I loved this book. It reminded me a little of Seinfeld's series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, except it focused more on craft. Apatow interviews sI loved this book. It reminded me a little of Seinfeld's series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, except it focused more on craft. Apatow interviews some of the biggest names in comedy, people who influenced him, contemporaries, and younger ones whom he influenced or tutored. Apatow asks good questions, and not only about the art of writing something funny. He really likes to get in there and find out what makes them tick, why and how they got into stand-up. The reader also finds out a lot about Apatow himself. Oh, and it's funny too. I hope there is a second volume in the works....more
I read To Kill a Mockingbird so long ago, it’s like I’ve never even read it. I considered re-reading it before diving into Go S[Note: spoilers below.]
I read To Kill a Mockingbird so long ago, it’s like I’ve never even read it. I considered re-reading it before diving into Go Set A Watchman but decided not to, so I can judge the new book on its own merits, to see if it could stand alone.
Scanning some others’ reviews, the problem most critics seem to have with Go Set A Watchman is that it’s not To Kill a Mockingbird. Is it fair to judge a just-published book against a classic American novel? Even if the book is a sibling/companion/sequel to the original? People don’t want their classic, enduring characters tinkered with, especially the beloved Atticus Finch. Turns out, he’s not the perfect man the ten-year-old Scout remembers, and worshipped. But that’s one of the main points of the book: childhood perception versus adult.
Jean Louise (Scout) returns home to a changed Maycomb County after being away, first at college, then four years living in New York. The Civil Rights movement is under way and there is a lot of political, social, and racial tension. While she was living in the more liberal and progressive North, Maycomb County was dealing with these issues in their own bigoted, slow-paced way. She doesn’t like what she sees, especially from her father, whom she has always revered. Has everyone changed that much while she was away, or has she changed?
This is a mature Jean Louise, not Scout anymore, and when she discovers Atticus and Henry (her old friend/sort-of boyfriend) are both on a racist Citizen Council assembled to determine what to do about the Blacks, she is outraged and literally sickened. What happened to the good man she has always revered? Can she accept that her father isn’t perfect or godlike? This is the thrust of the story. She doesn’t feel at home at home anymore. Her first instinct is to give up and run back to New York. After an emotional blowout with her father, her uncle Dr. Finch explains what’s been happening in Maycomb while she was away, the political climate, and literally tries to slap some sense into her. He suggests she return home permanently to be part of the solution, rather than leave it to the likes of the Citizen Council.
The main problem I had with the novel is everything was wrapped up too fast. Jean Louise quickly learns some things about herself and what she wants out of life, and there was a resolution to the story. But I just wanted something a little more. The writing is there, though--it’s good. The book stands alone. If you don’t want it to damage your fond memories of the old characters, just pretend they have different names and are different people. But Jean Louise didn’t have that luxury. She learned that her idol was human after all....more