John Harris's Reviews > To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
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Jul 11, 10

bookshelves: recommended
Read in May, 2010

I'm English, living in America, and gradually working may way through the American cannon. I'm trying to cover all the books Americans read at school while I was reading Shakespeare and Orwell. Of course I'd heard of To Kill a Mockingbird and vaguely knew it was about race and the south in the 1930's, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. So the plot and the characters were a surprise. I agree with some criticisms I have read that the characters are a little archetypal, but this serves the purpose of the novel and did not annoy me the way Emerson's characters in The Invisible Man did. I do think the female charters were some of the best realized that I have ever read. I have been trying not to read anything about these books before I read them so I didn't realize Harper Lee was a woman. About half way through I guessed, or at least started to suspect because the female characters were so rich and well drawn. Scout in particular was a real revelation. I have a daughter the same age so it was interesting to discover the story through Scouts eyes.

I actually listened to the book on a CD which was narrated by Sissy Spacek. I can thoroughly recommend this edition she does an excellent job of narrating the book from Scouts perspective.
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