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Matar a un ruisenor

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El consejo de un abogado a sus hijos mientras él defiende el verdadero ruiseñor de la novela clásica de Harper Lee —un hombre negro acusado de violar a una niña blanca. A través de los ojos de Jem y Scout Finch, Harper Lee explora con humor y honestidad inquebrantable la irracionalidad de la actitud de los adultos hacia la raza y la clase en las profundidades del sur en la El consejo de un abogado a sus hijos mientras él defiende el verdadero ruiseñor de la novela clásica de Harper Lee —un hombre negro acusado de violar a una niña blanca. A través de los ojos de Jem y Scout Finch, Harper Lee explora con humor y honestidad inquebrantable la irracionalidad de la actitud de los adultos hacia la raza y la clase en las profundidades del sur en la década de 1930. La conciencia de una ciudad impregnada de prejuicios, violencia e hipocresía se enfrenta con la resistencia y heroísmo silencioso de la lucha de un hombre por la justicia, pero el peso de la historia no tolera más allá de su límite. Uno de los clásicos más queridos de todos los tiempos, Matar a un ruiseñor ha ganado muchas distinciones desde su publicación original en 1960. Ha ganado el Premio Pulitzer, ha sido traducido a más de cuarenta idiomas, vendió más de cuarenta millones de copias en todo el mundo, y se han convertido en una popular película. También se nombró como la mejor novela del siglo XX por los bibliotecarios de todo el país (Library Journal). Compasivo, dramático y muy emotivo, Matar a un ruiseñor en esta nueva y moderna traducción lleva a los lectores a las raíces de la conducta humana, a la inocencia y experiencia, a la bondad y crueldad, al amor y odio, humor y patetismo.


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El consejo de un abogado a sus hijos mientras él defiende el verdadero ruiseñor de la novela clásica de Harper Lee —un hombre negro acusado de violar a una niña blanca. A través de los ojos de Jem y Scout Finch, Harper Lee explora con humor y honestidad inquebrantable la irracionalidad de la actitud de los adultos hacia la raza y la clase en las profundidades del sur en la El consejo de un abogado a sus hijos mientras él defiende el verdadero ruiseñor de la novela clásica de Harper Lee —un hombre negro acusado de violar a una niña blanca. A través de los ojos de Jem y Scout Finch, Harper Lee explora con humor y honestidad inquebrantable la irracionalidad de la actitud de los adultos hacia la raza y la clase en las profundidades del sur en la década de 1930. La conciencia de una ciudad impregnada de prejuicios, violencia e hipocresía se enfrenta con la resistencia y heroísmo silencioso de la lucha de un hombre por la justicia, pero el peso de la historia no tolera más allá de su límite. Uno de los clásicos más queridos de todos los tiempos, Matar a un ruiseñor ha ganado muchas distinciones desde su publicación original en 1960. Ha ganado el Premio Pulitzer, ha sido traducido a más de cuarenta idiomas, vendió más de cuarenta millones de copias en todo el mundo, y se han convertido en una popular película. También se nombró como la mejor novela del siglo XX por los bibliotecarios de todo el país (Library Journal). Compasivo, dramático y muy emotivo, Matar a un ruiseñor en esta nueva y moderna traducción lleva a los lectores a las raíces de la conducta humana, a la inocencia y experiencia, a la bondad y crueldad, al amor y odio, humor y patetismo.

30 review for Matar a un ruisenor

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Why is it when I pick up To Kill A Mockingbird , I am instantly visited by a sensory memory: I’m walking home, leaves litter the ground, crunching under my feet. I smell the smoke of fireplaces and think about hot cider and the wind catches and my breath is taken from me and I bundle my coat tighter against me and lift my head to the sky, no clouds, just a stunning blue that hurts my eyes, another deep breath and I have this feeling that all is okay. Why? Why this memory? I mean, this takes place in Alabama and Why is it when I pick up To Kill A Mockingbird , I am instantly visited by a sensory memory: I’m walking home, leaves litter the ground, crunching under my feet. I smell the smoke of fireplaces and think about hot cider and the wind catches and my breath is taken from me and I bundle my coat tighter against me and lift my head to the sky, no clouds, just a stunning blue that hurts my eyes, another deep breath and I have this feeling that all is okay. Why? Why this memory? I mean, this takes place in Alabama and mostly in the summer, well there is that one climatic scene on Halloween, but I bet it’s still hot enough to melt the balls off a brass monkey. It must be the school thing, my daughter just finished reading it, prompting me to give it another go, to fall back into Scout’s world and pretend to be eight and let life simply be. How is that? How can life for Scout be simple? I mean, she lives in the south, during the depression, she has to deal with ignorant schoolteachers and town folk, her ideas of what is right, what is what it should be are laughed at by her schoolmates… man, and I thought my childhood was rough. Still, she lives in this idyllic town, I mean, except for the racism and the creepy neighbors and the whole fact that it’s, you know, the south…(forgive me… I’m not immune to the downfalls of the north, I mean, we had witches and well, Ted Bundy was born here…) But, there’s this sense of childlike innocence to this book that makes me believe in humanity… even in the throes of evil. What am I saying here? I guess, that this is a good pick me up. What I also get from this book is that I have severe Daddy issues. I consume Atticus Finch in unnatural ways. He is the ultimate father; he has the perfect response for every situation. He is the transcendent character. My heart melts at each sentence devoted to him and I just about crumble during the courtroom scene. Am I gushing? I sure am. I was raised by a man who thought that Budweiser can artwork was the epitome of culture. That drinking a 6-pack was the breakfast of champions. That college was for sissies. He could throw out a racial slur without a single thought, care or worry to who was around. I won't even get into the debates/rantings of a 16 yr old me vs a 42 yr old him... What a role model. So, I thank Harper Lee for giving me Atticus. I can cuddle up with my cider and pretend that I’m basking in his light. I can write this blurb that makes sense to maybe a handful but that is okay, I am approved of and all is good.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    6.0 stars. I know I am risking a serious “FILM AT 11” moment and a club upside the head from Captain Obvious for voicing this, but nabbit dog I still think it needs to be said…TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is one of the BEST and MOST IMPORTANT American novels ever written. Okay, I said it, and I will wait patiently while you get your DUHs and DERs out of the way and hang your “no shit” signs outside for Inspector Holmes. Okay, now given the gruntload of reviews/ratings this book has I know I’m not the first person to wag my chin 6.0 stars. I know I am risking a serious “FILM AT 11” moment and a club upside the head from Captain Obvious for voicing this, but nabbit dog I still think it needs to be said…TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is one of the BEST and MOST IMPORTANT American novels ever written. Okay, I said it, and I will wait patiently while you get your DUHs and DERs out of the way and hang your “no shit” signs outside for Inspector Holmes. Okay, now given the gruntload of reviews/ratings this book has I know I’m not the first person to wag my chin about how amazing it is. Still, I am going to chance coming off like that annoying dingleberry at the tail end of a huge porcelain party because I truly have a pile of love for this book. …(Sorry for taking the metanalogy there just now, but I promise no more poop references for the rest of the review)... So if my review can bring a few more people into the Atticus Finch Fan Club, I will be just flush with happy. On one level, this book is a fairly straight-forward coming of age story about life in a small Alabama town during the Great Depression. It has a very slice of lifesaver warmth and simplicity to it that I think resonates with a lot of readers. It certainly does with me and I think the adjective “charm” may have been invented to describe the novel. Despite how easing flowing the narrative is, this book is both extremely and deceptively powerful in its discussion of race, tolerance and human decency. Most importantly, this book shows us by example the courage to stand all up in the grill of injustice and say “Not today, Asshole! Not on my watch.” That is a lesson that I think we can never be reminded of too often. When bad people do bad things to good people, the rest of us good people need to sack up and be counted regardless of how scary it might be. Easier said then done, I know. But at least that should be the standard to which we strive. Atticus Fitch is the epitome of that standard. He is the role model to end all role models and what is most impressive is that he comes across as such a REAL person. There is no John Wayne/Jack Bauer/Dirty Harry cavalry charging BSD machismo about him. Just a direct, unflinching, unrelenting willingness to always do what he thinks is right. As Atticus’ daughter Scout puts it so well: It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived. I was to make something crystal before going on because it is an important part of my love of this story. Notwithstanding this book's powerful, powerful moral message, it never once…ever…comes off as preachy or heavy handed. There is no lecture to be given here. The only sermon we are privy to is the example of Atticus Finch and the simple yet unwavering strength and quiet decency of the man. Even when asked by his daughter about the horrendous racism being displayed by the majority of the townsfolk during a critical point in the story, Atticus responds with conviction but without: "They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience." This is a special story. Oh, and as a huge bonus…it is also an absolute joy to read. Lee’s prose is silky smooth and as cool as the other side of the pillow. Read this book. Read it with your children, read it with your spouse, read it by yourself….read it the bigoted assclown that you work with or see around the neighborhood…Just make sure you read it. It is a timeless classic and one of the books that I consider a “life changer.” 6.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!!! BONUS QUOTE: This is Scout talking to Atticus after getting to know someone she had previously be afraid of: “ ‘When they finally saw him, why he hadn’t done any of those things . . . Atticus, he was real nice. . . .’ His hands were under my chin, pulling up the cover, tucking it around me. ‘Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them.’ He turned out the light and went into Jem’s room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.”(Emphasis added)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    With endless books and infinitely more to be written in the future, it is rare occasion that I take the time to reread a novel. As women’s history month is upon us (2019), I have kept revising my monthly lineup to feature books by remarkable women across the spectrum. Yet, none of these nonfiction books pay homage to the writers of the books themselves. Even with memoirs, the prose focuses on the author’s achievements in her chosen field. Last week a goodreads friend and I paid tribute to women With endless books and infinitely more to be written in the future, it is rare occasion that I take the time to reread a novel. As women’s history month is upon us (2019), I have kept revising my monthly lineup to feature books by remarkable women across the spectrum. Yet, none of these nonfiction books pay homage to the writers of the books themselves. Even with memoirs, the prose focuses on the author’s achievements in her chosen field. Last week a goodreads friend and I paid tribute to women authors in a daily literary journal. In one of my friend’s posts, she pointed out that as recently as 1960, the author of the most endearing of American novels had to use a masculinized version of her name in fear of not being published. Nelle Harper Lee of Monroeville, Alabama published To Kill a Mockingbird under her middle name, so only those well read readers are aware of the author’s full name. It is in this regard, that I included Pulitzer and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Nelle Harper Lee in my Women’s History month lineup. It is as auspicious of a time as any to reread one of America’s greatest novels. When I was in ninth grade English class, I read Harper Lee’s novel for the first time. At age fourteen I was hardly a polished writer and struggled with many of the assignments. Yet, I do remember that the top essay in the class focused on the overarching theme of courage and how Harper Lee showed how each of the characters, major and minor, embodied this trait in the trying times associated with the novel. It was courageous of a southern woman to write a novel with this subject matter prior to the passage of the civil rights act. It is of little wonder to me looking back now that she chose to publish under a gender neutral name. Perhaps, she feared a lynch mob or being outcast in her home town. It was a trying time as the federal government asserted itself against states still grieving from the war between the states and holding out as the last bulwarks of white superiority. Harper Lee exhibited as much courage as the characters in her novel, and rightfully was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her work. As such, being courageous starts from the top and works its way down to each and every character of this timeless work. In 1930s rural Maycomb, Alabama people were pretty much set in their way of life. Town folk had received an education and worked as lawyers, doctors, bankers, and businessmen. The country folk may or may not have received an education because they had to work the fields and many were illiterate. Even the majority of those educated white folk still saw themselves as superior to blacks, and few, if any, had the audacity to take a black’s word over a white’s even if it were the correct moral thing to do. Yet, the crux of Lee’s novel is a court case threatening to disrupt this way of life, having the town divide along both racial and moral lines, and having each character step into others’ shoes and view the world from another’s perspective. Maycomb at the time embodied many rural American cities, isolated from progress as town set in its ways with few people who were willing to see the world from another perspective. One man was, however, a lawyer named Atticus Finch who is among the most revered fictional characters ever created. Even though this court case should not have been his, his superiors selected Atticus to counsel a black defendant because they realized that he was the one man in Maycomb who had both the ability to empathize and the courage to do so. His neighbor Mrs Maudie Atkinson noted that Atticus was the same man in the court house as he was at home and had nothing to fear. A widower, he instilled these values to his children Jeremy Atticus (Jem) and Jean Louise (Scout) from a young age, passing a strong moral compass onto his children. In addition to critiquing southern race relations, Lee’s novel has endeared itself to children with the legend of Boo Radley. From the time they were young, Jem, Scout, and their summer friend Dill had courage to go to the Radley house trying to get Boo to come out even though all the other kids said the house was spooked. Atticus told them to put a halt to these childish games and explained Boo Radley’s background to them. The town claimed that Boo Radley was a ghost, but perhaps the reason he did not leave the house is because he did not want to. As the children grew older, Atticus warned them that there would be darker times ahead and they would have to be courageous in the face of what people said to them behind their backs. From the time Scout began school in first grade, she inhibited Atticus’ ability to stand up for what was right. Her teacher Miss Robinson was new to Maycomb and did not understand people’s ways. Scout explained about the Cunninghams, the Ewells, as well as other families at a personal cost to herself. As Scout grew older and was able to step into other people’s’ shoes more, she grew to understand differences between folks; however, she and Jem realized that differences did not make the world distinctly black and white or right and wrong. During an era when children were looked upon as unintelligent, Scout and Jem were wise beyond their years and following in their father’s footsteps. Harper Lee created strong archetypal characters and had each embody their own courage. Each’s courage allowed Atticus to teach his children a life lesson that would endure for the rest of their lives. The family’s neighbor Mrs. Henry Lafayette DuBose demonstrates courage as she battles a final illness. Third grade teacher Mrs. Gates exhibits courage as she teaches Scout’s class about the rise of Nazism in Germany and th encourages her students to think for themselves about the differences between prejudices at home and abroad. The African American characters all demonstrate strong courage as well. The Finch’s housekeeper Calpurnia is a bridge between the white and black communities of Maycomb and does not hesitate to teach Scout and Jem life lessons as they arise. The Reverend Sykes welcomes Jem and Scout into his congregation as though they were his own and invites them to sit in the colored balcony at time when segregation was still the law. He risked a lynching and knew that the Finch family could possibly be labeled as negro lovers, yet Reverend Sykes played a small role in proving that one’s skin color should not determine whether someone is right or wrong. Of course, as part of the overarching story line, Boo Radley can be viewed as the most courageous character of them all. It is through the courage of an author to create characters who will stand up for what is morally right at a large cost to themselves that she created an award winning novel that was ahead of its time for its era. It is little wonder that the courage of these fictional characters has made the novel as beloved as it is today. I believe that the courage exhibited by all these characters has made the town of Maycomb, Alabama stand the test of time and remain the timeless classic that it is. Most people can relate to those who have the courage to stand up for what they think is right or to fight against those tougher than them. This character trait has endeared the Finch family to millions of readers and will continue to do so for generations to come. Whenever a person asks what book would you give as a gift or what is the perfect book, To Kill a Mockingbird is my first choice. I find that it is perfect for any time but most appropriate in spring as in addition to courage there is an underlying theme of hope. Harper Lee won the Pulitzer for this timeless classic, and it also won first place in the Great American Read as America’s best novel. Thus I can think of no better way to honor women’s history month than with a timeless book that has and will continue to capture the hearts and minds of all of its readers. 5+ stars/ all-time favorites shelf

