up with Scout Finch and Jem and Dill. At first it felt like the book was just a compilation of Scout's childhood memories - I went into it blind - I really had no idea the central point was about a trial. But after the trial, those childhood memories are given meaning; the kids all expect "Boo" Radley to be a terrible, ominous person, just like everyone in Maycomb assumes the black man on trial to be a terrible person. Scout is probably one of my new favorite characters to be honest; she's stubborn and fiery. Lee even throws in issues with gender roles as Scout tries to fend them off. Harper Lee wrote what's possibly the greatest novel on racism. I stick close to the "possibly" part because I haven't read many books on racism (i.e. Invisible Man). It's really frightening how even today this book is relevant with certain incidents that occur.


Verdict:
Essential. If you're a writer/reader, you need to read this.
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						Last edited by ScottyMcGee; 06-06-2016 at 07:01 PM.
					
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:38 PM View Post #2 (Link)
Georgy (Offline)
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Thanks, Scotty. But I remember one of my friend strongly advised me to read "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Marquez. "If you consider yourself as a writer, you must read this book," he said.
  I started reading and I made a real hard stab at it, I persevered my best but I overcame only about two-thirds of the book, and stopped. I must confess I don't quite understand what this book is about. Perverts, pedophiles, incest, murder, following through each paragraph, walking corpses, complete idiocy of the most of the characters, - I said to myself, that's enough, and closed the book. Apparently, I'm not a writer, since I don't have the guts to read to the end.
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						Last edited by Georgy; 03-02-2016 at 09:23 AM.
					
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