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5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!,
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is a excellent high quality novel written by a great author. It's in the same vein as BARK OF THE DOGWOOD or McCuller's THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER. The book does a good job in painting a picture of historical America. The author does a fine work creating wonderful characters who seem stuck in an ever unfair world. The events in the novel cause one to think about what a cruel world this is and how our attitudes and behavior affect our children so deeply. Probably the best book ever written. If the characters of Jem, Scout, Atticus and even Zebo (the guy sent out to collect the dog) don't stay with you, then you need to check your pulse. It's hard to believe just how grea this little book is.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have Classic! Read it at least once!,
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)To Kill A Mockingbird is a powerful masterpiece at it's best. This classic tale was brought to life by Harper Lee in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, and later became an Academy Award-Winning film. There are over 15 million copies in print with translations in forty languages. The story takes place in Alabama during the Depression, in the early 1900's. It is about a young girl, her brother Jem, and their lawyer father Atticus, who must teach his children the value of every human being, regardless of race. It is a life lesson that is taught not only to the characters in this book, but the reader as well. Harper Lee does a marvelous job allowing the reader to actually live the hatred, love, suspense and determination of this family to stand up for what they believe in. It is a test for them because in the days that To Kill A Mockingbird takes place, race issues were just coming to life, and the true lesson was yet to be learned.
The storyline is about a young girl, Scout, who is at the age of curiosity. She wants to learn about everything, and looks to her older brother Jem to help her learn the ways of life. It is about a father that is forced to raise his children alone, after losing his wife. Through many hardships, this family learns about respect, love, personal growth, and most importantly they learn life lessons. "You never really know a man till you walk a mile in his shoes", says Atticus, who is defending an innocent black man, who is being charged for the rape of a white girl. In the end the real truth comes out, to no avail. The story is also about friendship, found in Dill, a boy that brings excitement to these two young characters. The three quickly become friends and they explore, play, learn, and love one another.
The story is based on Scout Finch, Jem, Dill, Atticus Finch, and many others who bring this book to life. The Radleys, who live next door to the Finches, are a strange and curious family to say the least. Through determination, they all quickly learn the Radleys aren't as strange as they would appear. There is Aunt Alexandra, who is very much against everything that Atticus believes in, she moves in with her brother and tempers flare. The neighbor, Miss Stephanie Crawford nurtures the children and aides them in ways only a woman can, since they lack a mother figure. Culprina, the black housemaid who has been helping Atticus raise his children, also guides this family into a world of understanding. Through all the characters, you find a perfect puzzle, that without just one piece, it would crumble.
The meaning of this book really touches on all the problems that are still very real in this world today. It is a true life lesson for the reader, young and old alike. I don't believe anyone can read this classic and not walk away with something truly special....Love For All.
Also recommended: THE LOSERS' CLUB: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable,
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)I really liked this book. It was very well written. The characters were well done and interesting and there was quite a bit going on in the plot despite the book's short length.
I really liked that the story began before the characters got involved in the main plot. I was able to get a sense of the characters lives before they were changed by the events in the book. The characters were all very well written, I really felt like I was sharing the experiences with them instead of just being a spectator. I thought Atticus' character may have been just a bit too perfect, but it didn't bother me that much.
I didn't have the really strong feelings about this book that I have seen from others, but I still think it is very good. And I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a good, interesting story.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Novel.,
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)To Kill a Mockingbird is a timeless classic by Harper Lee. The book narrates the story of a young girl named Jean Louise Finch, also called ¡°Scout¡±. Lee presented this book through the eyes of Jean Louise.
The story takes place in Maycomb, Alabama, during the 1930¡¯s or so. The plot is about Scout¡¯s father, Atticus Finch (a lawyer), trying to defend Black suspect Tom Robinson for accused of raping a White girl in the Maycomb County of Alabama. The plot incorporates several issues that people were struggling during the time of the story, including racism, injustice, and prejudice. The entire novel circulates around Scout and her family. Many situational conflicts arise, from trying to make Boo Radley come out of seclusion to dealing with family and community difficulties.
Lee did a miraculous job of telling the story through the view of Scout. The characters were depicted hardly by their appearances, but by their personality traits, which showed advanced style in writing. The setting and the time periods had a great impact on the story, as people those days lived quite close to each other and knew their neighbors well. I was amazed how natural and realistic the characters were made. Scout and her older brother, Jeremy (also called Jem), reacted to situations exactly as many of the children now days would act. Almost every character in the story had a crucial role at some point of the story. The character development was beyond imagination. From Dill (Jem and Scout¡¯s best friend) coming to visit the Finch family in the summer, to Jem trying to make it past the Radley¡¯s gate, to Calpurnia (the house cook) scolding the children for not coming home, this piece of literature truly elaborated on pivotal character details. After reading this book, one would think he knows the characters quite well.