  4. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    If you haven't read this as an adult - pick it up today I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks. I (along with millions of other kids) first read this in grade-school. And I (along with those millions) didn't really get the point. I remember thinking, Well... I already know discrimination is wrong. I don't get why I have to read a book about it... Oh Lordy, if I could go back in time... Rereading led to a (unsurprisingly) wholly different interpretation of this novel. I am in awe of Harper Lee and what she'smillions)today If you haven't read this as an adult - pick it up today I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks. I (along with millions of other kids) first read this in grade-school. And I (along with those millions) didn't really get the point. I remember thinking, Well... I already know discrimination is wrong. I don't get why I have to read a book about it... Oh Lordy, if I could go back in time... Rereading led to a (unsurprisingly) wholly different interpretation of this novel. I am in awe of Harper Lee and what she's written. How could I have so completely missed the point back in fifth grade? People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for. We follow Jean Louise "Scout" Finch, the daughter of Atticus Finch - a prominent lawyer. Scout narrates the great and terrible tragedies of her life - namely the trial of Tom - an upstanding "colored" man accused of raping a white woman. Atticus is appointed to defend Tom and soon, nearly the whole town turns against the Finch Family. I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. Much like Scout, I was simply too young to understand much of what was going on the first time through. I tell you, there were so, so many moments this time through where the light bulb turned on and everything just clicked. As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash My entire life, I never truly understood why this was such a classic, why people read it over and over, and why this (of all books) is forced upon kids year after year. I get it now. And I'm disappointed that I hadn't reread it sooner. P.s. Sorry to my teachers for being such a sulky kid - they sure picked a great one. I was just so enthralled with reading other things that I didn't read this one as well as I should've. Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing. Audiobook Comments Exceptionally well-read by Sissy Spacek. I felt like I was in the story. If you are itching for a reread - pick up the audio! YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat @miranda.reads Happy Reading!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on Lee's observations of her family, her neighbors and an event that occurred near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936, when she was 10 years old. The story is told by the six-year-old Jean Louise Finch. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on Lee's observations of her family, her neighbors and an event that occurred near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936, when she was 10 years old. The story is told by the six-year-old Jean Louise Finch. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و هشتم از ماه آوریل سال 1994 میلادی عنوان: کشتن مرغ مینا؛ نویسنده: هارپر لی؛ مترجم: فخرالدین میررمضانی، تهران، توس، 1370، در 378 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، امیرکبیر، 1390، در 414 ص؛ شابک: 9789640013816؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، علمی فرهنگی، 1393، در 378 ص؛ شابک: 978600121573؛ مترجم دیگر: بابک تیموریان، تهران، ناس، 1390، در 504 ص، شابک: 9789649917733؛ مترجم دیگر: روشنک ضرابی، تهران، انتشارات میلکان، 1394، در 360 ص، شابک: 9786007845196؛ باور کردنی نیست، تا روز بیست و هشتم ماه دسامبر سال 2015 یا همان روز هشتم دیماه 1395 هجری خورشیدی، تنها در گودریدز 3,128,155 نفر همین کتاب را ستاره باران کرده اند؛ نمیدانم چرا در برگردان عنوان کتاب، به جای بلبل، مرغ مینا را برگزیده اند، شاید مرغ مقلد هم بهتر باشد، چون همین پرنده نیز، صدای پرندگان دیگر را تقلید میکند. هشدار: اگر کتاب را میخواهید بخوانید، از خوانش چکیده، پرهیز کنید. چکیده: «اسکات» و «جیم»، خواهر برادر کوچکی هستند، که مادرشان سالها پیش از درب این سرای فانی بگذشته است، آن دو با پدرشان: «اتیکاش»، در شهر کوچکی زندگی میکنند. پدر وکیل شهر هستند، و برای انسانیت، و باورهای مردمان احترام میگذارند. ایشان هماره کوشش میکند تا فرزندانش را انسان بار آورد. داستان از زبان کودک، و به زیبایی روایت میشود، قرار است یک سیاهپوست به نام: «تام»، به جرم تجاوز به دختری سفیدپوست، محاکمه شود، در حالیکه معلوم است، «تام» آنکار را نکرده است، و «آتیکوس» میخواهد، از ایشان دفاع کند، مردمان شهر، بر علیه «آتیکوس» هستند، و ایشان به عنوان یک پدر، میخواهند فرزندانش، در شرایط دشوار درست رفتار کنند. کتاب «کشتن مرغ مقلد»، نوشته ی بانوی روانشاد «هارپر لی»، که با عنوان: «کشتن مرغ مینا» منتشر شده، نخستین بار در سال 1960 میلادی، به نشر سپرده شد، یکسال بعد، جایزه ی پولیتزر را برد. در سال 1962 میلادی نیز، «رابرت مولیگان»، فیلمی با اقتباس از متن همین کتاب ساختند، و در همان سال، ایشان هم توانستند، سه جایزه اسکار را، از آن خود کنند. که فیلم جایزه ی بهترین بازیگر مرد را برای: «گریگوری پک٬»، و جایزه های بهترین کارگردان هنری، و بهترین فیلمنامه اقتباس شده را، از آن خود کرد. بد نیست بیفزایم، خانم «هارپر لی»، تا یک دو سال مانده به پایان عمر خویش، تنها همین رمان را نوشته بودند، براساس گویه ای از ایشان، بنوشته اند: «در عصری که همه ی مردمان: لپ ‌تاپ، موبایل، و آی پاد دارند، اما ذهنهاشان، همچون یک اتاق، خالیه؛ ترجیح میدهم، وقتم را با کتابهایم سپری کنم.» پایان نقل. ایشان در سال 2007 میلادی نیز، نشان آزادی را، از دست رئیس جمهور آمریکا، دریافت کردند. نقل از متن کتاب: «حواستون باشه کشتن مرغ مقلد گناهه. این را برای نخستین بار از اتیکاس شنیدم، که انجام کاری گناه داره، واسه همین هم به خانوم مودی گفتم. اون هم جواب داد: پدرت درست گفته، مرغ مقلد، هیچ کار نمیکنه، تنها برایمان میخونه، تا لذت ببریم. با تمام وجودش هم برامون میخونه. واسه همین هم کشتنش گناه داره.» پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lit Bug

