Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee
309 pages; published 1960

“Atticus, are we going to win?”
“No, honey.”
“Then why –”
“Simply because we’re licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win,” Atticus said. (84)

 

I find it far harder to review a book that I’ve read (and loved) more than once, than one I’ve only thought okay – is that strange?

I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time in my Year 10 English class and, more than the book itself, I remember best my teacher’s utter devotion to the novel – or, more accurately, to Atticus Finch. I reread it for book club last month (again, alongside some Atticus devotees) and fell in love with it all over again.

For those of you who don’t know the story (and you really should read it!), it is set in the deep south of the 1930s and told through the perspective of Scout Finch (then six). Her father, Atticus, is assigned the defence of one Tom Robinson, a young negro man charged with the rape of a white girl, Mayella Ewell. Scout and her brother Jem, both too young to completely comprehend the situation and the implications thereof, are placed in the position of dealing with the fall out of such a case; forced to grow up just a little quicker while learning some of the world’s harsh realities.

What can I say about this book other than to recommend your reading it? I loved the characters, all – wise, innocent, kindly and cruel – I loved the small town and their range of relationships. I love Scout’s fights, Jem’s cranks, and Atticus’ morality.

Diane asked what I thought of the movie. I did watch the movie also before going to book club, and while I did enjoy it, I don’t think it can stand up to the novel (does any movie made of a book ever really?). I thought the film was (perhaps understandably) too compressed. All the lovely little moments from the book were either removed or combined with others. So while I’d still give a good recommendation of the film, I’d have to hand it over with the book at the same time. 5/5

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8 comments:

Dot said...

I loved your review, I love this book, you have made me want to re-read it again!

Monique said...

Very nice review. I read this book for the first time a couple of months ago and loved it.

After reading it I was disappointed that none of my high school teacher assigned it.

Dar said...

This is one my absolute favorite books of all the books I've ever read. I reread it last year and it was just as good as ever. I just put the movie on hold at the library along with the audio-apparantely Sissy Spacek narrates it and it's great.

J.S. Peyton said...

"I find it far harder to review a book that I’ve read (and loved) more than once, than one I’ve only thought okay – is that strange?"

I don't find that strange at all! I have the same problem! Whenever I love a book, I just want to yell, "It's great! It's great! Read it as soon as possible!" But when I'm less emotional I tend to be a little more analytical.

I must be the only person in the world who hasn't read this book. I'm sure that's grounds for having my reader's badge revoked. I plan on getting to it one day, though!

Jenners said...

I just love this book...I vowed to name my daughter Scout after reading it. But I never had a daughter so at one point I named a cat Scout!

wendy said...

Everyone knows this is my favouritest book and yet I cannot bring myself to review it, I'm afraid if I start I won't be able to stop effusing about it so good job Becca!J.S. put it to the top of the TBR you won't regret it and Jenners great idea! my next cat will be Atticus.

Joanne said...

"I find it far harder to review a book that I’ve read (and loved) more than once, than one I’ve only thought okay – is that strange?"That's exactly how I feel sometimes, it's almost as though it's easier to explain what and why you dislike something than to explain exactly what makes you love another. For me, with certain books it's just the feeling and that's hard to relate in words.

Wonderful review, and I agree the movie was good but the book was just so much more powerful :)

The Book Resort said...

What a kickin' review. You are incredible.

I just think I could do it justice.