Title: To Kill A Mockingbird (Goodreads)
Author: Harper Lee
Published: HarperCollins, 1960
My Copy: Audiobook
Literary Achievements: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die List, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (1961)
To celebrate 50 years of publication this month, The newly formed Literary Exploration Book Club decided to read Harper Lee’s classic To Kill A Mockingbird. The book has been described as a southern gothic novel which gave the book a certain appeal to me and was one of the main reasons I decided to read this book. What I found left me a little disappointed. To begin with, I found the book didn’t start to get interesting till chapter 11. I know the back story was needed, it was a different time, but I didn’t much care for the childhood of Jean Louise, Jem or even Boo. To me it felt like it dragged on and could have used some cutting down, but some people like to hear about life in the 1930’s. When I did eventually get to chapter 11, I did start to enjoy the book a lot more and finally at chapter 17 we started to get into the real story of To Kill A Mockingbird; The Court Case.
Atticus was the only truly enjoyable character for me. He was a wise and fair man, though he never wanted to take Tom Robinson case he did his upmost to make sure he was treated fairly and got the best representation possible. Atticus was the shining light throughout this book; he was a scholar and gentlemen through thick and thin. Once the court case was over and Atticus no longer had to deal with Tim Robinson the book again went back to its original slow pace and eventually fizzled out.
The book wasn’t all bad, it was well written and tackled some important topics, including racial injustice, class and even sexuality. I can see why this is a classic book and I think Harper Lee did a fantastic job at shedding light on some important social issues, the story just felt to slow for my liking, but I can understand why so many people enjoy this book.