    In the course of 5 years, I’ve read this book nearly 17 times. That adds up to reading it once at least every 4 months, on an average. And I still return to this book like a bark seeking a lighthouse in the dark. When I first finished it, I was so overwhelmed by how much I related to it, I read it nearly 8 times before the year ended. By now I’ve memorized almost every scene and I still can’t shake off the feeling that I still have to learn a lot from it. Over the years, I realize that without k In the course of 5 years, I’ve read this book nearly 17 times. That adds up to reading it once at least every 4 months, on an average. And I still return to this book like a bark seeking a lighthouse in the dark. When I first finished it, I was so overwhelmed by how much I related to it, I read it nearly 8 times before the year ended. By now I’ve memorized almost every scene and I still can’t shake off the feeling that I still have to learn a lot from it. Over the years, I realize that without knowing it, it has become my personal Bible – a beacon to keep me from straying from the path of kindness and compassion, no matter what. With its baseless cruelty and what Coleridge poetically referred to as motiveless malignity, the world is in need of much motiveless kindness – a rugged determination to keep the world a quiet haven and not the callous, cruel place it constantly aspires to be. To Kill A Mockingbird is one of those rare books that doesn’t give in to the belief that ”deep down, everybody’s actually good.” Not everybody is. And we must still persevere to see things from their perspective, and though we may not justify their ways, we must strive to understand them – though we might not follow them, we must try to be as kind to them as possible. And yet, there comes a time when some people need to be put down – we must follow the call of our conscience then, and yet be kind to them in the process, as much as we can. Striving to follow this dictum, I have realized how difficult it is to be kind to others when I find I’m right. It is so easy to put down others bluntly, it is so easy to be critical and fair, but so difficult to consider for a moment what the other might be going through. How convenient it is to dismiss the hardships of others and say, “They had it coming!” and unburden our conscience of the probable guilt that perhaps we’ve been a bit too harsh. How simple it is to stereotype people, classify them neatly into convenient square boxes and systematically deal with them based on those black-or-white prejudices! Robe a prejudice in the opaque, oppressive garment called Common Sense and display boldly the seal of Social Approval and you’ve solved the biggest difficulty of life – knowing how to treat people. And yet, nothing could be farther than the truth. Rarely are people so simple as they seem. In Wilde’s words, “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” For you never know when a grumpy, rude, racist Mrs. Dubose might be fighting her own monsters or Ewell be, in fact trying to protect the last vestiges of honor he has, or Aunt Alexandra only trying to advocate the least painful way of life. And though we might not agree with any of them, like Atticus, we must see them for their peculiar situations and grant them a little leeway, make a little corner for them too, and yet, stand up for what is right in defiance of them. It is this tricky rope-walking balance between prejudice and common sense, kindness and firmness, and justice and leeway that spurs me to revisit this little book every time I seem to falter. While I find it difficult to keep my cool in the midst of flagrant injustices and ensuing pain, I strive to strike a balance between giving in to despair and becoming too optimistic; between becoming indifferent, unkind, righteous and being compassionate, considerate. It is what keeps me from becoming paranoid or cynical with the unceasing drone of passivity, callousness, overwhelming prejudice and unyielding customs while still being alive to the pain of those very people I do not necessarily agree with. In a country like India with its bizarre, incomprehensible equations and sequestrations of religion, class, caste, region, language, race, gender, sexuality and education, it takes a whole load of effort not to blow up one’s mind – people will kill each other over anything and everything. They’ll hate each other, isolate each other and cook up stories amongst themselves and leave it floating in the air. It takes every ounce of my energy not to hate my land and its majority people viciously. Yes, viciously. But you see, I’ve got so much to learn to survive here – I have to stand up for myself when there will be hordes banging upon my door telling me to shut the hell up. And I’ll have to muster all the courage I have to tell them to go f*** themselves if they think I musn’t transcend the limits set for me. But I also have to learn not to hate them. Even if it sounds silly. I know for one, Lee – I don’t care if you never wrote another work. I don’t care if Capote helped you write it, as many say. I’m glad somebody wrote this book, and somebody assigned this book as syllabus when I needed it the most. Five years ago, I hadn’t even heard of it. I read it in a single sitting. And then I read it several times over, taking my time, pondering over every page. I still do so. It is my favorite book ever.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Claudia Ramírez

    So... I don't really know what to say. I think I loved this book, but for a reason beyond my understanding, it never hooked me, and it took me AGES to finish it! Some chapters (especially at the beginning) were tedious and hard for me to get through them... but then there were some chapters that I devoured (the whole Tom Robinson trial and the last ones). I definitely learned a lesson or two from this book. Atticus is my new role model, he is really incredible. I also love So... I don't really know what to say. I think I loved this book, but for a reason beyond my understanding, it never hooked me, and it took me AGES to finish it! Some chapters (especially at the beginning) were tedious and hard for me to get through them... but then there were some chapters that I devoured (the whole Tom Robinson trial and the last ones). I definitely learned a lesson or two from this book. Atticus is my new role model, he is really incredible. I also love Scout and Jem, those kids will be in my heart forever. Oh! And I loved the Boo Radley storyline, it left me in awe. This book surely deserves 5 solid stars, and I kinda feel bad for giving it 4 stars, but the thing is... I was struggling to finish it, I swear I let out a relieved sigh when I read the last sentence. But all in all, it was a great read <3. And can't tell you how much I loved the last chapters, (view spoiler)[the part were Scout stands in Boo Radley's house and realizes the way he sees everything almost made me cry (hide spoiler)] .

