To Kill A Mockingbird School & Library Binding – Oct 1 1988
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"When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.... When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out."
Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus--three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up.
Like the slow-moving occupants of her fictional town, Lee takes her time getting to the heart of her tale; we first meet the Finches the summer before Scout's first year at school. She, her brother, and Dill Harris, a boy who spends the summers with his aunt in Maycomb, while away the hours reenacting scenes from Dracula and plotting ways to get a peek at the town bogeyman, Boo Radley. At first the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape of Mayella Ewell, the daughter of a drunk and violent white farmer, barely penetrate the children's consciousness. Then Atticus is called on to defend the accused, Tom Robinson, and soon Scout and Jem find themselves caught up in events beyond their understanding. During the trial, the town exhibits its ugly side, but Lee offers plenty of counterbalance as well--in the struggle of an elderly woman to overcome her morphine habit before she dies; in the heroism of Atticus Finch, standing up for what he knows is right; and finally in Scout's hard-won understanding that most people are essentially kind "when you really see them." By turns funny, wise, and heartbreaking, To Kill a Mockingbird is one classic that continues to speak to new generations, and deserves to be reread often. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Lee's beloved American classics makes its belated debut on audio (after briefly being available in the 1990s for the blind and libraries through Books on Tape) with the kind of classy packaging that may spoil listeners for all other audiobooks. The two CD slipcases housing the 11 discs not only feature art mirroring Mary Schuck's cover design but also offers helpful track listings for each disk. Many viewers of the 1962 movie adaptation believe that Lee was the film's narrator, but it was actually an unbilled Kim Stanley who read a mere six passages and left an indelible impression. Competing with Stanley's memory, Spacek forges her own path to a victorious reading. Spacek reads with a slight Southern lilt and quiet authority. Told entirely from the perspective of young Scout Finch, there's no need for Spacek to create individual voices for various characters but she still invests them all with emotion. Lee's Pulitzer Prize–winning 1960 novel, which quietly stands as one of the most powerful statements of the Civil Rights movement, has been superbly brought to audio. Available as a Perennial paperback. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Well-structured and enthralling, it disturbingly presents two major flaws that may prove fatal to many readers:
• the narrator is a small girl who perceives reality with her own eyes but does not at all write in a juvenile style; it is never explained why this story is written or to whom it is addressed;
• the dénouement occurs as two small children walk home from a school show, in the dark, by themselves; it is not convincingly explained why their guardians did not attend or at least accompany them there and back.
Overall, the interest of this work lies in the fact that it is so well known rather than its intrinsic qualities.
5 stars. Conclusion , A good read which should be read by people with any genre specifications.
Most recent customer reviews
Why I waited all those years to read this wonderful book, I'll never know. A great story, great characters.Published 6 hours ago by Mireille
Delivered really quick and perfect condition ! Also, packaging was easy to open.Published 8 days ago by Miriam A
Read it because it was a classic, worth it? Meh. Probably just not my taste. The second half is much better than the first, keep reading!Published 1 month ago by JohnnyUtah
A good story, reminds me of my childhood way back in the 40's & 50's. Now just started to read her other novel Go Set A Watchman.Published 1 month ago by Frisco
Very slow, and to be honest I found what I did read to be boring. I did not finish the book.Published 2 months ago by john jameson