Book Review (#28): To Kill Mocking Bird by Harper Lee (Mini-Review)



You know when you read a book that lots of other people have read and talked about and you think you’re not going to get it? That’s the feeling I had about to Kill Mocking Bird. Maybe that’s owing to the fact that I picked it up five years ago, read two pages that I got nothing out of so I put it away. Maybe. But you know what? I got it. I loved it even. But probably not enough to write a good review about it. This is the book that I closed and thought, “Oh my God, I can’t wait to read this again.”

to kill a mockingbird

I think Harper Lee is crazy. I mean, the story discusses prejudice and the unfairness with which slaves were handled. And the narrator is a child! A child! I almost had a heart attack when I first realised that and I couldn’t really understand how she could’ve come up with such an idea. But, my God, was it absolutely brilliant! There is no better way to show the development of a baseless prejudice than start at that point when there are no prejudices to begin with, when matters as such are phony adult things (here’s one to you, Salinger) and children are just running around in their own little, safe cocoons of negligence. That’s the age where engaging tales are the only thing that makes sense and playing games is the only way of coping.

I loved Atticus. To me, he is the best literary parent I’ve yet come upon. He is wise and understanding and literate, but most importantly he understands that children need space. He understands that they have to come to their conclusions about their surroundings if the world should ever come to a change. And I loved that.

As most of you know, in the center of the story there is a black man that’s accused of raping a white woman. The scene of the trial knocked the breath out of me. I was on a flight back when I was reading it and I’d planned to set some time aside for studying a bit because my midterms were coming up. But there was no way I could’ve put away that book. Even though it was a library book and I usually treat those a bit more carefully than I do my own, but when the food was served, I still went through it. I just wanted to see what will happen and the scene was written perfectly. As though there was a camera in the center of the room, rotating around and around to pick up every little thing that’s happening. Then there’s of course the fact that Scout’s narrating it and half of what is going on is shooting right over her head and her capacity of understanding. Honestly, I was on the verge of tears. The scene was so raw and so… real, I almost cried.

I’m not sure what else to say about this book. This is a book that high school students spend a semester dissecting and analysing and I don’t even have that much to say about it. But like I’ve mentioned, I need to read it again. I feel like there are things –significant things– that I’ve missed, and I’m waiting for that perfect, little chance to pick this precious gem back up and read it again.

But you should pick it up. If you haven’t read it, you’re missing a lot. If you have read it, do let me know if you went through what I’m going through. Am I the only one who feels that you can’t get enough out of it the first time around?

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One thought on “Book Review (#28): To Kill Mocking Bird by Harper Lee (Mini-Review)

  1. I love your enthusiasm for this novel! You have motivated me to re-read this book. I forget how old I was when I read it, only 16 or 17 as I recall, and I LOVED it. It resonated for me on so many levels and I kept wishing I’d had a father like Atticus. I remember fantasizing about that…how much better my life would be. So it’s been about 40 years since I read it, and I feel must I must give it another read-through to see how my interpretation might have changed… I am so glad this book touched you in such deep ways. I believe it to be brilliant! Thank you for sharing your reactions to it.

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