  8. 4 out of 5

    may ➹

    2.5 stars Bestseller. Pulitzer Prize. 18 million copies printed worldwide. One of the greatest American novels, even. And I… did not like it? I was expecting a really thought-provoking book with important messages. And I did get it! But I also got: boredom, slowness, dryness, confusion, and random unnecessary scenes that did nothing to further anything. 🌹 INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT MESSAGE I’d like to first talk about the message, because that’s honestly why this is 2.5 stars and not 2 or lower. This book 2.5 stars Bestseller. Pulitzer Prize. 18 million copies printed worldwide. One of the greatest American novels, even. And I… did not like it? I was expecting a really thought-provoking book with important messages. And I did get it! But I also got: boredom, slowness, dryness, confusion, and random unnecessary scenes that did nothing to further anything. 🌹 INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT MESSAGE I’d like to first talk about the message, because that’s honestly why this is 2.5 stars and not 2 or lower. This book has such a powerful message, especially considering the time period it was written in and what was going on in America at that time. (To be honest, I think a lot of what I interpreted from this book was like... a combination of what the book actually said, what I wanted to see, and what I wanted to talk about. I mean each and every word of the following rant but it might not be actually what the book was implying.) I can connect so many events and things that they talk about in this book to current events, and that’s saying something huge. Even fifty years later, we are STILL facing the same problems (albeit on a smaller scale). Atticus says that when it’s a white man in court against a black man, the white man will always win. There are probably some cases where black people have won (I haven’t done research on this, thus why I say “probably”), but even then, it’s 1) probably not a lot, and 2) not enough. But when we talk about police brutality today in America and white police officers shooting black unarmed men, and the white police officers getting away in court, what Atticus said still applies. Because even if some of the police themselves are not racist, the court system is, and it is corrupt, and it’s something that has always been prejudiced. Always. And that’s what this book is trying to show. It’s trying to show us that no matter how actively aware we are of what we say, what we do, and what we think about people—we will always be prejudiced. Society has ingrained in our minds racist attitudes and outlooks, and even if we try our hardest to expel it, it is still there. I still catch racist or prejudiced or discriminatory thoughts running through my own mind, and I am a person of color who has experienced racism and am deeply against it. This is something that we all have to be aware of, constantly, because it is buried so deep in society that it has become buried so deep in ourselves, and it is difficult to tear it out. No one is born racist, but as soon as we are born, it is there. It lurks in every corner in every life no matter what experiences we have, because it manifests from the very structure of society then, society today, and society probably decades from now. Racism is an endless cycle, created by corrupt cultural values and societal attitudes, and it is doomed to ingrain itself into the minds of everyone and to repeat itself over and over and over again. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to say better, do better, and be better. In fact, it gives us all the more reason to try. However, while the message is very strong and very important, that is... literally its only good quality. Everything else I HATED. 🌷 I WAS BORED AND ALMOST FELL ASLEEP Those first hundred pages? Boring. Absolutely boring. I absolutely HATED that whole first section, because it was boring to read and I literally DID. NOT. CARE. about anything that happened, nor did I care about any of the characters. It was boring, it was pointless, and providing Scout’s outlook on the current events could’ve been done in a much shorter and much less dense way. It was just so SLOW ?? and dry ?? and confusing ?? There were the most random scenes that had no effect on the plot or characters whatsoever. Sure, it’s great to provide backstory to things. But including every tiny, minuscule, UNNECESSARY detail about their childhood??? I think the hell not, good sir. And to be honest, after reading the whole book, I still don’t really care for the characters. The only one I actually like is Atticus (of course), and the rest (Scout, Jem, etc.) are meh. I don’t hate them, but I don’t love them. They’re just so very meh. AND Scout is way too smart for her age. People may think otherwise but she is so precocious and it is SO ANNOYING. 🌹 IT GETS SLIGHTLY BETTER As soon as we got into the trial and after part, though, my interest increased considerably. I was able to actually focus on the story more—instead of finding myself falling asleep like I had been in the first section. It was very interesting to read about. And some events I did not see coming at all (though it was written in the MOST BORING way that I couldn’t really bring myself to care about it, sad as they were, which shows some really horrible writing skills). I honestly could comment more on the whole trial section, but if I had to find the willpower and effort to read the first section of the book and receive nothing in compensation, I don’t feel particularly obliged to deeply analyze things in a positive light to convince you how [clears throat] ggggggggGGGGOOOooooOOOOOddddddDDDD and PPPPeeeeEEErrrrffffFFFFFFEEEeeeeeeeeccccccCCCtttTTT this book is. Because it is not. (In my very humble opinion.) 🌷 HOW THIS BOOK IS PROBLEMATIC (I hate this word) Of course, the message I talked about is just my interpretation of the book, and I find it a very important one. But I do think this book contains some problematic (I hate this word) elements, especially when thinking about the world today. Today, we are “taught” to believe the victim—of rape, harrassment, assault, and other forms of abuse. It’s something we should all do. But in this book, we are inclined to not believe the victim in her claim that a man raped her, since we are led to believe that this was a false accusation because of the man’s skin color. It’s a complicated situation: Do we believe the victim, or do we believe the perpetrator who may have been falsely accused because of racial prejudice? The characters are also disturbingly problematic (I hate this word). Atticus, as much as I like him, is a white savior. It makes a little bit of sense in the time period, but it surely does not fit in times like now, when white people need to step back and make sure to let people of color have a voice. Allies are extremely important, but there’s a difference between an ally and a savior. Calpurnia is also a black woman who is written off as complicit in her own servitude (though she is luckily not treated as a slave or servant). She also... doesn’t seem to have many complexities to her character, and neither do the other black people, who are portrayed as helpless (which is true) and act as if Atticus is the only one that can save them (which is really ugly). And even Mayella Ewell: The way her character is written can show that people who are of lower status or are not as welcome in society might not be believed if they were raped and spoke up about it. And the fact remains that this book is a book about racism… written by a white woman in Western society. It’s nice that she tries to tackle racism and bring awareness to it or whatever, and I personally interpreted the message as something very important, but Harper Lee could not have written a book accurately educating about racism because she has no experience in it. Even someone who experiences racism cannot write completely accurately about it, because the individuals facing racism are exactly that—individuals, not a monolith. But they can sure write it more accurately than someone who has never experienced racism and can only view it from a Western white person’s perspective. (This isn’t necessarily a problematic fact of itself, but it’s something I think people should remember.) 🌹 CONCLUSION? SO! A book I expected to like and had a great message (as I interpreted it), but one I was ridiculously bored by. Maybe it’s because I don’t like historical fiction? Maybe it’s because I don’t like classics? Maybe it’s because I had to read it for school? I don’t know. The only thing I liked about this book was the message, and everything and everyone else can go rot in a hole. Far, far away from me. (Also, before the haters come @ me, can we just note?? Real quick??? That I can appreciate a book’s message and SUPPORT that message and still not enjoy reading the book???? Because I actually have opinions that Will Not Always Match With Yours????? Thanks.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Houston

    “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”(p. 20) I love this book and this idea of reading being like breathing. As Scout did, I read early too, and often. Every night before bed I would read and still do. I saw a Twilight Zone Episode once where the main character loved to read and only wanted to be left alone to do so. After falling asleep in the vault of the bank where he worked, he awoke to a post-disaster world where only he was left. H “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”(p. 20) I love this book and this idea of reading being like breathing. As Scout did, I read early too, and often. Every night before bed I would read and still do. I saw a Twilight Zone Episode once where the main character loved to read and only wanted to be left alone to do so. After falling asleep in the vault of the bank where he worked, he awoke to a post-disaster world where only he was left. He busily gathered together all the books he wanted to read, all organized and stacked up. Just as he chose one to start with, his glasses fell and he stepped on them trying to find them. It was terrible and I remember feeling horrified that this man would never get to read again! Such a thought had never occurred to me. This semester I had to get glasses myself after suffering migraines from reading. I was so nervous at the eye doctor because the thought of not being able to read was too much for me. Of course, I only needed readers, but when I ran across this quote, I thought about how much like breathing reading is for me. “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.” (p. 87) Never say die! Fight the good fight no matter what! I love the anti-defeatist message in this quote. Even though Atticus knows the deck is stacked against him, he tries anyway. He understands that sometimes you have to fight the un-winnable fight just for the chance that you might win. It makes me think that what he’s trying to teach his children is never to give up just because things look dim. “...before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.” (p. 120) As Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true.” That’s really all that matters. At the end of the day, when you lay down, you have to know that you did the right things, acted the right way and stayed true to yourself. Again, Atticus understands that the town is talking; he has to explain to his kids why he continues against the tide of popular thought. He sums it up so well here. “We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad.”(p. 320) I love the sad way this quote sounds. It is clearly the thoughts of a child, for hadn’t Scout just given Boo his dignity as they were walking home? Hadn’t she and Jem given him children to care for and watch over? But she knows too, even from her child’s perspective, that they could never give him anything close to what he had given them—their lives. It just sounds so beautifully sad. Works Cited Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: HarperCollins, 2002. Print.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Luca Ambrosino

    English (To Kill a Mockingbird) / Italiano «When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow»Alabama. Early 1930s. The Great Depression. Maycomb, an imaginary town. Tom Robinson (black), falsely accused rapist. Atticus (white), lawyer instructed to represent him. Scout and Jem (white), sons of Atticus. Dill (white), friend of Jem and Scout. Calpurnia (black), maid from Attelbow»Alabama.Italiano«When English (To Kill a Mockingbird) / Italiano «When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow»Alabama. Early 1930s. The Great Depression. Maycomb, an imaginary town. Tom Robinson (black), falsely accused rapist. Atticus (white), lawyer instructed to represent him. Scout and Jem (white), sons of Atticus. Dill (white), friend of Jem and Scout. Calpurnia (black), maid from Atticus house. Arthur "Boo" Radley (white), mysterious neighbour. Mayella Ewell (white), victim of a sexual assault. Bob Ewell (white), father of Mayella. Take all the elements listed above, add racism, ignorance, humanity, mix them up and you get the masterpiece of Harper Lee.Sponsored even by the former president of USA Barack Obama, the message of the novel gets loud and clear: do the right thing, bravely, at all costs.Vote: 9 «Jem, mio fratello, aveva quasi tredici anni all’epoca in cui si ruppe malamente il gomito sinistro»Alabama. Inizio anni 30. Grande depressione. Maycomb, cittadina immaginaria. Tom Robinson, nero, accusato ingiustamente di stupro. Atticus, bianco, avvocato incaricato di difenderlo. Scout e Jem, bianchi, figli di Atticus. Dill, bianco, amico di Jem e Scout. Calpurnia, nera, domestica al servizio di Atticus. Arthur "Boo" Radley, misterioso vicino di casa. Mayella Ewell, bianca, vittima di stupro. Bob Ewell, bianco, padre di Mayella. Prendete tutti gli elementi elencati, aggiungete il razzismo di alcuni, l'ignoranza di altri, l'umanità di altri ancora, mescolate tutto ed otterrete il capolavoro di Harper Lee.Sponsorizzato finanche dall' ex-presidente degli USA Barack Obama, il messaggio del romanzo arriva forte e chiaro: fai la cosa giusta, a qualunque costo, con coraggio.Voto: 9

