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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wise, humble, beautiful
I read this book while on holiday and had a bit of trouble to begin with it... It is one of those books that is so well written and has so many insights that you really have to be paying attention whist reading (hard when travelling).

The book only really starts in earnest around about a third of the way in, so you have to be a little patient to get to the crux...
Published on 1 Aug. 2010 by aus_books

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341 of 361 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Get another edition
Before I start this review I want to say that I think To Kill a Mockingbird is a brilliant novel and it easily gets five stars. This review is of this book specifically. I happen to have both this edition and an older version printed in the 70s, and I'm afraid they seem to have strangely edited it. A couple of bits are cut out for no apparant reason - pages 191 and 280 -...
Published on 6 Dec. 2006 by Tim Riding


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wise, humble, beautiful, 1 Aug. 2010
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This review is from: To Kill A Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
I read this book while on holiday and had a bit of trouble to begin with it... It is one of those books that is so well written and has so many insights that you really have to be paying attention whist reading (hard when travelling).

The book only really starts in earnest around about a third of the way in, so you have to be a little patient to get to the crux of the matter (admittedly I don't read blurbs so didn't know what direction the book was going to take).

However, once underway, this book is a pearl of wisdom and humanity. The story of Scout and her family is simply stunning in its scope. By adopting to tell the story from a child's point-of-view, Lee has been able to deal with profound topics about humanity and injustice in a way that is accessible, funny and highly engaging.

The standout areas for me revolved around Atticus' explanations and empathy for others. I'm trying to adjust some of my thinking in my life based on what I've read in this book. Thoughts, like the fact we can and should try to put ourselves in others peoples shoes are so well explained.

For me, this book could be thought studied as a form of philosophy; the core principles revolving around empathy and pacifism. In today's world of terrorism and Pre-emptive Wars I wish more politicians (who've probably read this book) would go back to it adopt Harper Lee's doctrine.

I am not usually one to re-read books (after all, I'll never get through all the books I still want to read in this lifetime) but I suspect that this book will become one exception. There are so many treasures, insights and nuggets of wisdom that I didn't quite capture in my first read. Highly, highly recommended.
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341 of 361 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Get another edition, 6 Dec. 2006
Before I start this review I want to say that I think To Kill a Mockingbird is a brilliant novel and it easily gets five stars. This review is of this book specifically. I happen to have both this edition and an older version printed in the 70s, and I'm afraid they seem to have strangely edited it. A couple of bits are cut out for no apparant reason - pages 191 and 280 - and I really can't fathom why they did it. The old version is far better. Footlights is changed to floodlights, another really weird and miniscule change which I know doesn't make any difference whatsoever, but why the hell did they change it in the first place? There are loads of misprints also, which don't appear in the older version. I know that normal people (unlike me) won't care, but I'd really advise you to buy a different edition if you can find one, as the changes on 191 and 280 are quite major, and neither of the changes are improvements. I want to repeat that I think the book itself is brilliant and deserves five stars, but get a different edition.
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250 of 268 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scout's story, 17 Mar. 2003
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I must have read this story at least five times in the two or so years since I first picked up a copy, sometimes returning right back to the start after closing the book. I only wish I could remain immersed in Harper Lee's bygone age and beautifully crafted characters, and not have to reach that last page.
The main thread of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' is the trial of a black man, the symbolic 'mockingbird' of the title, who is accused of raping a white woman, but I much prefer the subtext of a widower father struggling to raise his children with the correct values in a deeply prejudiced society. The story is told through the eyes of the eight year old daughter, 'Scout', which at once paints a more honest picture of events whilst presenting a biased opinion of the central adult protagonist. Whether or not Scout is blinded by love for her father, Atticus Finch is probably one of the most heroic characters in fiction, and a role model for fathers everywhere. Although the trial itself is a tense moment in the story, and educational from a historical point of view, it is the Finch family dynamic that has made me so attached to this story. The first part of the book, when the children are younger and still relatively blind to the world that surrounds them, provides the most enjoyable reading.
I don't know whether it is a good or bad thing that Harper Lee has only written this one story, because I doubt 'To Kill A Mockingbird' could be surpassed. Scout's narration presents both a child's world in adult terms, and an adult world from a child's point of view, providing much comic relief amidst the drama and heartfelt emotion.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GCSE English students be warned..., 19 Mar. 2007
By 
Sheleen Hems "Sheleen" (South Coast UK) - See all my reviews
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There are many great books... and there are some books that, when read, stay with you forever. Harper Lee has written one of those books - To Kill A Mockingbird. Written from the perspective of a child (Scout Finch) it holds within it's pages an innocence that I have rarely found in any other book. This book may change the way you think... it may change your life... it will certainly make you wish for an era long gone - or one that may have never even existed, save for in the brilliant mind of Harper Lee.

But any students studying this book for an exam, be warned! Read the book, and do not try to cheat or take a short cut by watching the film. The book is written entirely from a childs point of veiw - and the film is definitely from the perspective of Scout and Jems father, Atticus Finch.

I've read this book maybe fifty times... and I'd still read it again, and again. Rarely is a book of this calibre written - don't miss out and pass it aside.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SISSY SPACEK.... No one could do it better!!, 22 Sept. 2010
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As an avid reader, with a very catholic taste in books, this novel has always been a huge favourite of mine. I first read it as a teenager, and loved it without really fully understanding it's depth.
The storyline is both simple and at the same time complex, and I have come back to it several times over the years.
I love being read to, even as a very grown up woman!! So when I saw that Sissy Spacek had recorded it, I just had to buy it. And WOW..!!
This lady reads it so well, you are there, living in the Deep South, with Scout and Jem. I have many Audio Books, but I have yet to hear one read SO brilliantly. If you are thinking of perhaps buying it, I urge you to do so, you will have hours of pleasure to look forward to.
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158 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, ageless masterpiece, 8 Aug. 2007
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I first read this book when I was very young, too young to understand it, and then again when I was at school. But this is one of those books that becomes more profound, more accessible and more relevant the more you read it.

