To Kill a Mockingbird Hardcover – 9 Oct 1999
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|Hardcover, 9 Oct 1999||
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"Someone rare has written this very fine novel, a writer with the liveliest sense of life and the warmest, most authentic humour. A touching book; and so funny, so likeable" (Truman Capote)
"There is humour as well as tragedy in this book, besides its faint note of hope for human nature; and it is delightfully written in the now familiar Southern tradition" (Sunday Times)
"Her book is lifted...into the rare company of those that linger in the memory..." (Bookman)
"No one ever forgets this book" (Independent) --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
The bestselling, Pulitzer prize-winning classic novel about racism in 1930s America, adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Gregory Peck. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The story-line is reasonably well-known, and so I don’t want to go into it too much – broadly speaking, though, it follows the Finch family as the children’s father, Atticus Finch, attempts to defend a black man in a trial. Of course, I’m not going to tell you what the result is, but it’s actually the journey that conveys most of the story.
Racial discrimination was clearly still a problem in America as the 1950s turned into the 1960s, and whilst I accept that it’s still a problem in our current troubled times, it was even worse back in the day. Harper Lee doesn’t seem to be a fan of outright racism, and so her magnum opus was effectively designed to highlight the inherent unfairness that many people of colour were forced to endure.
To Kill a Mockingbird, then, isn’t just a novel – it’s a piece of history, and a key piece of literature in the war to create an enlightened, civilised world where people don’t kill each other for no reason or try to classify one another based upon their physical appearance. As Lee proves, there’s so much more to a person than their skin colour – it’s a lesson we can all learn from.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recently re-read this and was struck at how easy it was to read with the beautiful juxtaposition of innocence and harsh reality of life--all accepted in stride by the... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Constant Reader
You can see why it is considered a classic. Absolutely engaging; you don't want to stop reading, and it immerses you in the lives of the Finches.Published 6 days ago by Fodoli
I remember when 'Go Set a Watchman' hit the shops not so very long ago, and all my fellow book nerds went wild. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Megan-Elizabeth