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    I’m not going to do my usual thing where I’d try to explain what I liked about this book. Normally, I would try to convince you why you should read it. I would speak about how important this book is and what message it could impart to its readers around the world. I would even say how it affected me personally. Today I’m not going to do that. Instead, I will simply say that I loved this book. I loved its characters. I loved its plot. And I loved the eloquent way in which Harper Lee wrote it. It I’m not going to do my usual thing where I’d try to explain what I liked about this book. Normally, I would try to convince you why you should read it. I would speak about how important this book is and what message it could impart to its readers around the world. I would even say how it affected me personally. Today I’m not going to do that. Instead, I will simply say that I loved this book. I loved its characters. I loved its plot. And I loved the eloquent way in which Harper Lee wrote it. It made me laugh and it made me cry. Her words are real and her story is truth. This book is one of the wisest, most finely crafted, pieces of prose fiction I have ever read. I didn’t want it to ever end.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I looked up Harper Lee online this is her only published book. However, she did write a few articles that one can find and read online: Love in other Words - Vogue Christmas to me - McCalls When Children Discover America Romance and High Adventure Her full name is Nellie Harper Lee - I bet she dropped the Nellie part so publishers would mistakenly think she was a man and read her material. She is also still alive and living in Monroeville, Alabama. And once you rea I looked up Harper Lee online this is her only published book. However, she did write a few articles that one can find and read online: Love in other Words - Vogue Christmas to me - McCalls When Children Discover America Romance and High Adventure Her full name is Nellie Harper Lee - I bet she dropped the Nellie part so publishers would mistakenly think she was a man and read her material. She is also still alive and living in Monroeville, Alabama. And once you read about her and her family, you will know that she is not the only amazing person in that family (guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree). I was able to tell in the beginning that the book started in the 30's once Dill mentioned that he saw Dracula in the theaters. Dracula was in theaters in 1931-32 (don't ask how I know that), and they mentioned that they were in the Depression which started in 1929 (1927-28 for the farmers) and went on through out the 30's. Since they were openly drinking, Prohibition must have ended (1933). And, towards the end of the book, they were mentioning Hitler and what he was doing in Germany which took place in the late 30's. My history teachers would be so impressed that I retained all of that information. Too bad my head is so full of that information, I have to look up my own phone number. I loved Scout. In fact, I get dibs on that name for a little girl- or did Bruce Willis and Demi Moore beat me to it? I loved that she wanted to be a person first and then a girl. And she supports the fact that little kids know the meaning of life and forget it as they get older. She had a great relationship with her brother and father and they encouraged her to be true to herself and not follow the stereotypes of ladies of that time. I loved her way of thinking especially how she drew the conclusion that if she starting swearing her dad would assume she picked up the bad habits from school and pull her out. And when she wanted to write a letter to Dill in invisible ink just to drive him crazy, I almost ruined the book because I was drinking a Diet Pepsi at the time. I have a feeling that Harper Lee was just like Scout and have you noticed that all early 1900 female authors are tomboys? Louisa Mae Alcott was Jo in Little Women, Laura Wilder wrote about herself. It just goes to show you that the truly creative women were those that went against the stereotypes of the time. I'm not sure I like the fact that Atticus allowed them to call him by his first name and not Dad, but aside from that he was the perfect role model. He talked to them, not at them, and he always listened. He firmly believed that it was important for his children to respect him and by NOT following the creed "Do as I say, not as I do", Scout and Jem would be able to look up to him. He wanted his children to look beyond the color of one's skin, therefore he did. He treated everyone as equal despite their race, family background, age or education and if more people did that, there wouldn't be as many problems today. His teaching methods worked. You can tell how much the children loved and looked up to him. Nothing hurt them more then having their father be ashamed of them. They didn't keep things from him because they thought he wouldn't understand. They kept things from him because they didn't want him to get hurt. And they always listened, because to disobey would hurt Atticus. Atticus's brother was another one of my favorite characters even though he wasn't mentioned a lot. When he realized his error after punishing Scout for beating up her cousin and tried to make it right, it showed that he also strived to earn their respect just like Atticus. Nothing irates me more then when someone tells me I have to respect them because they are older than me. Whatever. Does that mean I have to respect Bob Ewall because he is older? It's easy to see with all of the problems in the world why Boo Radley feels safer hiding from away from it. It takes a special person to admit defeat to the cliché "if you can't beat them join them" and turn his back on things he doesn't understand. I think everyone has a little bit of Boo in us, when we shut out the problems of the outside. Of course, we all have a little of Scout in us to especially when I come out fighting if anyone tries to hurt my family. The court case. Wow, the sad thing is, is I can see that happening even today (i.e. the Rodney King trial). When I moved here the first time, just before the LA riots, there was a huge ordeal about a Korean, store-owner who shot and killed a 17-19 black, teenager girl, she claimed was stealing and attacking her. The security camera shows the tiff and it shows the teen putting down the item and walking towards the exit. The store owner shot her in the back and was found not-guilty, by reason of self-defense. When the book was published in 1960, discrimination was still a big problem. I did like how Harper Lee brought up Hitler's actions against the Jews. It was obvious that what was going on in America with African Americans was no different in her eyes than what Hitler was doing. I agree, we were just more discreet about it. Perhaps because deep inside, Americans knew it was wrong to treat African Americans as third class citizens so we tried to hide it more. Hitler was right out in the open with his actions. I listed a few links that I discovered about To Kill A Mocking Bird: http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Belmont_HS... The Student Survivor Guide. - This is amazing it has definitions of the harder words and references to the "Allusions and Idioms" that are used. http://mockingbird.chebucto.org/ - This talks more about the author and her family.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Petrik

    A short, important, and powerful classic that deserved all its fame. This will be a short review, there’s nothing else I can talk about here that hasn’t been discussed for the past 50 years and more. Racism, prejudice, rape, false accusation of rape, all of these are abhorrent and really should have never existed in the first place within our world and society. However, it does. I find it insanely sad that even though this book was published more than 50 years ago, has also been us A short, important, and powerful classic that deserved all its fame. This will be a short review, there’s nothing else I can talk about here that hasn’t been discussed for the past 50 years and more. Racism, prejudice, rape, false accusation of rape, all of these are abhorrent and really should have never existed in the first place within our world and society. However, it does. I find it insanely sad that even though this book was published more than 50 years ago, has also been used as an educational book for countless young students and even with countless histories to learn from, it seems that some human will never ever learn from hem and the main problems depicted in this book is still very evident in our time. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” I’ll be honest, I didn’t understand how important the message this book tried to give when I was a kid; it bored the crap out of me and I didn’t make it to the exceptional court scene. Maybe same as the main character in this book, I didn’t truly understand the gravity of the situation yet when I was young. Now though? Let’s just say I realized why this book became one of the most highly famous and well-received classics. One last thing, Atticus Finch is truly a role model to aspire to, as a father, a lawyer, and most of all, a human being; truly a well-written protagonist. “They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.” If it wasn’t for some part in the first half that bored me, this would’ve received a 5 stars. But if we’re speaking about the message to be taken from this book? this was without a doubt an important and wonderful short read. “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” Amazing job on writing this book, Harper Lee. May you rest in peace. You can find the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest

  14. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    Rereading this book as an adult made me realize how truly beautiful and wonderful it is. It will forever be one of my favorites.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nataliya