On the surface, it is a tale of racial prejudice in the search for justice, but in fact the story goes beyond that. It is about all prejudices, about the importance of walking around in someone else's shoes in order to truly understand them. Jem and Scout are delightfully child-like, and the effect of a hindsight narrative only adds to the many layers to be found here. Atticus Finch is the man to beat all men - he is the ideal father, the ideal man. He stands for justice, for righteousness and for "fighting back", even when you know you have lost. He is the ideal against which all men should be measured.

This is the most brilliant story of one community's injustice in small-town America, the consequences of which resonate throughout society at large. There has never been (and can never be) another "To Kill a Mockingbird", and the most amazing thing about this novel is that it can be read, re-read and read again generation after generation, and its magic only ever increases. A must-have in your collection!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best novel of all time., 3 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: To Kill A Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
I read Harper Lee's classic twenty years ago and loved everything about it. Her story of life in a small town in the Deep South, mixed with an incredible but easy going style of writing, produced one of the best loved books of all time. I passed my original copy to my niece who promised to read it. So far she hasn't picked it up, but I'm not going to push her. Sooner or later she'll discover it for herself. Meanwhile I bought a new copy and immersed myself in the life of Scout and the Finch family. It's hard to stop praising a book which in reality, shows a community with all its prejudices laid bare for the reader. I don' t think there are many communities, even nowadays, that would stand up to too much scrutiny. But there are many positive ideals and hopes to take from these pages. One of them being that life isn't always fair or just, but given time and by example, change can happen.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, a must-read!, 7 Sept. 2010
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Gl Thomas - See all my reviews
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This review is from: To Kill A Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition (Paperback)
Most people were forced to read this book at school. I am fortunate that I was not! I think this would have taken away some of the pleasure I had in reading it. I was enthralled, could not put it down and, as a result, read it in a few days - in bed, at work, etc! I was totally gutted when I finished it as I felt like I knew the characters and actually MISS them, especially Atticus. I'm dying to know what happened next! I would urge anyone to read it, it's definitely changed my life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as Dickens, 8 Nov. 2013
I read this after a re-read of David Copperfield, perhaps my favourite novel, and I was worried that it would suffer by comparison. But, no, it held up very well. Harper Lee captures a sense of childhood innocence & adventure that compares to that of Dickens. It's easier to read than Dickens, and I can see why so many classroom teachers choose it. The characters, although interesting, aren't quite as memorable as those you find in best of Dickens, but what other author can produce characters like Uriah Heep or Mr Micawber? Also the plot is rather straightforward, and doesn't create the "stage fire" or "strange complexity" that Dickens manages to generate. But it's gripping, and I didn't get the "OK, but it's not Dickens", feeling I usually get from even the best of modern novels. More of a "Blimey, that's almost as good as Dickens!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary Classic, 18 July 2014
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pacem et amorem (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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Harper Lee created an amazing literary classic with To Kill A Mockingbird. To write a book that educates, inspires but is also an enjoyable read is no mean feat and Lee pulls it off with extraordinary aplomb. We see the world through the eyes of a grown up Scout who is relating the events she witnessed during her childhood as a little girl being raised with her brother Jem by her lawyer father Atticus, ably assisted by Calpurnia the family's housekeeper.
The story takes us on a journey through some significant events in the Finch family life and we witness in the small community of Maycomb racial prejudice, injustice, domestic abuse, poverty and violence. This is no sweet tale of childhood friendships and memories of perfect summers. There is a great deal simmering under the surface of Maycomb's serenity and we see many instances of the darker side of human nature. However, through Atticus Finch, Calpurnia and Miss Maudie we see that all is not lost. The children learn great moral lessons from these characters, lessons for the reader as well.
In this novel, we see the ugly side of human nature and the beauty in life that helps us cope with and overcome it. We see the children warmly welcomed into Calpurnia's community, into her church and onto the 'coloured balcony' in the court. They feel at home with people who are shunned and mistreated everyday by the injustice of segregation and they are stung by the prejudice displayed towards people who have been kind to them and who are made to suffer simply because of the colour of their skin. We, like them, feel our faith in justice shaken by Tom Robinson's trial.
Atticus Finch sets a good example for his children. He stands up for Tom Robinson, the black man accused unjustly of sexually assaulting a young white woman even though he had to face down threats from a lynch mob and the possibility that his career and standing in society would suffer from accepting the case. He and the very small band of characters who think like him help provide the moral compass of the novel. However, perhaps the most important character in the book is the one we do not meet until the very end. It is the reclusive and ultimately heroic Boo Radley that brings our three children together (Scout, Jem and their friend Dill) and he is an enigmatic presence throughout the novel until his eventual unveiling at the story's close. If we had to live in Maycomb and had a sensitive personality, would we choose the same life that Boo did?
This is a masterclass in how to create a morality tale that does not preach but educates and inspires in equal measure. Rightly described as a book every adult should read before they die, this is definitely one that should be on your bookshelf or your Kindle.
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To Kill A Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition
To Kill A Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition by Harper Lee (Paperback - 24 Jun. 2010)
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