Overall, this was a fantastic novel to read and I was truly impressed with the quality of writing and development presented in this story by Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird will truly be an American Literature classic for as long as it will be remembered.
5.0 out of 5 stars a true classic, for everybody to cherish,
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)The story is set during the great depression of the 1930's, in a small town in the southern United States. Scout and Jem Finch are the motherless children of a lawyer in the town of Maycomb, who spend their carefree summer days with their friend Dill. Their sunny-sweet world is turned upside down when their father is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a black man, who is accused of committing a terrible crime against a white woman. The children are exposed to the narrow-mindedness and hypocrisy of their community, and the discrimination faced by black Americans in their town.
This book is without a doubt my all-time favorite, and is easily endearing for many reasons. The characters are varied and colorful, from Ms. Maudie, the children's acid-tongued neighbor, to Miss Stephanie Crawford, the neighborhood gossip, from Mr. Avery, the pot-bellied gainsayer, to Arthur 'Boo' Radley, the mysterious recluse who lives in the 'haunted' house down the street. Above all, the most engaging characters are the children - innocent, sweet, mischievous and absolutely delightful.
5.0 out of 5 stars No wonder it's a classic...,
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)I just finished this book a few moments ago, and I am completely awed by this story. Harper Lee has done an excellent job bringing this 1930s Alabama childhood to life. I can see why To Kill a Mockingbird has won the Pulitzer Prize, garnered an Academy Award for the movie version, and ultimately become a timely classic enjoyed by many generations.
To Kill a Mockingbird tells the story of two children, sister Scout and brother Jem, and their childhood during three years in the midst of the Great Depression. Scout and Jem spend most of their summers with their summer-neighbor, Dill, making up plays and spying on the town recluse, Boo Radley. During the school year (minus Dill, who goes back home to Mississippi), Scout finds herself in trouble one too many times and struggles with the concept of being a lady, especially when all she wants to do is wear overalls and beat up her classmates.
Then everything changes one fall.... Scout and Jem's father, Atticus Finch, a lawyer in their town of Maycomb, Alabama, is appointed to the defense of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman (although not of the highest caliber), Mayella Ewell. The fact of this case rocks the town of Maycomb, and with Scout and Jem feeling the brunt of their classmates ridicule when they realize Atticus is on Tom's side.
I was simply floored while reading this novel. I wasn't expecting a "classic" to be so readable. Now I know what I've been missing! To Kill a Mockingbird is a piece of our American history that depicts racism and prejudice, childhood innocence, and the perseverence of a man who risked it all to stand up for what he believed in. Wonderful portrayal and one I will read again.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Reading of a Wonderful Book by Roses Prichard,
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)Like many youngsters, I was assigned To Kill a Mockingbird to read as a 15 year old. Unlike most, however, the assignment was for speed reading class . . . rather than American Literature.
Don't ever read this book for speed reading class.
I always intended to get back to the book for a more leisurely reading that would allow me to take in the obvious brilliance of Harper Lee in more ways. I was pleased to find that my local library offered an unabridged reading by Roses Prichard (an actress with a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Southern California) for Books on Tape.
In the first 15 seconds, I knew I had made a winning choice. Roses Prichard turns Scout (Jean Louise) Finch into a girl you'll feel like you've known all your life. Take the time to find this wonderful recording: You'll discover more in this book than you've ever thought could be in a book describing the thoughts and experiences of a five- to eight-year-old narrator.
Jem and Scout Finch are the only children of Atticus Finch, a highly principled lawyer in the small Southern town of Macomb, Alabama, whose wife died young of a heart attack. Unlike many novelists who cram their story into a few hours or days, Harper Lee showed the good sense to give us the family history and to let the children grow up over a few years before entering the heart of her tale. It's good story-telling and is great for character development.
Jem is five years older than Scout but tolerates her company as long as she doesn't start acting like a girl. That's fine with Scout who prefers overalls to dresses any day. As Jem grows older, he finds himself taking on the role of protector as well.
The children acquire a summer friend, Dill, and decide they want to meet the reclusive Arthur (Boo) Radley, a neighbor who always stays indoors. They have many adventures that will remind you of Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher in Injun Joe's cave.
The book is written in pre-Civil-Rights-era Alabama when consciousness of the bad things done to African Americans wasn't very well developed among those who weren't African Americans. The only people in the story who seemed to appreciate the full horror of discrimination are those who are honestly trying to live the Christian life. But even many practicing Christians proved to be blind to their African American neighbors' needs and concerns.
Harper Lee does a fine job of skewering all of those who are hypocrites on the subject of race. She even takes an appropriate shot at northerners who avoid the company of African Americans.