    Life gives you a few things that you can count on. Death (for all), taxes (for most), and the unwavering moral character of Atticus Finch (for me). "What would Atticus do?" is not just a meme; for eleven-year-old me it became a real consideration after I feigned an illness to cut school and stay home to finish To Kill a Mockingbird - while a decidedly non-Atticus-like move, choosing Harper Lee's book over sixth grade math was probably a wiser life choice.For my thoughts on the shameless money grab by the money-greedchoice.For Life gives you a few things that you can count on. Death (for all), taxes (for most), and the unwavering moral character of Atticus Finch (for me). "What would Atticus do?" is not just a meme; for eleven-year-old me it became a real consideration after I feigned an illness to cut school and stay home to finish To Kill a Mockingbird - while a decidedly non-Atticus-like move, choosing Harper Lee's book over sixth grade math was probably a wiser life choice.For my thoughts on the shameless money grab by the money-greedy publishers recently published first draft of the novel inexplicably (or read: cash grab) marketed as a sequel... Well, I think I just said it all.I cannot be objective about this book - I don't think you can ever be about the things you love. I've read it many times as a child and a few times as an adult, and it never lost that special something that captivated me as a kid of Jem Finch's age. “[...] Before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.” To me, this book is as close to perfect as one can get. It found a place in school curriculum because of its message, undoubtedly - but it's not what makes it so powerful. After all, if you have even a speck of brains you will understand that racism is wrong and you should treat people right and that “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” No, what makes it wonderful is the perfect narrative voice combining adult perspective while maintaining a child's voice, through which we glimpse both the grown-up woman looking back through the lessons of years while still seeing the unmistakable innocence and incorruptible feistiness of young Scout Finch. And then there is the magic of the slow measured narration painting the most vivid picture of the sleepy Southern town where there's enough darkness lurking inside the people's souls to be picked up even by very young, albeit quite perceptive children. "If there's just one kind of folks, why can't they get along with each other? If they're all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? Scout, I think I'm beginning to understand something. I think I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in the house all this time. It's because he wants to stay inside.” And then there's Atticus Finch. Yes, there may be countless articles all fueled by Lee's first draft about his 'transformation' into a bigot - but I refuse to jump on that bandwagon. I stand behind him the way Lee developed him in the book she *did* publish. Because I sleep better knowing that there are people out there who are good and principled and kind and compassionate, who will do everything they can with the utmost patience to teach their children to be decent human beings. “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what." What shines in this book the most for me is the amazing relationship between parent and child. It's the amazing guidance that the Finch children get in becoming good human beings that many of us would give up a lot for. I know I would. Because to me it will never be a story of a white man saving the world (and some, especially with the publication of that ridiculous first draft, would dismiss it as such). To me, it's the story of a child growing up and learning to see the world with the best possible guidance. It's a story of learning to understand and respect kindness and forgiveness and that sometimes you do right things not just because you're told to but because they are right things to do. I see enough stupidity and nonsense and injustice in this world. And after all of it, what I often do need is Atticus Finch and reassurance that things can be right, and that with the few exceptions, even if I struggle to see it, "[...] there's just one kind of folks. Folks." and that, disillusioned as we become as we go on in life, "Most people are [nice], Scout, when you finally see them.” Five stars from both child and adult me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Alabama in U.S.A., 1935 during the crippling bleak, Great Depression, Atticus Finch a widower, struggling lawyer and ultimate believer in justice for everybody, (a gentleman, if ever there was one) is raising two small children Scout, (Jean Louise) and Jem, (Jeremy) a typical American boy, he likes to have fun in the fictitious mostly quiet , small southern town of Maycomb. The siblings are unusually close, the father is absent often being a politician in the legislature, in Montgomery, the stat Alabama in U.S.A., 1935 during the crippling bleak, Great Depression, Atticus Finch a widower, struggling lawyer and ultimate believer in justice for everybody, (a gentleman, if ever there was one) is raising two small children Scout, (Jean Louise) and Jem, (Jeremy) a typical American boy, he likes to have fun in the fictitious mostly quiet , small southern town of Maycomb. The siblings are unusually close, the father is absent often being a politician in the legislature, in Montgomery, the state capital. Calpurina their black servant, takes good care of them and they all love, is the real parent of the kids, and of course, considered a member of the family. Mr. Finch is a rather remote uncomfortable father, the children call him by his first name of Atticus. Scout age eight, a tomboy, Jem who's four years older than his precocious sister and friend Dill, (Charles Baker Harris) a year older than Scout but not as big, and is frequently bullied, are always together. Dill from Meridian, Mississippi, spends the warm summers at his Aunt Rachel's house in town and is gratefully left alone. Next door to the Finch's live the Radley family, a strange people that keep to themselves, particularly Boo, (Arthur) a legendary creepy, mysterious man , who is never seen, weird stories abound about him by the curious, neighborhood kids, they test their bravery, by how close they can come to Boo's house. The gentle, Mr.Finch shocks Scout and Jem when he shoots a mad dog at the sheriff's request, Mr. Tate, knows Atticus's skill, but curiously he doesn't even have a gun at home, never seen with one either. This sleepy town awakens when Bob Ewell a lazy, notorious drunk, accuses a black man Tom Robinson of raping his flirtatious daughter, Mayella. The honorable Judge Taylor appoints Atticus, as Robinson's lawyer, an impossible task in that era. The trial brings people from all over Maycomb County , to the courthouse , Atticus Finch shines, but can he free an innocent man ? This story implies every human, should be treated with dignity, no matter what the color of their skin, and after so many years have gone by , is still the best novel in urging equality for all, what a concept...

  17. 4 out of 5

    Angela M

    The first time I read this I was much , much younger and I remember loving it then . Over forty five years later, it still held so much for me - wonderful language and characters that I never forgot about and relevancy even so many years later . I'm not sure I have an original thought or feeling that someone else hasn't already articulated. So I will only say that for me the beauty of this book lies in how Lee has so perfectly captured the time in the 1930's and the place Maycomb and The first time I read this I was much , much younger and I remember loving it then . Over forty five years later, it still held so much for me - wonderful language and characters that I never forgot about and relevancy even so many years later . I'm not sure I have an original thought or feeling that someone else hasn't already articulated. So I will only say that for me the beauty of this book lies in how Lee has so perfectly captured the time in the 1930's and the place Maycomb and the life in this small town and what it meant to be black then and there and how a young girl tries to make sense of what is happening around her . It's a portrait of a place that comes alive because of the richness of the characters . Yes, it's about racism in the south in the 1930's , and about family and how life in a small town can shape people or not if you are Atticus Finch but my heart belongs to Scout . I decided to reread it in preparation for reading Go Set a Watchman because my first reading had been so long ago . I wish I had done what my GR friends Diane S. and Diane B. did in not rereading TKAM but choosing to read Go Set a Watchman and judging it on its own for what it is . I was more than halfway through TKAM when I saw their perspective on this and it was just too late - I was just too hooked on the book again. I remembered some but it felt as if I was reading it for the first time , being introduced to this time and place and this story and to beloved Scout , Jem, Atticus and Calpurnia , Miss Maudie and Boo once again. There will just not be anything like this book and now I'm looking forward to reading Go Set a Watchman and approaching it for what it is - not a sequel but the seed of the iconic book . I think I'm going to wait a bit to read it . I want to savor what I've just read .

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Gosh, this is one of my new all time favorite books! It's just a shame that I will never be able to fully express how and why it affected me as much as it did. But I can try my best to at least write a few words to let you know what things I enjoyed (spoiler: I enjoyed every single word). This story deals with the very important and sensitive topic of racism and is told from the point of five of a little girl. I had my doubts if this combination would work out. But somehow, Harper Lee Gosh, this is one of my new all time favorite books! It's just a shame that I will never be able to fully express how and why it affected me as much as it did. But I can try my best to at least write a few words to let you know what things I enjoyed (spoiler: I enjoyed every single word). This story deals with the very important and sensitive topic of racism and is told from the point of five of a little girl. I had my doubts if this combination would work out. But somehow, Harper Lee was able to create an incredibly compelling character, who understands and misunderstands just the right amounts to be realistic, and to get all the major points the novel is trying to make across. It would have been easy to write from the perspective of Atticus, the 'hero' of the story. But I think this wouldn't have been the right thing to do; it would have seemed far too self-indulgent and conceited. The characters themselves are all incredibly lovely. They just warmed up my heart. I'd love to give those three little kids, Scout and Jem and Dill, a giant hug. I'd like to shake the hand of Atticus and pay him my respects. I would go to Church with Calpurnia and find out more about her life. I would smile at Boo, to let him know that I accept him just the way he is, and while a simple smile might seem like a typical interaction to others, I'm sure it would mean a lot to Boo. So yeah, all of those characters have found a place in my heart, and I know that they will definitely stay in my mind for a long time to come as well. It surprised me how easy to read I found the writing style. It's hard to believe this was written in the 60's! I think the fact the topic is (unfortunately) a timeless one plays a part in that. I'm currently still in a bit of a reading slump, but this book grabbed my attention from the first page and kept me smiling and laughing and crying. No wonder it's such a well-loved classic! I definitely agree that it's one of those books everyone should read at least once. Personally, I already know that I will read it many more times in the future.

  19. 5 out of 5

    P-eggy

    Even in the evil times when John Crow ruled the South and the Blacks were scarcely more free than in times of slavery and were allowed no civic power nor respect from their erswhile masters who were White, good men did their best. As regards this book, the last phrase is a lie. Atticus, a lawyer and good and caring father, a moral man, represented a Black man accused of raping a White woman. He lost, but he'd done his best. That last paragraph is a lie. Atticus b Even in the evil times when John Crow ruled the South and the Blacks were scarcely more free than in times of slavery and were allowed no civic power nor respect from their erswhile masters who were White, good men did their best. As regards this book, the last phrase is a lie. Atticus, a lawyer and good and caring father, a moral man, represented a Black man accused of raping a White woman. He lost, but he'd done his best. That last paragraph is a lie. Atticus belonged to the KKK, thought that Blacks were a distinctly lower form of human life and that separate development (ie. apartheid) was the best way to go for these childlike people who didn't have the reasoning power to rule, he said in Go Set a Watchman. That last paragraph is mostly a lie. Atticus did belong to the KKK but he did not really think Blacks were a lower form of human life at all. That was just what he said for the benefit of others. He really thought their intellectual power and ability to organise was greatly to be feared. He was frightened that Whites would have to give up having a life of ease and wealth structured around the cheap labour Black people had no alternative but to provide. He didn't even want to have to consider them at all. Atticus represented the accused Black rapist only because if a White lawyer didn't then he was sure the NAACP would send in a very clever Black lawyer and not only that but insist, since these times were officially 'free', that Black people sit on the jury. Then he would not be sure of a conviction. The Blacks then feeling their oats would move in to the town and start demanding rights and power much to the detriment of the extremely exploitative and racist Whites. When Harper Lee wrote all this, in Go Set a Watchman her publishers were apparently horrified and got her to rewrite the book from the point of view of a decent man who felt racism was a great evil, we were all equal. Is this why Harper Lee never wrote another book? Did she feel that her views were unacceptable and she wasn't going to kow-tow to some liberal publishers up North who didn't understand the ways of the South? Is that why she didn't give interviews too? She'd followed the advice of her publishers, been lauded and rewarded but humiliated as an artist. Schools still teaching this book as a moral lesson should incorporate their understanding of the first draft, Go Set a Watchman. Otherwise they are doing the children a disservice in their moral education and furthering the ideas of paternalism is better than self-determination, racism had its softer side and that ignoring the truth (Watchman) to tell a good story is a perfectly fine concept for educationalists to embrace. It's not. Five stars because it is a very well-written and enjoyable book and hangs together with Go Set a Watchman perfectly. Read years ago, probably about 1 Jan 2000

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rishi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A friend of mine once commented that To Kill a Mockingbird was the most racist book he'd ever read. I agree with him. Now, I know this book is drawn from the author's true experiences, but she choose to write a novel and thus I will judge it as a novel. With it's irrevocable integration into the American (and Canadian) public school curricula, I think this novel has probably done more to perpetuate racial stereotypes than any other single force. If I had to sum up To Kill a Mockingbird in one sentence, thi A friend of mine once commented that To Kill a Mockingbird was the most racist book he'd ever read. I agree with him. Now, I know this book is drawn from the author's true experiences, but she choose to write a novel and thus I will judge it as a novel. With it's irrevocable integration into the American (and Canadian) public school curricula, I think this novel has probably done more to perpetuate racial stereotypes than any other single force. If I had to sum up To Kill a Mockingbird in one sentence, this would be it: the poor helpless black man is lost until a saintly white man comes to his side to crusade for his cause. Unfortunately, the damn darkie is so stupid that he goes and gets himself killed just when the white man figured he had another shot at clearing him. Oh well, the white man tried his best, and for a negro too! What a hero. What the hell is that?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    This is on a short list with Moby-Dick; or, The Whale and The Old Man and the Sea for the great American novel. And this one stands apart as a novel that is also a celebration of courage, integrity, and dignity. If ever there is a lawyer who, at least once, didn’t admire and want to be like Atticus, then there’s something deeply wrong with that lawyer. The scene where the courtroom is empty and Atticus is gathering his notes and files and the black folks in the upper room are waiting and then as he begi This is on a short list with Moby-Dick; or, The Whale and The Old Man and the Sea for the great American novel. And this one stands apart as a novel that is also a celebration of courage, integrity, and dignity. If ever there is a lawyer who, at least once, didn’t admire and want to be like Atticus, then there’s something deeply wrong with that lawyer. The scene where the courtroom is empty and Atticus is gathering his notes and files and the black folks in the upper room are waiting and then as he begins to depart, they all stand, and Scout asks why, and the man says, "Because your father is passing," gives me chills to this day, gave me chills typing that. Beautifully written, a true classic. ** 2019 addendum - it is a testament to great literature that a reader recalls the work years later and this is a book about which I frequently think.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    A wonderful piece of literature, great characters, plot and prose. There is sadness and happiness, racism and equality, immaturity and maturity, injustice and redemption. Atticus is a man we could all love and look up to a grounded just and fair man he sees beyond race and finds the goodness in people. His cook Calpurnia Is honest good black lady who you just gotta love in this story, she works for a nice family who are about to go through some obstacles and testing times. A lot of the story is told thr A wonderful piece of literature, great characters, plot and prose. There is sadness and happiness, racism and equality, immaturity and maturity, injustice and redemption. Atticus is a man we could all love and look up to a grounded just and fair man he sees beyond race and finds the goodness in people. His cook Calpurnia Is honest good black lady who you just gotta love in this story, she works for a nice family who are about to go through some obstacles and testing times. A lot of the story is told through a young girl and is enjoyable to see things from a young perspective for example this excerpt... "There was a man Dill had heard of who had a boat that he rowed across to a foggy island where all these babies were; you could order one— “That’s a lie. Aunty said God drops ‘em down the chimney. At least that’s what I think she said.” For once, Aunty’s diction had not been too clear. "You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women—black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men." “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” Some trivia about the book and movie... Finch was writer Harper Lee's mother's maiden name. Despite the novel winning the Pulitzer Prize, the studios were not interested in buying up the film rights as they deemed it lacking in action, there was no love story and the villain doesn't get a big comeuppance. Producer Alan J. Pakula disagreed however and persuaded director Robert Mulligan that it would make a good film. Together they were able to convince Gregory Peck who readily agreed. Truman Capote, who grew up with Harper Lee, also knew the inspiration for "Boo" Radley, and had planned to base a character on him in one of his short stories. After seeing how well the character was realized in Lee's novel, however, he decided against it. Some images.. Harper Lee on the right. http://more2read.com/?review=to-kill-a-mockingbird-by-harper-lee

  23. 5 out of 5

    Fabian

    Thus it becomes crystal clear why this classic is a must for kids. Surely it stands on an even shelf with the Harry Potter series (take in mind: its a Millennial writing this review); it's ripe with conventions that can be cracked open in the classroom, where the love for literature begins for most American children. The emblematic character of Atticus Finch is a great figure--mysterious, righteous, progressive...completely just and good. Intelligent. As is Scout, the precocious girl who filters Thus it becomes crystal clear why this classic is a must for kids. Surely it stands on an even shelf with the Harry Potter series (take in mind: its a Millennial writing this review); it's ripe with conventions that can be cracked open in the classroom, where the love for literature begins for most American children. The emblematic character of Atticus Finch is a great figure--mysterious, righteous, progressive...completely just and good. Intelligent. As is Scout, the precocious girl who filters all the goings on in her sleepy Alabama town. It is a pity I did not read this in middle school, when foundations are forged with human values and the artistic possibilities of storytelling. That being said, I cannot but smile at finally, at 28, having plowed through this-- a complicated and personal classic. It depicts a gone-with-the-wind America, it has a strong point-of-view, which is restricted and accurate (the character is alive & becomes an avatar of the impressed young reader him/herself), it is a history lesson, a lesson in civics and law, a segue toward laws and government, and, most importantly, it includes a lovable naivete which borders on the poetic; the coming-of-age strangeness, including body changes and adolescent yearnings, all of these are staples of THE YA novel. Because it includes pretty much each and every one, it is THE QUINTESSENTIAL YA book. It has aged, however, & it is easy to see where the conventions are deposited as if "To Kill..." were a rough patchwork quilt of American Literature musts.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    Giving one of the most acclaimed books of all time a 5 makes me feel all lovey-dovey. There was a time when I didn't agree with most of the established literature. But now that I've read TKaM, that issue has partially been addressed. I approached reading this book with wariness and some pessimism, and also with low expectations. The year it got its Pulitzer was a decade or two since the War. The likes of Herman Wouk (one of my favorite authors) were no longer on the scene. Giving one of the most acclaimed books of all time a 5 makes me feel all lovey-dovey. There was a time when I didn't agree with most of the established literature. But now that I've read TKaM, that issue has partially been addressed. I approached reading this book with wariness and some pessimism, and also with low expectations. The year it got its Pulitzer was a decade or two since the War. The likes of Herman Wouk (one of my favorite authors) were no longer on the scene. This was a sensitive topic. In real life the Civil Rights movement was ongoing. So much was at stake. Harper Lee was a child of the times. But she could see far into the future. Her book was prophetic. Each of the words of this book seems to have been cleverly crafted. How many pages of it were rewritten? This book is the work of a genius. It's high literature in the garb of normal words. I loved this book so much. It's very modern sounding. I watched the movie first. But the book is better, as it usually is with these two mediums. I'll never read Go Set A Watchman, but the author has earned my undying respect. To Kill a Mockingbird. What a title, what a book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    What begins as apparently just an affectionate and humorous tale of life in an Alabama town in the 1930s, and the personalities and quirks of the people who live there, gradually evolves into an amazing and powerful read, as a young girl called Scout becomes aware of her lawyer father's representation of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman, and the town's general attitude about that, which spills over into their treatment of Scout and her brother. From an attorney's point o What begins as apparently just an affectionate and humorous tale of life in an Alabama town in the 1930s, and the personalities and quirks of the people who live there, gradually evolves into an amazing and powerful read, as a young girl called Scout becomes aware of her lawyer father's representation of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman, and the town's general attitude about that, which spills over into their treatment of Scout and her brother. From an attorney's point of view, the trial of Tom was fascinating: the differences in how courts handled trials in a small town 80 years ago, the speed and informality of the trial, the African American people relegated to the balconies. I have no idea how accurate Harper Lee's description of the trial actually was to real life, but it seems extremely plausible to me. Mayella Ewell and her father were so appallingly real to me. I loved old Judge Taylor, and Atticus is a hero. Boo Radley flits like a ghost throughout the book, a vivid symbol of vulnerable innocence that's echoed in Tom's trial. I've read a lot of reviews of Go Set a Watchman, discussing the differences in Atticus' views on race and his personal prejudices between that book and this one, so I was keeping a particular eye out for anything in Mockingbird that would indicate he's prejudiced but nevertheless committed to doing his job. It's just not there, and frankly I'm glad about that. There's enough prejudice in that town that we don't really need Atticus struggling with that issue. Harper Lee explores our values and prejudices that we sometimes don't examine closely enough in ourselves, and the vital importance of courage and integrity. This book is a truly timeless classic. It made me smile but broke my heart a little bit at the same time - like many of the best books do. Bonus material: In the comments thread below we got into a discussion about Harper Lee using the real-life Scottsboro Boys trial(s) in the early 1930's as inspiration for Tom Robinson's trial. It's a somewhat loose connection; there are some substantial differences between the facts of the cases, but some definite similarities as well. In both trials, innocent black men were accused of rape based solely on the unsubstantiated word of a white woman. In the Scottsboro trials, there were nine African-American men accused of rape while riding the rails in the company of two white woman, apparently in the prostitution business, who were trying to avoid prosecution themselves. The evidence did not support the women's claims, but juries convicted the defendants anyway. A Judge Horton tried to enforce a fair trial, but was replaced on retrial. One of the inmates later tried to escape prison and was shot by a guard, though he was not killed. All in all, the Scottboro events are vivid, awful proof that Tom Robinson's trial was realistic. See http://www.enotes.com/homework-help/w... and http://civilrightstokillamockingbird.... August 2016 reread/buddy read with Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten* and others.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I loved the movie and of course the book as well. My favorite is Scout, she is just one cool little kid. Scout and Jem's friend Dill is a hoot! I really hated what happened to Tom in this book, but that is the way of nasty men and people in this world. I'm glad Mr. Ewell got what was coming to him. I love Calpurnia and all of the ladies on the street. The stories of the kids and Boo Radley was great, but I liked in the movie better when they finally got to meet him. It seems like there was more I loved the movie and of course the book as well. My favorite is Scout, she is just one cool little kid. Scout and Jem's friend Dill is a hoot! I really hated what happened to Tom in this book, but that is the way of nasty men and people in this world. I'm glad Mr. Ewell got what was coming to him. I love Calpurnia and all of the ladies on the street. The stories of the kids and Boo Radley was great, but I liked in the movie better when they finally got to meet him. It seems like there was more to it in the movie, but maybe that is just me. I do wish they would have maybe did a short chapter on how they became friends and visited with one another after the night in the woods. I also wish Scout could have visited Calpurnia's home. But overall I liked it a lot! Happy Reading! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul O'Neill