In a way, this book was The Uncle Tom's Cabin of the Civil Rights Movement, developing the consciousness that helped to change some attitudes towards African Americans.
The story also features lots of insights into Southern "justice" of the day -- inside the court, in the jury box, in jail, and in prison. To bring the evils of the attitudes to bear, Harper Lee tells us that it's wrong to kill a mockingbird . . . they only sing for us to enjoy and don't do any harm. By the end of the book, some of those in Macomb begin to feel that way about harmless human beings who do good, as well.
You can learn more about Southern culture and attitudes in the early 1960s by reading this book than by studying a dozen nonfiction texts. Harper Lee got it right. One of the lightning rods for racial tension in those days was unwarranted sexual fear of African-American males. That theme is fully developed through having an African-American be accused of raping a white woman.
But what I think makes this book timeless is its focus on what it means to be a good person . . . the story of Atticus Finch and his struggles with being both a good man and a good father.
But years from now you won't forget Scout: She's one of the great heroines in American literature and an important prototype of what the next generation should have become in loving other people.
Appreciate the untapped potential all around you!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have,
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)Few books make it to my MUST HAVE LIST. Obviously this book is one of those or I wouldn't be here right now, writing this. Ergo . . . Suffice it to say that TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD is right up there with OF MICE AND MEN and the explosive and jaw-dropping novel, KATZENJAMMER by one Jackson McCrae. But don't take my word for it---read this great book for yourself and see what everyone has been talking about for the last fifty years. This classic is so readable, even for children. To Kill a Mockingbird vividly depicts the racism, prejudice, childhood innocence, and the perseverance of one man to stand up for what he believed in. It is a wonderfully written portrayal of southern American history during its post-slavery time. This is one book I will definitely read again. If you read one book this year, make it TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tightly written with a message for everyone,
This review is from: To Kill A Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition (Hardcover)Harper Lee was encouraged to write some of her childhood memories. What in the beginning seems like the story of three childhood friends in depression era Macomb, Alabama, turns out to be packed with insights to the makeup of human kind.
This story is intriguing on many levels from the history of the area to the stereotyping of people. Most of all every turn was a surprise as told in the first person from the view of Scout Finch. And instead of telling the story in a six year old vocabulary she uses an exceptionally large repertoire to describe the people and events. This story is not as slow passed as one may guess from first glance as every remark and every action will be needed for a future action.
A major controversial part of the story is the trial of Tom Robinson. Hoverer this is just a catalyst to help Scout understand the nature of people including her father Atticus and you will find that as important as it is it is just a part of the story with other major characters such as Arthur "Boo" Radley.
Even thought it appears that Scout is the recipient of the insights, I believe we the reader is the real recipient.
I can truly say that this book has changed my outlook in life.
To Kill a Mockingbird (Collector's Edition)
Harper Lee (Up Close)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deserving classic of modern American literature,
This review is from: To Kill a Mockingbird (Mass Market Paperback)Fifty years after its initial publication in 1960, "To Kill a Mockingbird" has proven it deserves its place in anyone's list of the finest American classic literature ever written.
Written a scant three years before Martin Luther King awed the world with his magnificent "I have a dream" speech, Harper Lee also stunned the world with a poignant story centered on the unconscionable treatment accorded to the black man in USA's Deep South.
Tom Robinson, a productive, quietly proud and well-spoken black man who by today's standards might even be called an "Uncle Tom", is also cautiously subservient, withdrawn and all too aware of his underwhelming place in the society of Maycomb, Georgia, a sleepy white town in the heartland of America's confederate South.
Tom stands accused of the rape of Mayall Ewell, the 19 year old daughter of a boorish ne'er-do-well white trash family that, to the best recollection of everyone in the town, has never put in a day's work in its collective life. Jeremy Atticus Finch is a gentlemanly white lawyer who, despite the virulent hatred his own community is directing at him, has decided to hold firm to his own convictions about the equality of all men before God and to accept his assignment to the responsibility for Tom's defense at his capital trial for the rape of a white woman - a trial that is expected to be little more than a formality with scant necessity for reference to facts and truth.
"To Kill a Mockingbird" is not a legal thriller, although it certainly could have been. Rather, it is a story about human behaviour - kindness and cruelty; bigotry, hatred and prejudice versus acceptance and friendship; humour and pathos in the presence of sadness and dejection. Told from the point of view of Atticus Finch's children, Scout and her older brother Jem, we are witness to their father's poignant heart-warming attempts to teach his children to become the kind of citizens that, fifty years later, are sadly still the exception rather than the rule.
There can be few people (like me) left who haven't had the privilege of either reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" or seeing the movie, but if you are among that small number, do yourself a favour. Read it sooner than later.
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Mass Market Paperback - Oct 11 1988)
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