    What can I say about this amazing book that hasn’t already been said? I think The Guardian said it best– 'To Kill a Mockingbird will never stop being a good book, and it will never stop inspiring good people' The story is told from the point of view of Scout (Jean-Louise Finch), a six year old girl, through various events that happen in the town of Maycomb and in particular, the court case of Tom Robinson as her father Atticus Finch acts as Tom’s defence lawyer. Tom, a black man who h What can I say about this amazing book that hasn’t already been said? I think The Guardian said it best– 'To Kill a Mockingbird will never stop being a good book, and it will never stop inspiring good people' The story is told from the point of view of Scout (Jean-Louise Finch), a six year old girl, through various events that happen in the town of Maycomb and in particular, the court case of Tom Robinson as her father Atticus Finch acts as Tom’s defence lawyer. Tom, a black man who has been accused of raping a young white woman, has to endure multiple racial attacks. Atticus, widely described as the “most enduring fictional image of racial heroism”, describes the events to Scout so that she sees that all people should be treated equally. Themes The book mainly deals with the themes of racial equality and rape but there are themes of morality, class and gender also. To Kill a Mockingbird had been deemed so important that in 2006, British librarians ranked the book ahead of the Bible as one "every adult should read before they die". Above pointing the finger at racial and class issues, it’s a gripping story with great characters. What impacted me most when reading this was just how applicable all of the issues still are today, even though the book was published 57 years ago. We have indeed made good progress, but we still have a long way to go in my view. Characters Scout is such an awesome character, probably one of my favourites. Having the story told through Scout’s innocent point of view was a perfect choice, it creates a very unique atmosphere. Atticus is nothing short of a hero. Not in today’s comic book / action-hero standard, but as a moral pillar of the family who is setting a great example for his family to follow. He sticks up for what he believes in. This probably sums him up perfectly - "It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived." Writing The writing was a joy to read. You really get to know and care for the characters. This story is really subtle in places and it’s not a fast-paced thrill ride. Had Lee’s writing been sub-par it could have become boring very quickly. Instead, Lee draws you in through her fantastic writing, which is both charming and astonishing in places. "They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience." "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do." "So it took an eight-year-old child to bring 'em to their senses.... That proves something - that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they're still human. Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children." "I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks." “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” ”Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." If we followed our feelings all the time, we’d be like cats chasing their tails. Final thought I wholeheartedly agree that this is one of the most important books ever written, beautifully created. Don’t be put off by all the themes and the millions of critical, in-depth analysis’s. Underneath all of that, it’s simply a great read. Highly recommended, and the audiobook version with Sissy Spacek is wonderful. I’ll leave you with yet another quote from The Guardian “Let it not be forgotten that a true piece of literature, like To Kill a Mockingbird, is meaningful in every period and that today, Atticus Finch's message should be heard in the midst of all the global conflicts that we hear of on the news every night.” Check out all my book blogs at http://constantreaderpauloneill.blogspot.co.uk/

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” This is a novel that I have read countless times over the years and it never fails to connect with me on some level with every reading. That is no small feat for a book to accomplish. To speak to people the world over, for over 50 years, means that there is something universal in this text. We are all the mockingbirds of the title, and anyone who has reached the age of majority knows the feel “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” This is a novel that I have read countless times over the years and it never fails to connect with me on some level with every reading. That is no small feat for a book to accomplish. To speak to people the world over, for over 50 years, means that there is something universal in this text. We are all the mockingbirds of the title, and anyone who has reached the age of majority knows the feelings that the loss of innocence, and the harsh light of reality can create in a person. Harper Lee wrote a novel that captured the essence of that most universal of experiences, and I for one am moved by it every time. I won't rehash plot points, but I will give you some reasons why you should read, and then reread, this text. The first reason is for the beautiful depiction of imaginative childhood. The narrator, her brother Jem, and their friend Dill embody most of the traits of childhood, and their creative games, and thought processes are a joy to behold. The voice of Scout (the narrator) is a pitch perfect recreation of childhood and childish impulses. Part I (chapters 1-11) of this book are possibly the best recreation of childhood that I have come across in literature. Another reason is a pretty simple one actually. The character of Atticus Finch is one of the noblest literary creations ever written. I want to be like him, and there are not many characters in literature I can, or would, say that about. The fact that being like Atticus is possible makes him even more endearing to me. He is someone who is noble in every sense of the word, and serves as an inspiration for so many reasons. He is a good father, a decent and empathetic man, and a person who tries to see the good in almost anything. The fact that there are so few Atticus Finches in real life makes him seem all the more desirable to me. It is obvious as you read this text that Ms. Lee loves this character. Atticus’ emphatic desire to see all people as humans and worthy of respect (even when those people are undesirable) is a lesson for our (and all) time. It is a trait that many people preach, but few actually practice. Let someone vote for someone you do not like, or have a leader you can’t stand, and then watch the ugly flow forth. Atticus resists those impulses at every turn in this novel, and I am inspired by that. There are numerous other reasons why this is a stellar work of genius, not least of which is the wonderful plotting of the novel, the excellent and fleshed out supporting characters (these people are real to me) and the message that Lee finds numerous ways to reiterate throughout the book. When you get to the beautiful and brilliant chapter 9, the thematic heart of the novel begins to unfold. And every time I visit Maycomb County I find myself tearing up a little at such beautifully human moments. The text’s final chapter never fails to move me emotionally because it is so understated and powerful. Ms. Lee has created a pastoral version of the Depression era south, and even though there is vicious bigotry and hatred depicted in the novel, Ms. Lee (through her characters) does not give up on them, or us. The world, and we, can be better. We just need to remind ourselves to walk in other people's shoes once in a while.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Darling

    Our June classics book! Discussion on the blog Friday 6/26, in preparation for the sequel releasing in July. My re-read is on audio, with Sissy Spacek as narrator.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lawyer

    To Kill a Mockingbird: Harper Lee's Novel of Integrity and Duty in the Face of Intolerance and Injustice “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.-- Atticus Finch” Harper Lee, born 1926, 86 When Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960 a few well known Southern authors had a few tart things to say about it. Carson McCullers, whose Franky was compa To Kill a Mockingbird: Harper Lee's Novel of Integrity and Duty in the Face of Intolerance and Injustice “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.-- Atticus Finch” Harper Lee, born 1926, 86 When Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960 a few well known Southern authors had a few tart things to say about it. Carson McCullers, whose Franky was compared to Scout said Harper Lee had been "poaching on her literary preserves." Flannery O'Connor said the novel was fine, as far as it went if people realized they were reading a book for children. But Harper Lee's only known novel was an immediate phenomenon. Today it is read by more people around the world than the Bible. That's saying something. I am hesitant to attempt a review of this book. How much more can be said of it than has already been said. In all humility I can only say that I have loved this book for years. A goodreads friend asked me how many times I had read it. I replied in my Grandmother's words, "Eleventy-Seven." Loosely translated that means a lot--even more than a month of Sunday's. I will not attempt to present a plot summary. There are few who don't know the story. It's only necessary to remind each other that it still remains a sin to kill a mockingbird. Atticus said so. And Miss Maudie reminds us that all mockingbirds do is sing their hearts out for us all the day long. They do us no harm. They are the innocents among us. They are due to be protected. As long as Tom Robinsons and Boo Radleys exist in this world there will always be a niche necessarily filled by To Kill a Mockingbird. * "Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em. But remember, it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. To Kill a Mockingbird is especially dear to lawyers. Atticus Finch is the epitome of integrity in a profession often maligned by the public, sometimes rightly so on the basis of notorious incidents of failure to follow the rules of professional conduct. Over the years I was actively engaged in the practice of law, I returned time after time to this perfect novel as a reminder that it was my job to do the right thing and not just go for the win. It has seen me through difficult cases more than once. Atticus defends Tom Robinson Truthfully, I do not know the exact number of times I have read this perfect book. I know I have now passed a dozen times. Doubtless, in the years I have remaining, I will return to it again. Why does To Kill a Mockingbird continue to sell so well? Why has it never been out of print? I can only hope that there are far more Jems and Scouts aspiring to become Atticus Finch. And we will always have a need for him and those who strive to follow his philosophy. It is not easy following in the footsteps of such a man. It takes a sense of duty, sacrifice, and responsibility for the innocents of this world. It takes courage. None of those characteristics ever go out of style. “They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions... but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.” --Atticus Finch *Note--no copyright infringement is intended as this photograph is used for educational purposes only. November 30, 2014 Tonight finds us in Augusta, Georgia, breaking our trip home to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, from our Thanksgiving holiday with my wife's family. Neither of us regularly listen to audio books. However, we both enjoy them when traveling. The latest edition of To Kill a Mockingbird, released in August of this year is an exceptional treat. Sissy Spacek is the perfect Scout, capturing every phrase with perfect timing, accent, and nuance. We highly recommend you give this a listen.

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